Great Construction

Non-Fertilizer Cultivation (Journal & book versions)

     To begin my commentary on non-fertilizer cultivation, I explain its basic theory, and first is the question of what is the soil. Needless to say, the soil is what the Creator has provided to nurture the cereals and vegetables that are most important for maintaining human life. Therefore, the essential qualities of the soil are mysterious and subtle, and the fact that until today material science has been unable to understand these essential qualities requires no argument. As a result of the mistaken course into which agriculture has fallen and followed throughout the years, the stage has been reached where farmers disdain the power of the soil and believe they must use excrement, urine, or artificial chemical fertilizers to improve the growth of all agricultural products.
     As a consequence, in spite of the fact that the essential properties of the soil have gradually degenerated and the original nutritive power of the soil has declined, because farmers do not perceive these changes, and under the delusion that poor crop yield is the result of insufficient artificial fertilizer, it is applied even more so (48A: which exhausts further the power of the soil so that artificial fertilizer is utilized with the result that farmers today)(49A: which causes the soil to degenerate further. Farmers) are unanimous in lamenting the infertile condition to which the land of Japan has become. I will enumerate the frightening aspects of artificial fertilizers below.
1.  The most worrisome problem these days is probably the proliferation of insect pests. But, when the causes for the generation of pests are investigated, researchers concentrate only on extermination. (48B: Having been unable to discover the cause,)(49B: And, having said that, because they have been unable to discover the cause,) they probably attempt to exterminate pests as the second best course, but actually, insect pests generate from artificial fertilizers. The varieties of insect pests have (48C: continued to increase)(49C: increased recently and this is entirely) because the varieties of artificial fertilizers have increased. In addition, (48D: it is truly absurd that)(49D: still) unknown is the fact that even if insect pests can be exterminated through the use of insecticides, the chemicals will permeate the soil and cause soil degeneration which becomes the cause for the generation of insect pests (48E: (Acidic soil is caused by artificial fertilizer))(49E: zero).
2.  When plants absorb artificial fertilizer, they weaken. Weakening means that they become frail and that their stalks or stems tend to break easily in adverse conditions of wind and precipitation. In addition, their flowers tend to drop off so there is less fruition, and because the plants grow tall and produce big leaves, the fruit comes to be overshadowed by the leaves. In rice, wheat, and bean plants, the husks or shells become very thick and the grains within are undernourished.
3.  The ammonia found in ammonium sulphate and in excrement and urine, and other chemical fertilizers is for the most part of high toxicity, so as long as plants, even in small amounts, absorb this toxin, it enters the human body through the digestive tract. It is unwarranted to declare that this toxin causes no damage to health. Eighty percent of the Japanese population are carriers of parasites, particularly roundworms, whose cause is of course the eggs of these worms that are found in human excrement and urine which are ingested into, then develop and grow inside the human body. Recent reports in medical circles declare that if the use of fertilizers with manures and urine is stopped for two to three years, disease relating to roundworms can be entirely eliminated.
4.  The price of fertilizers has recently risen and it is an incontrovertible fact that fertilizer costs are equal to the payments that farmers receive from the government for their rice production. It is no wonder that farmers are forced to sell rice on the side at black market prices.
5.  The purchase and handling of fertilizers, fumigant spraying, and other such measures require a great deal of labor and trouble.
6.  Agricultural products grown without artificial fertilizers have outstanding flavor, show excellent growth, are much larger than artificially-fertilized plants, and the quantities, much greater.
     The above shows how frightening fertilizing toxin is and how advantageous is non-fertilizer cultivation. When all these factors are totaled, it is not impossible to be able to obtain twice the current amount of profit in the agricultural economy. Indeed, it would be a tremendous revolution in the agriculture of Japan. I will present reports about my personal experience with results and practices, followed by testimonies from various farming households.
    Let’s think about the issues in this way: (48F: What is the number of Japanese people who)(49F: How many Japanese people) know the real flavor of vegetables? It could probably safely be said that few actually do. This state of affairs is due to the fact that there are no agricultural products which do not depend on the use of chemical fertilizers, manure, and urine. Vegetables that absorb artificial fertilizers and human waste lose their natural taste. On the other hand, when allowed to absorb nourishment from the soil itself, vegetables are truly delicious since they are able to manifest their (48G: natural)(49G: innate natural)  flavor. Since I have discovered the flavor of non-fertilizer vegetables, the sense of well-being I feel has indeed increased greatly. Furthermore, with non-fertilizer cultivation, expenses for fertilizers are not necessary, the labor and trouble of applying fertilizers are eliminated, the discomfort of having to deal with unpleasant odors is avoided, the danger of parasite propagation is removed, breeding of insect pests is exceedingly low, product flavor is good, and the volume of the harvest increases, so it is like killing seven birds with one stone. Such a great problem cannot be ignored even a moment longer. This remarkable discovery should be announced to the world and the good news shared as soon as possible.
