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One reason was that my father was a tea farmer, and I had the opportunity to take over. The other reason is that I began participating in the Shumei Natural Agriculture Network, which promotes a philosophy of no fertilizer and no pesticide use -- farming that is as natural as you can get: "Natural Agriculture is a way of farming based on a deep respect and regard for nature. It puts us in touch with the natural forces so that we can work in harmony and partnership with nature. Although it begins with the growing of crops, Nature Agriculture is a philosophy and way of life, encompassing the way we eat, cook and think about food. It is practiced by farmers and consumers alike, by individuals as well as whole communities. Natural Agriculture is not just a set of actions or techniques, it is a way of interacting with the earth and our environment, brought to life through our relationship with food."
I hope that, through my tea farm and Yunomi.us, more people will learn about the Shumei agricultural philosophy (no fertilizers, no pesticides), about the delicious taste of tea made with traditional farming methods, and that more tea lovers will be able to drink tea that is good for your body.
NAME: Shinichi Kihara
LOCATION: 16-203 Biwa Uji, Uji City, Kyoto 611-0021, JAPAN
SIZE / # of FIELDS: 3500 sq meters / 3 fields
ESTABLISHED: Inherited the farm from my father, and have been farming for 20 years.
ALTITUDE: Approx 500 meters
FARM LABOUR: We are a very small farm, so it's just me, my wife, my mother, and occasional volunteers who help out around the farm.
PRIMARY SALES ROUTE: I sell primarily to members of the Shumei Natural Agriculture Network.