Thursday, April 30, 2009

Marmalade Makin'

(I started this awhile back, but got delayed by life and a bad internet connection at home. So, here's the marmalade tale, complete with photos. Two jars are already gone as presents!)

Ok, its in the works even as I type. I sliced up the Mekon oranges per this recipe, and now they are boiling away on the stove with the sugar I had on hand. (It's the same stuff I used to make the inari rolls, which means it's not as refined as the white sugar I would use at home.)

The recipe appealed to me for its lack of ingredients (oranges, water, and sugar), and the fact that its more of a formula. My Japanese canning operation is in its fledgling state, but everything is much smaller. I have  no canner, and the pan I am using to sterilize the jars probably only holds about a gallon or a gallon and half of water. Jars are not readily available, and when I did find them today at J-Mart (the Japanese equivalent of K-Mart or Wal-mart*) they were sold singly for either 68 yen or 450 yen. The more expensive kind are made in Italy, and have a 'pop' top, whereas the cheaper ones look like they will seal but not offer me that definitive popping sound that tells me the seal is, well, sealed. 

(*I know this can't be good, but until I find a more local place this is what I've got to do. It certainly presents an interesting situation. More on that later.)

This is a little nerve-wracking since my usual canning consultants at Ambry Farms are not so readily available. (With the time difference, I assume they're sleeping at this moment.) I'm  not sure the jars will really seal, and I don't know if this will taste good. (Ok, I just tasted it after testing for thickness. Yum!)

I only got three jars out of all of that, although there is still another pan to cook up. I have two jars left, which should do the trick. Cookware is so expensive here - a pan like the one I used for the jars costs about $35 - that I'm not sure I'll be scaling the operation up any time soon. We do sometimes see used items for sale here, so I won't completely give up hope yet. 

My other concern is that the white-lidded jars don't seal quite the way I expect canning jars to seal. The taller one with the gold lid (the Italian one) made the definitive popping sound about five minutes after coming out of the pot. I'll keep searching for these, too, as there must be food preservation occurring here. As obsessed as the Japanese are said to be about freshness, there must also be a history of storing things for winter. I assume that like many folks living today in America that much of that tradition was set aside for more convient foods and the year-round availability that modern transport allows. 

All of that aside, the marmalade looks, smells, and tastes great. I'm so glad I made this!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Earth Day Tokyo Event

Last weekend we made our way with a friend over to Yoyogi Park to check out the Earth Day Tokyo event. ( I fully intended to post this sooner, but our photos from the day were lost in a memory card shuffle. Hence, no photos, but Treehugger offers some good ones.)

We went on Sunday in the middle of the afternoon, thinking that things may have died down a bit. Well, they hadn't. Enthusiasm was still running high, and thick crowds of people meandered past the booths where farmers sold seeds, seedlings, and talked about what they produced. (Seeing the lines of people wanting to talk with them made the trip worth it in itself.) And past the folks selling handmade soap, hemp hand-dyed yarns (I really wish I had the pictures of these! Great colors. These folks were my favorites right after the farmers.), handcrafted jewelry, earth-friendly bags and accessories, and clothhing. And the displays about alternative energy sources, healthy food products, and so much more. 

There was plenty of the usual hippy stuff, and opportunities to outfit yourself like green is your lifestyle. While I love that sort of thing myself, it still leaves me feeling a bit sceptical about the sincerity of my fellow surveyors. They, most likely, think the same thing about me (or don't think of me at all, probably), which is only fair. Yet, I find that not everyone with dreadlocks is someone I would agree with about how to live in this world.

Our hotdog-on-a-stick shaped like a lollipop was a bit gross (and tasty, I confess), although I was thankful to find that the Earth Day Kitchen this year was all organic. Greasy, but good for the planet!

