Myumi a.k.a. ‘Mom’
Mothering and the power of Nature are at the heart of my life’s work.
I come from Japan, where many mothers feel insecure and anxious about staying in with their children – they become reclusive. Before I had my first child I was slightly unsatisfied, directionless, and in search of deeper meaning. When I became a mother I realised that to have a child was the biggest way I could connect with society, because my child would grow up to make that society. Through my maternal philosophy I could raise up ‘the people’. When I was young everyone had ambitions for being special – having an incredible career without getting married or having children. But after a lot of exploration, I found my one suitable profession was to be a mother. By being a mother I could participate in something very special. I see plastic washed up across the beach. I can react to this, and clean it up – but more powerful is to raise a child who would never use or throw down that rubbish in the first place. If I can bear and develop such kind of person, that is the best for everyone in our society – all mothers, fathers and children.
My pregnancy brought these ideas to me. All embryos have a power and a potential to be born naturally, to live independently and to survive. We need to trust in this potency and try not to disturb their natural power. I believe that many parents give presents and material goods in the name of love for their child, but these things are actually killing their natural talent. Children have the ability to learn by themselves and absorb more than we imagine they can. Leaving them be results in less sickness, less weakness. This extends to the natural world, to plants – because both they and children are the life in Nature. All plants have the ability and potential to survive by themselves.
There is a story of a Japanese farmer, who had been farming naturally for over 30 years. His rice would grow very slowly, whereas the surrounding fertilised rice fields would grow fast, with large crops and a big yield. One year there was an unusual summer, with a deep, long frost. The surrounding fields were quickly destroyed, as the crops pushed up into the cold. But this farmer’s fields seemed quiet and calm. The plants were waiting underground, for the right time to emerge and the coldness to go away. That year he got a full harvest. He reuses the same seed from his field (rather than the once-only GMO) – it has intelligence, as it’s already adapted and knows what to do.
I’ve found that natural care, home schooling and natural farming – they are all the same. Young plants and young children are equal in the meaning of their life in the universe. Already, by planting, were are intervening in nature. We ask Nature to share this space to grow vegetables. If sometimes animals from nature come and eat the leaves – that is ok. We don’t have to eat 100%. We can give back and share with the Nature that has given us this land to grow with. We can share with other creatures and lifeforms and beings, including plants. All deserve our respect.
I have a simple philosophy. You make a small hole, you plant the seed, and you take care of it. I talk to the plants as I plant them, or care for them, or harvest them. The plants are always listening.
The natural way is the best, I know it – I’ve tried all ways as a farmer. Rice lasts 6 months if you use fertiliser and farm it intensively, but if you grow it naturally, the plants can last up to 2 years. The seed is strong and the crops are clean. When you cook it, the rice shines.
When I was in Japan, I worked on a lot of farms that used chemicals, lots of herbicides and Monsanto seeds. Those chemicals affected the crop’s fertility.
It took a long time for us to clean the land of fertiliser, at our farm in Mas. Meeting Myumi gave me the patience I needed. She had the experience and the knowledge to help me through those first 3 years of waiting for the soil to improve. Diversifying the kinds of crops you grow demands more attention, but Myumi encouraged me to grow more. (WHY) Now I build on that patience and I experiment for the optimum results. (what experiments now?) I keep trying new things and I observe what happens, and I don’t get defeated.
Using fertiliser actually makes life more difficult. It dilutes the plant’s energy. It’s toxic, it’s dangerous to health, it’s expensive. If you use fertiliser you then have to use pesticide. The problems start linking together and leading to each other, and then you start killing ecosystems. It’s a cruel psychology and very different to natural farming. With natural farming we keep killing to a minimum. If the plant doesn’t grow, maybe the soil isn’t right for that vegetable right now. Tilling kills the land.
The biggest lesson for me is the spirit with which you farm, from planting the seed to eating the vegetable. It’s very good for the soul, the whole creative process. Everybody can do it. My advice is to not stop – just to try and try again.