Saturday, February 7, 2009

onions and sheep

we just finished a week at the organic farm/workshop called "keiko hyakusho no ie" in imaichi, saitama, a couple hours north of Tokyo. some info:

harvest veggies: spinach, daikon (giant white radish), shungiku (spring chyrsanthemum greens), mizome (mustardy dark greens), cabbage, hakusai (chinese cabbage), carrots, salad greens, gigantic green onions, red onions, satoimo (japanese potatoes), brown potatoes, mizuna (salady greens), bok choy, rhubarb, mikan (satsuma tangerines), lots of other unrecognizable edibles...

other sleeping crops: wheat, barley, rice, strawberries, tomatoes, on and on....

animals: 1 goat, 3 cats, 5 ducks, 6 sheep (4 black, 2 white), 700 chickens

people: 4 staff, 15+ volunteers, 3 WWOOFers (us and one other person)

misa made it through a week of farming! and she smiled almost the entire time! I am so happy- I really learned alot at the farm and had a chance to do some things I have really been wanting to learn more about - like plowing a fieild, making a tunnel to help the seeds germinate, spin wool, and become friends with sheep! (aunt laurie look at my down jacket! it was only 6 dollars at a second hand store in Tokyo!!! aren't you proud of me? I finally have one!)

love and hugs

i was in the giant giant veggie field cutting weeds with a chef's knife- and harvesting spinach with red roots... kilos and kilos of spinach! i know how to make chinese cabbage pickles now too (after dunking my hands in below-freezing pickle juice for hours on end), and how to clean and spin wool, and how to operate a kimono ori (japanese style weaving loom), and how to make yaki udon, and how to make a special fertilizing chicken poop dried leaf lasagna for nourishing the winter veggies.... etc etc. none of this costs much money, just a lot of care and work. it was so fun and all worth it-- even as we sat in bed watching our breath in the air at night..... we made breakfast, lunch, and dinner with the "farm fresh organic veggies" and eggs and rice and wheat from the fields less than 1 km away. the food was so good and the people were so nice to us! they all took a lot of time to show us how to do different things and to explain why they were doing them. (misa) FARM POWER! (jeff)

p.s. my favorite part may have been letting the sheep eat all the weeds so I didn't have to cut them... although they almost ate the spinach in my box too


  1. Yay for warm coats Jeff! Sounds like you guys are having a lot of fun! Congrats, but don't forget to come back to the states someday!

  2. First thing I noticed, before reading the words, was the down jacket. Glad you finally made the big purchase. My garden is buried under 8" of snow.

    the sheep look so cute... yay for the source of wool and other great things.
    sounds like farm #2 is full of learning and excitment... exciting!
    PS... jelous of the higanto radiquio!