A Sacramental Harvest

| 10/19/2007 12:00:00 AM

After years of toiling as a deliveryman, Susumu Hashimoto of Japan was finally able to fulfill a lifelong dream: he bought land for farming and began practicing natural agriculture. "I believe the farmer is the closest servant to God," Hashimoto told Lisa M. Hamilton of Orion.

The natural agriculture that Hashimoto practices is based on the philosophies of Mokichi Okada, who believed that healing the world begins with "relearning how to respect life." Natural agriculturists achieve this by creating a strong bond between farmer, land, and consumer. The labor is a mutual responsibility between farmer and consumer in which consumers support the farmers any way they can, from collecting payments to picking weeds.

Followers of this practice trust that the Earth will provide, and they, in turn, surrender to their environment. The food produced on this land is not only a means of sustenance, but also a shared sacrament. –Cara Binder


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