Organic & natural farming
Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw
Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming (1975)
“Nature, left alone, is in perfect balance.
Harmful insects and plant diseases are always present, but do not occur in nature to an extent which requires the use of poisonous chemicals. The sensible approach to disease and insect control is to grow sturdy crops in a healthy environment.”
Why organic farming?
“. . . IN HARMONY WITH NATURE AND THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENT – WITHOUT ANY USE OF PESTICIDES, HERBICIDES, OR ARTIFICIAL FERTILISERS.”
Only few percent of the yearly tea production in Japan today is grown organically. Instead, the majority of Japanese teas is cultivated using conventional methods which include widespread use agro-chemicals and artificially produced nutrients.
In io, we wish to recognise and support the courageous tea producers who commonly experience being on their own in their choice of alternative, non-chemical forms of agriculture.
Therefore, all our teas are grown in accordance with basic principles of organic agriculture focusing on cultivation methods in harmony with nature and the local environment – without any use of pesticides, herbicides, or artificial fertilisers.
By refraining from using artificially produced nutrients, the tea tree has a better opportunity to grow in accordance with its own innate rhythm in a stress-free, natural environment. The absence of pesticides provides space for the flora and fauna of the local area and ensures that the tea production supports and is part of – rather than causing damages to – the local ecosystem.
Organic tea production thus not only affects nature more gently. It also results in teas that are more directly shaped by its soil conditions, climate, and the natural properties of the individual tea trees. As such, each tea stands as a more unique expression of its regionality, year of harvest, and the particular character of its producer.
“. . . AN IDEAL OF MINIMAL HUMAN INTERVENTION”
Natural farming ( 自然農法 shizen nōhō ) is like organic farming based on a principle of agricultural management free from the use of pesticides and artificial fertilisers. However, whereas organic farming for example typically employs various forms of organic fertilising, natural farming is characterised by an ideal of minimal human intervention – if external nutrients are distributed to the field, it is only in the form of scattered dried leaves and twigs from nearby fields and local plant growth.
The absence of fertilisers results in slower leaf growth, and naturally farmed tea trees are typically harvested only once a year – in springtime – to preserve soil quality. The tea trees are thus able to grow in a more undisturbed and naturally wild environment. The slower growth and modest harvest cycle provide at the same time the tea trees with more time to absorb nutrients in a natural manner. As such, naturally farmed teas stands as a patient result of time and the art of maintaining a naturally nutritious and well-balanced ecosystem.
“. . . THE ART OF MAINTANING A NATURALLY NUTRITIOUS AND WELL-BALANCED ECOSYSTEM.”