At the Shumei website http://shumei.org/
there is a question and answer page that gives a little detail on what these natural agriculture farmers do (http://www.shumei.org/agriculture/q-and-a.html
According to this site, they use "compost comprised of only leaves and grass." This would make them essentially vegan farmers who avoid such organic ammendments as blood meal, bat guano, and bird droppings. The site says nothing, however, about whether Shumei farmers use cover crops such as buckwheat, rye, cowpeas, soy, vetch, and clover--soil enrichers usually acceptable to even the strictest vegan farmers.
Another answer explains that Shumei do not accept the usual categories of "weed" for plants or "pests" for insects and animals. They judge that "most insects are attacking the plants when chemical fertilizers are put into the soil" and that with no chemical fertilizers in the soil, there should be fewer predatory pests attacking them. They believe that successive generations of plants grown in unfertilized soil tend to become more insect resistant.
Bob Monie-southeast Lousiana
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