Im currently in Brussels, Belgium, and scumming free wifi internet off someone
Anyways, a lot has happened since I left canada and there has been some changes of plans. I was in Japan for a month or so and then headed to Sicily in Italy for another month. From there I stayed in Barcelona, then France, Luxemburg, and now Brussels. As Im too lazy to sort my photos Ill have to update in short spurts. So heres a short update for my time in Japan.
Japan. I think its my 5th time here. Its always fun to visit but this time it was different as I wwoofed here and got to see it from a different persepective. Everyone thinks Japan is polluted with sky scrapers and traffic, which is true, but outside of the big cities such as tokyo and Osaka, country Japan is 60% forest and much more green than most countries. The type of farming they practice is also very interesting espeically when compared to Canada. In Japan, being self sufficient is important and they grow a lot more different varieties of vegetables. The biggest difference is that they grow grains, mainly rice.
rice me up!
Meet up with Marc in Tokyo. He was on his last leg of his trip from the World Cup in Germany. Seems like he was having heaps of fun. So after the big city rush I headed to my first farm, Saito Evolution Farm. A retired biology teacher who is really funny and speaks broken english between skulling whiskey and chain smoking all day everyday.
Helped him build this outdoor tub. Notice the ducklings, ducks, cigarette, and whisky..hehe
he has heaps of chickens, turkey, ducks, quails and other game birds like pigeons. All organic grain feed and delicious.
stayed in a seperate house for guests. Very comfortable.
good bugs on his crops.
tip; also stomp on your gloves before putting them on, even if spiders arent poisonous in Japan.
murien, another wwoofer from italy peeling and deworming corn.
popcorn for the chickens
they had 4 puppy beagles.
he:s got an incubator for the eggs. works good and he cross breeds them to get good stock apparently
after chickens in Canada, I had a go at cutting duck. Thats his son who visits him once a while.
The next farm was a natural farm. I only stayed there for 10 days but it was the most interesting of all the farms I have stayed at.
The host is the CEO and owner of a company in Tokyo. He basically got feed up with life in tokyo and decided to start natural farming. He has plans to start a farming school to help children from big cities with problems by teaching them via farming.
That house in the back is a very traditional Japanese house, cost over 1 million dollars.
Anyways, work at the farm was hard. We would wake up at 5.45am, have breakfast, then start working at 7ish till lunch and then after lunch till total darkness. As it was a natural farm, there was no power tools or machines, chemicals, or even compost. Everything was done by hand tools which involved time and effort. Some wwoofers leave after a day but he says the hard work is part of natural farming and it helps us to understand the value of hard work and makes us appreciate much more the food we eat and the environment around us.
dinner! As you can see, the food is good. All from the garden. Simple yet the most tasty meals ive ever had. brown rice with roasted chestnuts, miso soup with mushrooms and buckwheat noodles, potato balls, soya beans, spinach, fish sashimi, eggplant and beans, mash potatoes, some seaweed thingy, tofu, and some other things.
Natural farming. As you can see its pretty much like a mess. They don:t weed that much and grow everything everywhere. But even without compost and fertilizer, everything grows well. They have 21 farms around the area they live and grow almost everything from rice, potatoes, onions, fruits, nuts, beans, to hemp!
gobou. some japanese root vegetable. they found this one 1 year after it was suspose to be harvested...but it grew to twice the normal size..
japanese daikon radish. very delicious in miso soup.
no power machines allowed so even the sorting of the rice from good to bad quality is done by traditional methods and by hand.
brown rice. thumbs up from me.
lost a few kilos only i think. have a few more to go..
well thats it for now. i:ll update later. have fun!
btw, if anyones interested in natural farming, the food we eat, and the impact on people and the environment, have a read of this book; the one straw revolution (by masanobu fukuoka). You can get it from eden seeds in australia. I think its www.edenseeds.com.au.
Its my favorite book and even though it was written 30 or 40 years ago, the message in it is very interesting.
till next time, sayonara!