     I start with theory and an overview of the function, that is, the performance, of the soil. Soil consists of  trinitarian energy, power from the fusion of the three basic elements, earth, water, and fire. Of course, the spirit of earth provides the principle energy for the growth of plants, and kinetic energy for growth is provided by the spirit of fire and of water. Thus, the quality of the soil, which is the primary force, determines the good or bad results of plants, so, for cultivation, the major requirement should be to improve that which is fundamental, the quality of the soil. The better the quality of soil, the more favorable the results obtained.
     In which case, to improve the quality of the soil, the energy of the soil must be strengthened. To do so, the soil must be cleansed and purified. Cleansing and purification are necessary because the cleaner the soil, the more vigorous its growth-stimulating energy. Heretofore, agricultural practices have been greatly mistaken because the opposite, filling the soil with filth, has not only been allowed but greatly encouraged. The principle will be easier to understand if the opposing theory is clarified.
     Since antiquity the opposite theory has held that fertilizer is an important, indispensable aspect of agriculture, but actually, the more artificial fertilizer is applied to the soil, the more the soil is killed. When artificial fertilizers are used, and even if good results are temporarily obtained, the soil gradually becomes addicted to artificial fertilizers that must continuously be applied in order to obtain good results. Therefore, the constant application of artificial fertilizers begins to invite opposite effects. When the yields from rice paddies become poor, Japanese farmers add new top soil to the paddy. When they do so, crop yields increase temporarily. From this farmers and researchers draw the wrong conclusion which is that continuous yearly cultivation depletes the nourishment of the soil, and so the soil comes to lack nutritive elements. It is not perceived that the use each year of artificial fertilizers causes the soil quality to weaken. New soil that does not contain elements of artificial fertilizer is bursting with activating energy and produces good results. Leaving theory at this extent, I would now like to explain various aspects of the practical advantages of non-fertilizer cultivation.
     To begin, what should be given as one characteristic of non-fertilizer cultivation is the short height of the plants. As I mentioned previously, plants grown with artificial fertilizers become tall and their leaves grow luxuriantly, so in bean plants and other such crops, the beans or fruit are overshadowed by the leaves and do not grow well, and many of their flowers drop so the amount of resulting fruit is very low. Particularly, edamame cultivated without artificial fertilizers produces twice the yields. Not even one bean is eaten by insect pests, and the excellent flavor is praised by all. Of course, in other crops such as peas and fava beans, the shells are unparalleled in their softness.
     Equally important with non-fertilizer cultivation, there is absolutely no failure. Often heard are the lamentations of amateur farmers trying to grow potatoes that their potatoes are small and that their overall output is low or even non-existent, but because the cause is overuse of artificial fertilizers is not perceived, they mistakenly believe the reason to be not enough artificial fertilizer, and use even more artificial fertilizer, with even further poor results. When the advice of experts or experienced farmers is sought, the amateurs are given comments along the lines of “the cause of your problem are bad seeds, and the seeds were not planted at the proper time” or “the acidity of the soil is the problem.” Because this advice is completely misdirected, amateur farmers have no way of perceiving the true cause. If truth be told, potatoes produced with non-fertilizer cultivation are extremely white, quite aromatic, have excellent texture to the tongue, with flavor so good the potato is thought to be some kind of new variety. Yam and taro of course show similar results, and particularly with sweet potatoes, if deep and wide furrows are formed, and plenty of sunlight is allowed for, the large size of the products and how delicious they are is quite astonishing. In practice, most professional farmers do not apply much artificial fertilizer to sweet potato plants anyway.
     I do want to discuss corn because the good results of growing corn without artificial fertilizer deserve special mention. The seeds of all plants, including corn, have been contaminated by artificial fertilizers, so they do not produce good results for the first and second year. From about the third year of non-fertilizer cultivation, the results pronouncedly become good. When seeds and soil are not contaminated by artificial fertilizer toxin, the stalks of the corn are extremely thick and the leaves are a green so brilliant they seem to drip water. When the soil receives adequate sunlight and water, fruition is good, the cobs are long, and the corn kernels are closely packed in straight rows with no missing spaces. The corn is so soft and sweet that eaten once, is never forgotten.
     The different varieties of radish are all large and in the case of daikon is pure white with a fine texture. It is viscous, sweet, and very delicious. Common problems with daikon—the formation of hard fibrous tissue or a granular texture—result from artificial fertilizers. Green vegetables grown without artificial fertilizers are sweet-smelling and stimulate the appetite. They have good color, are soft, and never insect-infested. Of course, as excrement is not used, they are also wholesome and sanitary.
     Of that cultivated without artificial fertilizers, particularly to be recommended is eggplant. The skin is soft and the color, excellent. The fragrance is ambrosial and the appetite is stimulated immensely. The difference is so great that none of the members of my household will eat eggplant grown with artificial fertilizers.
     In rice cultivation, as soil preparation, cutting rice straw into small pieces and mixing them into the soil of the paddy helps to keep the soil warm by absorbing heat. A well-known fact about growing rice is that cold mountain water is very harmful to rice plants, so irrigation ditches should be long and shallow, allowing the water to warm as it flows. When preparing irrigation ditches, making a pond midway to the paddies is not recommended as the depth of the pond will only keep the water cold.
