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Catskill Mountain Foundation
NA Farm Fellowship Program


Rodale's Chief Scientist visits
Shumei's Santa Cruz Farm


Rodale to start series on
Japanese gardening


Sustainable Consumption
and Production


Fertilizers, Climate Change
and Dead Zones



Shumei NA Brochure



Article published on readingeagle.com, written by Darrin Youker.


Rodale to start series on Japanese gardening concepts



The Rodale Institute is rolling out a series of workshops to introduce a Japanese gardening concept to local growers. The Maxatawny Township-based organic research organization will host a three-part series on Shumei's Natural Agriculture, a concept developed by Japanese agriculture researcher Mokichi Okada, who began growing crops without the aid of fertilizer prior to World War II.

Shumei farm at the Rodale Institute.

The first session, introducing gardeners to the concept, starts Saturday.
In the series, Eileen Weinsteiger, a researcher at Rodale, will go through the concepts of natural agriculture, basic field practices, seed saving techniques and ways to harvest crops.

Rodale has built a Shumei garden on its 330-acre farm near Kutztown as part of its ongoing organic research project. Many American gardeners are likely familiar with the
agricultural practices of Shumei gardens, Weinsteiger said.
Compost, instead of synthetic and chemical fertilizers, is used to ensure healthy plant growth, she said. Seed saving is essential to keep the garden operating naturally.
Additionally, the gardens incorporate a diversity of plants and vegetables to encourage beneficial insects, which can control pests without the need for chemical sprays.
But, unlike typical gardens, there is no crop rotation year after year, Weinsteiger said. Instead, the crops stay in one place throughout multiple growing seasons.
"We believe that plants can adapt to the environment, and the environment can adapt to the plants," she said.

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