In Japanese, “kyusei” translates to “saving,” so Kyusei Nature Farming broadly means to “save the world through natural farming.” Kyusei Nature Farming is a combination of organic farming and Effective Micro-organisms which boost soil conditions and yield a greater number of crops, resulting in an “Ideal Agriculture.” (Agroecology)

An Ideal Agriculture is a system that follows five principals:

  1. Produces high quality food that enhances human health.
  2. Be economically and spiritually beneficial to both producers and consumers.
  3. Must be sustainable.
  4. Must conform to nature and protect the environment.
  5. Must produce enough food for an expanding world population.

(U.S. Department of Agriculture)

Why does this farming method need Effective Micro-Organisms? Kyusei Nature Farming began as organic farming to produce chemical- and toxin-free food. However, the amount of food produced was inadequate to support the population.

To combat this, Professor Dr. Teruo Higa introduced the concept of Effective Micro-Organisms to improve soil conditions, suppress disease, and improve the efficiency of organic matter used by crops. This technology was highly successful. Through the Effective Micro-Organisms, food was produced at a high enough volume to sustain an expanding population and all the principals of an Ideal Agriculture could be met. (Principals of Kyusei)

What are the steps to use Effective Micro-Organisms? The one-process-fits-all-circumstances guide to chemical fertilizers and pesticides does not hold true to using Effective Micro-Organisms.

“It is said that the only instruction manual for Effective Micro-Organisms (EM) is that there is no manual. This is because the agroecosystems for crop production are different, and EM must be used in a way that is most suitable for each environment.” (Kyusei Nature Farming In Japan)

If this method of farming sounds enticing to you, don’t be daunted by the lack of concrete direction in how to move forward with Effective Micro-Organisms. While there are not set rules, there are many sources that provide guidelines to give you more structure, like the Natural Agriculture Network.