I was pleased to notice that The Farmer's Kitchen – supplied by local organic farmers – had a long line despite being sold out of almost everything. I haven't had a chance yet to go to this restaurant, but I'm looking forward to a future field trip. I was also really impressed at the sale of bowls or plates along with a fork or chopsticks for 100 yen. We missed out on the organic beer, which was deeply disappointing for at least one of our party.

It was a lovely day and weekend for the event, and although I haven't heard or seen a final total for how many were in attendance, I assume they hit their estimated mark of 130,000. It was good to see such enthusiasm, whether well directed or not. These sorts of things always have their pros and cons, but it is still a beginning, a place to move from where we are now. 

I do recommend cruising the assorted sites and pages linked to Earth Day Tokyo 2009. While I can't read a think except for the occasional letter, I really enjoyed myself. This link and its accompanying graphic of a seed sprouting and then blooming (tane is seed in Japanese) is probably one of the loveliest I've ever seen. 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Farmwork Thoughts

As I work along at a local organic farm planting epic numbers of vegetables - 5,000 cabbage one week and 1,000 broccoli the next - or spreading what feels like endless amounts of manure on fields for eggplant and zucchini, something my friend Amber said to me stays with me.

It was last summer and we were camping in Canada. We were building a fire and setting up camp while the lads muled the rest of our stuff to the site from the car. She was cutting kindling and firewood, and while she sawed she held one end of the branch firmly with one foot while standing on the other. I'm sure I made some attempt at humour, and then we fell into discussion about how we wanted to live our lives. She said, “Doing this, I'm using my whole self - body and mind - together.”

This” referred both to the branch she was cutting and to her work at Ambry Farms. Farming is no easy task in general, but at Ambry they combine horses and tractors to get the job done. One challenge is to find which tasks are better done with what, and then figure out how to do them best. The other challenges (farming has a long list) include fixing whatever is broken, damaged, or so neglected that it takes your whole soul to recognize the flicker of life still lurking in the horse-drawn planter or hay rake. And it can take your whole soul to have faith that that flicker of life is still there.

It was also last summer when I decided to leave my position at a small non-profit. In many ways it had been a dream job for me -  working with volunteers on assorted gardening projects around the properties with a little bit of writing thrown in and all in the name of being helpful to my community - but I could feel hints of burnout. 

So I left. I cried, packed up my desk, cried some more, hugged everyone in the building (no small feat considering the staff numbers about twenty), dropped off my keys, cried some more, and headed out the door. It felt like jumping off a cliff. What was I doing? Was I crazy? What about that degree I'd gotten so I could do this kind of work? We'd just bought a house. My parents would disown me.

But then, I thought about it. I was tired of the commute (45 minutes one way,door to door), and I was becoming tired of the work. The thought of organizing one more event, large or small, made me feel sick to my stomach. It didn't feel right any more. Yes, it was helpful, and yes, it made a difference in the lives of individuals and for the community at large, and yes, I worked with fantastic people not only in my office but all across the city and county. But I was drained. 

Luckily, two things were in place. One, we pretty much knew we were moving to Japan the following March. A job was in the works, and we felt it was more than a safe bet that it would work out. Two, some good friends with an organic farm about two miles away from our home generously offered to make part of their crew for the summer. Another dream job was about to unfold.

I worked at the farm, and loved it. OK, I didn't always love the weeding and there was a day when mosquitoes literally chased us from the back field, but it was the second best summer I've ever had. (The first was the summer I worked at the farm early in our Michigan days, and I was between jobs.) Weeding, harvesting, talking, working quietly, washing vegetables for market, going to market and rumbling home again in the truck was glorious.

While slinging assorted manures and planting seedling after seedling, Amber's words run through my mind again and again. My arms turn to jelly and my back is sore. I'm sweating like mad while I make sure I've evenly spread the manure or gotten down to where there is some moisture in the soil. I imagine the eggplants settling into their new home and feasting on what they find to create glossy fruits. I tally the components and wonder what other farmers use, and how their plants will compare. The steps seem so simple – set out the seedlings, crouch to plant, gently press, or spread this then that amount evenly over the field – but behind me and with me is all of the planning and experimentation of multiple generations. New items and strategies and some that are age old. I am lost in the meditation of it all, but simultaneously present for each seedling and toss of manure. My whole body and mind are engaged in this effort from the tips of my gloved fingers to my toes where soil, as usual, has snuck into my shoe.

