The principle of respect for nature is based on the perception that consciousness guides all life processes. This consciousness extends to all that grows. Natural Agriculture recognizes that plants are conscious living entities.
A seed is planted in the earth. Rain comes and the seed sprouts and takes root. The germ of consciousness begins to grow. The root derives its nutrition and water from the soil. The leaves absorb the light of the sun and through photosynthesis change inorganic matter into organic matter. This spurs growth. Contrary to this, tens of millions of microorganisms in the soil help to transform organic into inorganic matter. In its natural state, soil is pure and contains all the elements needed for healthy plant growth. Eventually the plant blossoms and, with the help of insect pollination, bears the fruit that contains the next general of seeds. Within this process, what is the role of the human hand? Too much human intervention can hamper and harm the forces of nature, causing all sorts of deviations. But by forming a spiritual collaboration, we can guide, aid and enhance natural food production.
A plant grows amid a myriad of relationships: relationships with neighboring plants, with the weeds near it, with the insects, birds, squirrels, earth worms and moles. All of these elements make up the natural environment of the plant, and the plant is affected by its interaction with each one. Additionally, the ponds, rivers, trees, surrounding woods and mountains also contribute to the plant’s natural environment and growth. The effect of sun, rain, wind, changing seasons, annual weather conditions, and the region’s climate all have to be considered as part of this plant’s place in Nature. The energy and heat received from deep within the earth and from the sun and other planetary bodies also impact its growth and composition. Equally important is its relationship with the farmer. According to the philosophy of Natural Agriculture, plants respond to the thoughts, emotions and deeds of the people who care for them. The more conscious the farmer is of the interrelationships within nature, the more he or she is able to play a part in fostering the balance and harmony needed for healthy plant life.