     Whether it be varieties of melon, watermelon, or pumpkin, superior produce, unequaled anywhere is to be had. In wheat and rice plants, the stalks are short, and the volume and quality of the grain are superior. Rice in particularly is highly lustrous and has a richness as to be found in mochi rice. The rice is solid in volume, has excellent flavor, and can be considered top-grade.
     The preceding is just a sampling of the advantages of non-fertilizer cultivation. What I have described should particularly be good news for the many amateur farmers that can be found all over Japan these days. Whatever else may be said about non-fertilizer cultivation produce, the use of excrement as artificial fertilizer by amateur farmers is quite unpleasant if not the cause of physical reactions, and it also has the unwholesome effect of introducing into the stomach such unwelcome guests as intestinal worms. In ignorance farmers have continued to perform back-backing labor only to obtain poor results. In my case, for most vegetables, all I do is plant the seeds and occasionally remove the weeds. As I get very good results, what could be better?
     The above shows that chemical and excrement are unnecessary for non-fertilizer cultivation, but there is a need for the use of a substantial amount of natural compost. To explain, with growing any kind of plant, the most essential point is to make as ideal as possible conditions for the growth of the ends of the roots of the plants. The soil must not be allowed to harden. When compost is decomposed too much, the soil tends to harden, so compost that is only half decomposed or rotten is good. Leaves and the blades of grass decompose quickly so they are suitable for compost, but the leaves of trees have fiber and veins that are tough, so they must be given a longer period to decompose. The reason is because these hard fibers and veins in the compost will obstruct the ends of the plant roots. Lately, it has been given about that it is good to let the roots breathe, but this advice is slightly off target. If the soil is soft enough to let air circulate, then the tiny, fine roots can appear, grow, and spread out well. Air by itself has nothing to do with the process. Here, a word of caution as regards to keeping the soil warm. For most kinds of vegetables, forming a layer of compost about a foot deep is good. Plants for which the root itself is the part to be consumed, such as daikon, carrots, and burdock, should have a layer of compost that corresponds to the depth of the roots. Thoroughly mixing compost made from the blades of grasses with soil under which is formed a layer of compost made from tree leaves, as described above, is ideal.
     The technical advice these days is that acidic soil is not good for cultivation, but as artificial fertilizers are the cause of acidic soil, when artificial fertilizers are not used acidic soil is not a worry.
     In non-fertilizer cultivation, there is an aspect that people nowadays find surprising. That is, repeated planting of the same crop in the same field is held to be wrong, but I have obtained favorable results by doing exactly that. And, as the years pass, the results gradually improve even more so. Such an account may sound like a miracle, but actually, there is a very good reason for this result. Repeated plantings further animate the soil and strengthen its energy, so that the more planting of the same crop is repeated, the soil works naturally to adapt itself to that particular plant.
     Another serious problem are insect pests, but these will practically disappear when artificial fertilizers are not applied, and although there will be a few, the percentage of what they are at present will be much smaller. Farmers are often heard to say that insects breed where too much artificial fertilizer is used. Cigar tobacco leaves from Manila and Havana are said to be superior, that the leaves are highly fragrant and not insect-infested, and I heard from a specialist that this characteristic is due to the fact that these leaves are completely fertilizer-free. The best example of plants not infested with insects are probably weeds. Other good examples are the wild greens gathered in spring, such as starwort and particularly watercress which is fragrant probably because it has not been subjected to artificial fertilizer.
     And finally, words of caution. Farmers switching their rice paddies from artificial fertilizer cultivation to non-fertilizer cultivation will find that production in the first and second years to be poor. The soil has become addicted to artificial fertilizers, and as in the case of human beings, when alcoholics stop drinking, they become temporarily disoriented; or, when smokers quit smoking, they feel a loss of energy; or, when morphine and cocaine addicts stop using, the condition is unbearable. Patience is called for in the first two or three years for good results later. As toxicity in the soil and the seeds is eliminated, the soil will manifest its powerful capability.
     The following reports of experiments will support my theories.  

Chijōtengoku, Issue 1, page 51, December 1, 1948
Non-Fertilizer Cultivation Method, Jikan Library, Volume 2
, page 4, July 1, 1949

    translated by cynndd

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“Muhiryō Saibai” was first published on page 51 in a special section on Natural Cultivation of the inaugural issue of Chijōtengoku, December 1, 1948, and seven revisions were made by Meishu-sama when included as his main essay, in addition to the testimonials to nature farming that comprise most of the work, in Muhiryō Saibaihō (Non-Fertilizer Cultivation Method), Jikan Library, Volume 2, page 4, July 1, 1949. In this text, the seven revisions are indicated by letters, preceded by the year of publication, hence “48A” is the first item that was revised by Meishu-sama for the book edition. “Muhiryō Saibai” was never anthologized while Meishu-sama was alive but the book version has appeared in translation. Citation is given below for reference.

“Nature Farming,” True Health, 1987, page 147.