I come home at the end of the day bone tired, sore, and dirty, but so incredibly happy. It is the joy of a job well done and the good companionship of the farmers I work with and learn from. It is the excitement of learning, laughing and working together, and seeing all those plants happily waving back at me from their new home in the field. And I think of the broccoli and cabbage that will come, and how that will feed so many so well, and my joy is nearly inexpressible. Birds hop about, a cat trots across the field, and bugs hum in the trees nearby. What aching back?  

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Takenoko Adventure

We spent this past Sunday helping the farmers I work for prepare their fields for planting eggplant and zucchini. It was an absolutely beautiful day to be outside working. It is still amazing to me that already the temperatures are in the high 60's to low 70's, and the first broccoli harvest is already over. (In Michigan, we're just thinking about getting beds ready to put in our first broccoli!) In fact, the seedlings for kabocha (Japanese squash) and zucchini are already in the field greenhouse beginning to harden off a bit.

When our work finished for the day, Takash-san offered us takenoko (bamboo shoots) and Mikon oranges grown on his farm in thanks for our labors. We dug the bamboo and picked the oranges ourselves, which was great fun. I'd eaten the shoots once before with Seechan, Takash-san's wife, in a cold salad with pea pods. A mild taste and a pleasant texture, bamboo shoots are a spring speciality. Like the cherry blossoms, once they are gone you won't see them on any plate again until the next year.

The bamboo tree sends out a root or tendril underground, and in the spring the shoot appears. Depending on the timing in the season, I suppose, the shoot can be large or small. At first glance, they seem to only sit above ground maybe five or six inches. The outside is a series of layers of young, fuzzy skin that comes to a point with small leaves often beginning to show.

Digging this delicacy is no easy task. We used wedge-shaped spades - like a hoe on steroids - to dig around the shoot. The blade of the spade at some point would thunk into the root coming from the older tree, and it would need to be severed with a couple other good thunks. A little more circular digging and some firm but gentle tugging would eventually release the shoot. This "little" guy is a little smaller than an American football.

To cook and eat it, I boiled it - roots, skin, and all - for about an hour. Then after I drained off the water and let it cool, I peeled the rough skin. I confess I didn't know how far back I was meant to peel it, so I would nibble at little chunks to get a feel for the texture. My gut instinct (no pun really intended) was that if it seemed a bit fibrous, then I should keep going to the next layer.

Once I got down to the tender layers, then I cut it in half lengthwise. The center of the shoot is, for lack of a better descriptor, full of little "caves" created by the layers crisscrossing. (The photo at the left will give you an idea of what I'm talking about.) Then cut it again to make bite size pieces that I put in a broth made from kitzudashi - a strong soy sauce like concentrate that is added to water. (It's what I used when I made the Kitzunae Udon.) Boil for another thirty minutes, and eat.

I took the liberty of making it the first time without the kitzudashi. A friend of ours with serious fish allergies joined us for dinner, so I simply threw it in the steamer for about 20 minutes. Then I added it to a fried rice conglomeration that also included some nigi - long onion - and ninniku - garlic. Paired with a poor imitation of Frog Holler salad mix made from my patio herbs and flowers and lettuce from the farm here dressed with olive oil, sushi vinegar, and soy sauce, it hit the spot!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Mushrooms Await!

Once again, if I weren't in Japan I'd be attending this little shindig. So, instead I (PopcornHomestead, PH) talked with Matt Demmon (MD) of Little House Farm about mushrooming and what got him interested in fungi. Read on!

