The concept of the Half-Farmer/Half-X lifestyle was first proposed in the mid-1990s by the Japanese Naoki Shiomi, who now lives in the city of Ayabe in the north part of Kyoto Prefecture. The basic idea is that people pursue farming, not so much as a business but to grow food for their own family, while being constructively involved in society by realizing their own personal passion — something he called their “X” factor.
The “X” represents the questions each person must answer to find out what they really prefer to do, what they really want to do, and what they can do for others, while discovering their personal mission, their life’s work, or their “true” calling in life.
Shiomi himself began pursuing this lifestyle years ago, and now helps many people find their own “X.” He said that through these practices, he keenly sensed that this type of lifestyle is a way of making the most of each person’s talent and abandoning the twentieth-century style of mass production, mass consumption, mass and long-distance transportation, and mass disposal, while pointing the way to making happier lives and a sustainable Earth more possible.
Shaomi’s ideas work very well with the concept of the Eco-Unit. The entrepreneur’s centre situated on site allows people to work close to home. Having agriculture surrounding the eco-unit means residents are involved in food production on a daily basis, even if the overall management of food production is under the control of a professional permaculture market gardener.
His ideas also speak well to our ongoing thinking about harmonising who we are/what we do in our lives. Many people find themselves at odds with both aspects in the way they live their lives and are searching for alternative. If you live ecologically then who you are – a responsible citizen of Earth – can manifest with with what you are good at, meaning what you do and who you are come closer to harmony.