About Ayumi-Ya and the Halu method of natural farming

Ayumi-Ya was established in 2007 to help create a world where every person has access to safe and affordable food.

The Halu method of natural farming is at the core of Ayumi-Ya’s business. It rejects the use of pesticides and ANY fertilizers (chemical or organic).

The name Halu is associated with an Ainu word that refers to nature’s gift of food.

Vegetables are grown using the patented Halu method on Ayumi-Ya’s main farm in Abiko, Chiba Prefecture, and on three partner farms (as of July 2018).

Natural farming, which has been practiced in Japan for decades, is drawing increasing attention today thanks in no small part to Mr. Akinori Kimura’s story of growing “miracle apples” without the use of chemicals or even compost. I am among those who were influenced by Mr. Kimura, who himself gained inspiration from Masanobu Fukuoka (1913-2008), author of “The One-Straw Revolution.” And there are many more predecessors in this field.

While practitioners of natural farming have proven that vegetables can grow without fertilizers, many cannot explain why it is so. An explanation one often hears is that “it’s the power of soil.”
I spent most of my career in journalism, and as a journalist I wanted to find a more scientific answer. After seven years of trial and error, I found one.

Natural farming depends on a symbiotic relationship between plants and microorganisms.

There are numerous types of microorganisms. Some provide plants with minerals in exchange for glucose. Others turn nitrogen in the air into amino acids that plants can use.
With Halu, ridges in the soil are formed into particular shape so that microorganisms can thrive and build stronger relationships with plants.

There is much more to it than that, but I can’t explain everything here. I’d like to provide more details in the future.

Halu can be applied to mass-produce farm crops at low cost and is easy for anyone to adopt (Even I can do it!). It may not be too far-fetched to imagine that Halu can help turn deserts into vast fields of crops. I dream of a world where no one suffers from hunger.

Takeshi Yokouchi
President, Ayumi-Ya