Backyard Mushrooming
Saturday, April 18th
1pm - 4pm
Little House Farm
$40 for the class; $60 to take a log home
Limited to the first 8 people
Call Matt at 734-255-2783 or email at mdemmon(at) to register
(Herbal tea and a tasty, healthy snack included!)

PH: How long have you been growing your own mushrooms?
MD: Six years.

PH: How did you get started? Did someone teach you or you just forged ahead on your own?
MD: I worked for a local landscaping company owned by Mike Levine and Erica Kempter that also has a shiitake growing operating in Mike's backyard. I helped them inoculate logs for two years, and then I read a bunch of books and started off on my own.

PH: Why did you get started?
MD: Once I had eaten homegrown shiitakes, I was hooked. I also think fungi are really fascinating, understudied and underutilized by humans. I'd like to know more about them, and I think they can help us alot - with healthy food, medicine, creating great soil, and helping other plants we grow through mycorrhizal associations.

PH: Do you have a favorite mushroom to grow?
MD: Well, I thought it was shiitakes, which is probably still my favorite, but I soon realized that it is growing them in your own backyard and on logs that makes mushrooms so good. Oyster mushrooms that are grown on logs are firmer, more flavorful, and have less water content than what you'd buy in the store. Mass-cultivated mushrooms are generally grown on sawdust or straw or some sort of bullk substrate, which is easier to handle in large operations and faster, but with less tasty results.

PH: How long have you been teaching other people (formally and informally) about growing mushrooms?
MD: I taught one class last spring, and I've been explaining it to my friends for several years. I have 3 classes and a free demonstration lined up this year. There's alot of interest in it, and not many people who know much about it and are willing to teach a class!

PH: What do you like about growing your own mushrooms?
MD: Just like gardening, you get delicious healthy food which is often less expensive than what you can buy. I also love using under-utilized wood species which might get chipped or just left because they're not good for firewood or lumber. I'm also just fascinated by fungi in general, and really excited about growing them in situations like a vegetable garden, where you might be able to get a crop of mushrooms in the same space without decreasing your vegetable harvest and possibly even increasing it.

PH: What are some techniques and methods you will be discussing during the class?
MD: The main technique is growing mushrooms on logs. There are several ways you can inoculate the logs, but the one I concentrate on is drilling holes in the logs and inserting dowel spawn, which are are impregnated with mushroom mycelium. We'll also be creating a bed using sawdust spawn mixed with wood chips and a little earth for another species of mushroom that prefers to grow in the ground. I'll also talk about totem inoculation, and growing mushrooms on strawbales and compost or manure.

PH: Do different mushrooms require different techniques and methods? Can you give me a couple examples?
MD: Yes! In a natural setting or an outdoor growing method, shiitakes only grow on logs, and it is best to use dowel spawn. Oyster mushrooms are very cosmopolitan and can grow on logs, wood chips, straw, and even coffee grounds inoculated with a variety of methods. Wine Caps prefer to grow in a shady moist bed on the ground and need fresh wood chips mixed into the soil. Inky caps grow best in compost or manure beds on the ground.

PH: How long does it take before you have mushrooms you can eat?
MD: The shortest time I've gotten mushrooms was 4 months for oysters and wine caps started in the spring. Shiitakes usually take 12-18 months. A log can last anywhere from 3-10 years, depending on the type of wood and species of mushroom. A bed of wine caps can last probably forever, as long as you feed it fresh wood chips every year. So it is a long-term investment, but you can results pretty quickly.

PH: Do you have to protect mushrooms from any kind of predator. Rabbits eat lettuce, but does anyone come along to forage your mushrooms?
MD: I haven't had too many problems. Squirrels seem to like some mushrooms, but if you keep an eye on them and harvest at the right point, it's fine. They seem to prefer mature or over-mature mushrooms. Insects are the main problem, just like if you don't harvest your tomatoes at the proper time, you'll find a big soggy insect laden monster!

