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Circulation organic farming ”Farming,  Yoshinori Kaneko”

Circulation organic farming
”Farming, Yoshinori Kaneko”

A pioneer of organic farming.

Yoshinori Kaneko is known as the leading figure of organic farming. We visited his farm, Frostpia Farm, for an interview.
He started organic farming in 1971 which uses no chemical fertilizers or pesticides. It was as far back as thirty years ago, when hardly anyone was involved in organic farming. At that time, the government had started the rice acreage reduction policy, and he thought that was so discouraging to many farmers. In addition, it was a time when pollution problem became serious. So he thought, ”If we make safe and delicious things, people will support us, then we farmers will not be discouraged,” and he decided to start organic farming.

The nature is circulating beautifully.

During his thirty years of experience, he saw that the nature is circulating beautifully. And Kaneko’s farming is a circulation farming, taking after the nature. That means, eat what is harvested from the field, and feed whatever remains to animals, and make compost from animal droppings and fallen leaves from the mountains, and fertilize the field with it. The foods are produced within such circulation.

Kaneko takes further consideration for environment. He gets electricity from solar power, water is drawn from a well. What’s more, he collects used edible oil from nearby restaurants, cleans it with a centrifugal separator, and reuses it. It is not only used as edible oil, but he also uses it as fuel for tractors and automobiles. This has really surprised Nakata, all the staff and everyone present at the interview.

Organic farming is a method to be near nature.

When Nakata asked what the important points are on organic farming, Kaneko mentioned the following four.
・Make living soil, in which microbes can thrive.
・Sow seeds and cultivate at appropriate timing.
・Not grow crops of the same family in the same field for more than three years, because it will cause diseases and pests to loiter in the soil.
・Grow diverse crops, as nature is diverse.
Furthermore he said, ”We should grow crops that are suited to the land and can collect seeds from. We should go back to growing native species, that were grown when there were no chemical fertilizers.” As a result of this effort, a native specie of soy beans called Ogawa Aoyama Jurai is grown at Shimosato Farm and neighboring farms, and it is receiving good reputation from customers such as ”tofu” workshops as having ”great sweet taste”.

At Frostopia Farm, there are many trainees who have come to learn organic farming. Kaneko says that more than 90% of them are not the sons of farmers. It may be a proof that there is a growing concern for food safety, environment and food crisis. What Kaneko was concerned about thirty years ago may be the concern of many people today.

ACCESS

Shimosato Farm Yoshinori Kaneko
Ogawa, Hiki-gun, Saitama Prefecture
URL http://www.shimosato-farm.com/