Monday, January 22, 2007

The Miracle Apple

Mr. Kimura was one of the guests of the "The Professionals" program broadcast on NHK, which I host. He harvests apples in Aomori, the northest prefecture in Honshu, one of the four main islands of Japan.

His produces are called "miracle apples", as no pesticides or artificial nutrients are used. Such a feat was deemed impossible before his successful undertaking, as apples are particularly susceptible to insects and germs. After many years of failure, in which he came close to suicide (an episode dramatically described in "The Professionals" program), his apple orchard boasts a rich ecological system of plants and insects, in which his apples trees flourish.

The use of pesticides and fertilizers reduces the complexity of the ecological system and results in a mono-culture. In terms of yields, the modern intensive agriculture is one practical solution. Mr. Kimura has found another solution, by allowing a rich ecology thrive in his orchard and preventing the rampant increase of pests by the "check and balance" between the many biological species that find their respective habitats in Mr. Kimura's orchard.

Controlling the orchard as a complex dynamical system is more difficult than simply killing all the insects by spaying pesticides. The intensive agriculture is based on a "holocaust", as a result of which a barren land is left, onto which the artificial nutrients are bombarded. In contrast, Mr. Kimura's approach is based on very careful observations and manipulations of some of the fine parameters that make up the orchard.

Mr. Kimura's apples taste really good. The apple trees are given the opportunity to fully develop their biologically prepared potentials, a process inhibited in the typical intensive agriculture. It is the complex network of plants and insects that forms a soft and nutritious soil which gives a vital force to Mr. Kimura's apples.

A scene from Mr. Kimura's orchard

1 comment:

melody said...

Dear Ken,

My name is Melody from Hong Kong. Last few days i bought a book " The miracle apple" . I m fascinated on Mr. Akinori Kimura's story, hard work and dedication to the apples. After reading the book, my heart is flying to the apple orchard , seem suffering "apple sick"!!! hahaha
Would you tell me how can i order " the miracle apple " directly from Kimura's orchard. Because i cant read Japanese, i m sincerely to looking for someone can help me. Then i found your blog.

Looking forward to hearing from u very soon.
My current email address is :

Love and gratitude
Melody :D