PH: Is it a special kind of log for inserting the dowels? What's a dowel, by the way?
MD: Not a special log, but some mushrooms will only grow on certain types of trees. The only requirements are that the log is more than 3 inches in diameter, is freshly cut from a living tree, and is a manageable size for you. Holes are drilled into the log in a pattern, and the dowels (little wooden pegs) are pounded in.

PH: Can you grow mushrooms only during a certain time of year? Is Spring best or are there fall mushrooms to be started, too?
MD: Outdoors, in a northern climate like ours, spring and fall are the best time to start most mushrooms, although you can start some in the summer. It's too cold in winter for most of them to grow at all. Indoors, you can start and fruit mushrooms year round. And outdoors, most mushrooms fruit in the fall in our climate, but there are species that fruit from spring to late fall, as long as the weather is right. Humidity and temperature are the key!

PH: What sort of atmosphere do mushrooms require? Should you have a shady spot in your backyard or is a musty basement good?
MD: I've never tried growing mushrooms in a basement, but it would probably be a good environment for mushrooms. Most of them require humidity and moderate temperatures to fruit. Some need some light to form as well, or may be oddly deformed if in the dark, so you may need to supplement your basement with light. Each species has it's own needs for temperature, humidity, light, and some may need cold resting periods simulating winter. 

PH: Do the mushrooms you'll be teaching folks to grow exist in the wild in Michigan?
MD: Oyster mushrooms and wine caps do grow wild in Michigan; however, these are cultivated strains. I would like to grow more 'local genotype' mushrooms, but the spawning process requires technical knowledge and special equipment. there are some local Michigan companies starting to grow their own spawn, and I would like to work with some of them to get some more local genotypes and species that are not commonly available. There's alot of different kinds of mushrooms out there, and growing mushrooms for food is really in it's infancy.

PH: I could ask a million more questions, but I should probably stop. Anything I haven't asked that you want to tell me?
MD: Growing your own mushrooms is really fun and different! And shiitakes are really SOOOOO good and good for you.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

You Know You Live in Japan When...

...the bottom of your bag is full of pickled ginger juice that leaked out of a tupperware container you took for lunch. (It's very tasty on the homemade onigiri, by the way.) And the cloth that you use to dry your hands after using a public bathroom was incredibly handy in sopping up most of it! 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ginger Wine

Ever since we sat down with our good friends over at Ambry Farms with a bottle of their homemade wine, I've had a hankering to make a batch or two of my own.

Well, Ryan Libre, our most recent Couchsurfer, helped us make our first batch of ginger wine. It's bubbling away in its make-shift container (modified water bottle) in a little spot in the kitchen. It was ridiculously simple, and I'm already thinking about the next batch.

We basically cut up some ginger, and popped it in a pan on the stove to boil. The idea, according to Ryan, is to make a really strong version of ginger tea. In another pan, we heated up some water with some of the Hokkaido sugar in it. This one we didn't boil, but just got it warm enough so the sugar would more easily dissolve. Meanwhile, we dissolved the yeast in a little bit of water in a small glass. Once everything cooled enough we combined it together and stirred in the yeast. We topped it off with an airlock, and waited for the bubbles to come.

We will be taste testing in about a week or so. Can't wait!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Stewardship Workday!

I'd do this if I could, but I'm in Japan. This Stewardship Network workday takes place in my Michigan neighborhood on the land of beloved family and friends, and it is a chance to spend time in one of the prettiest spots there is with some of the best people. The Kolon and Kellum families, longtime friends, work hard with and for the land they live on and love. It's worth joining them to learn and lend a hand.

Iron Creek Properties

The River Raisin headwaters are near the southern extent of what is referred to as the Southeast Michigan Headwaters Region. The region, loosely defined by the headwaters of ten river systems, is recognized as a high quality area by the Nature Conservancy and other Stewardship Network partners. Iron Creek between Mud Lake and Iron Creek Millpond is representative of the headwaters area and is recognized for its unspoiled habitats and intact plant communities, where several special concern and threatened species have been identified. With nearly forty separate property owners, this stretch of creek is subject to an array of management priorities.

