Apples are fruit connected with the creation of history: Adam and Eve, Newton's law of universal gravitation, Snow White and iPhone. Akinori Kimura made a new page involving the apples by growing them without pesticide. Now his strong passion for pesticide-free production is unveiled.
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In Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, in northern Japan "Miracle Apples" are being grown. Miracle Apples are raised through a "natural cultivation" method that employs neither pesticides nor fertilizers, not even organic matter such as compost or manure. These apples do not turn brown from oxidation after being cut. When left untouched for some time, they start fermenting without decay.
Japan is one of the largest pesticide users in the world. It is said that apples in particular cannot be produced without pesticides. In this article, we introduce Akinori Kimura who has succeeded in growing pesticide-free apples with his "natural cultivation" method.
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The Spirit of Natural Cultivation -- Gratitude to Nature
In his lectures or books, Kimura often talks about vegetables as if they were human, saying, "Think how we can make vegetables happy," or "The vegetables may be delighted if we do this or that."
When he stopped applying pesticides, his apple trees were weakened and even seemed dead. He walked from one tree to another asking them not to die. He felt he could not speak to the trees on the roadside for fear of attracting his neighbors' attention. Oddly enough, the trees to which he did not speak died in the end.
Kimura says that everything has a spirit. He asks us to express our appreciation to crops, which provide us with the fruits of the land. Natural cultivation is pesticide- and fertilizer-free farming, but it also involves experience, knowledge of farming and, more than anything, a spirit of gratitude towards nature.
Nature keeps a perfect balance through the diversity of many creatures, and human beings are a part of nature, which also keeps us alive. I suspect that we have ended up generating diseases like cancer and allergies because we have used pesticides to eliminate insects bothersome to us, considering them pests, and polluted the earth by using fertilizers to obtain higher crop yields. Natural cultivation, which recovers the natural balance in the process of producing food, teaches us the spirit of gratitude to nature.
Natural cultivation is not easy because it takes a long time to establish the methods suitable for a certain area of farmland or crop. Yields from natural cultivation are only 70 to 80 percent of yields from conventional farming. Continuing with natural cultivation, however, makes it possible to harvest fine, safe vegetables little damaged from diseases or insect pests, even without the use of fertilizers or pesticides, which of course, need not be purchased.
A network of farmers and marketers of natural cultivation products is spreading, albeit little by little. The practice of natural cultivation has started overseas as well, for example in Korea and Taiwan. Kimura hopes that natural cultivation, which keeps people who eat or produce crops, soil, water, air and living creatures fine and healthy, will continue spreading throughout the world.