The Kellum and Kolon family properties, totaling over 370 acres, are adjacent to each other and to Iron Creek. The two families share an interest in natural areas management. Goals for the properties are to:

· Identify and protect quality and remnant plant communities
· Prioritize management projects
· Involve newcomers and youth in stewardship activities
· Stimulate interest in neighboring Iron Creek property owners
· Serve as a catalyst for ecosystem health dialogue throughout the watershed.

Wondering how all this translates to your own property? A very unique opportunity awaits you to visit these private properties and take the “what-should-I-do?” answers back to your own land.

Iron Creek Properties Work Days
10:00 am to 1:00 pm

The 2nd Sunday of every month
Kellum Property: 11007 Mull Hwy., Tipton
Kolon Property: 11677 Noggles Rd, Manchester

April 5 – Kellum, general management plan for selected focus area, introduction to prescribed burning, burn strategies, burn preparation, tools and techniques.

May 10 – Kolon, general management plan for selected focus area, after burn review, garlic mustard strategy and pulling.

June 14 – Kellum, after burn review, inventory invasive infestations and introduction to basic invasive eradication with chemical and hand techniques.

July 12 - Kolon, invasive brush removal and thinning of saplings

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Fox and Inari

Our latest couchsurfer, Ryan the Photographer, taught us how to make a very simple but wonderfully delicious udon dish. Kitz-oo-nay Udon (Fox Udon) is quite simply a strong soy sauce, udon noodles, some carrots, and inari tofu skins. (These are the same skins stuffed with rice that can be found in sushi places, and which we made for the second course. Interestingly, Inari is also a Japanese kami whose minion is the fox. We just happened to take the photo at left the same day while hiking at Mount Takao.) Ryan often made it during the winter months while living in Hokkaido, and even though it could become more complex with other vegetables he likes to keep it pretty simple.

The whole process was pretty simple. Fill a medium saucepan about three-quarters full of water, and pour in about an inch to inch and a half of the strong soy sauce. Put in the precooked udon noodles (available everywhere here), the carrots, and inari skins. Gently boil until the carrots are soft enough to eat. Serve in ramen bowls (large, large bowls) with chopsticks, and slurp your way to heaven.

The inari rolls are also quite easy. Ryan shared his version of the Japanese recipe - sugar and sushi vinegar - that has a stronger flavor. He dissolved beet sugar made in Hokkaido (think unrefined sugar) into about 3/4 cup of sushi vinegar, and then stirred that into about 1 3/4 cups brown rice. We then gently opened up the inari skins, spooned in the rice, and topped it off with a few slices of pickled ginger. These were gone in about ten seconds. I was lucky to get a photo.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Big News in Garden City

We recently found out that the community garden plot we put our name in for did not come through. The system for choosing people is a lottery, but we were hopeful. We spoke with the office yesterday (with the help of a friend), and learned that we did not get the plot. The office reported that they received the most applications ever this past spring, which seemed to be a little surprising.

(On the left is the Japanese character for garden, by the way.)

We walked by that same evening to check out the location. It's right near a walking path that culminates in a nearby park, and would be quite accessible from our apartment. The beds are much smaller than we thought - like 3 feet by 3 feet - but look really well organized and maintained.

I confess I was feeling quite sad, and perhaps that was more than rain on my cheek. Maybe. But I've got my balcony, right?

Well, our couchsurfer, Ryan, came in after a morning of shooting photos to say he'd found hope. We assumed he'd heard about funding for a project or that he'd gotten a new assignment. Turns out he found a map of all the farms in the area that also tells what they sell, when it's in season, and offers contact information. His idea was to stop at one and see if I could have a corner to grow things in for myself. He'd already stopped at one, and they liked the idea but said their space was too small.

That afternoon we headed out to a couple larger ones to see what the possibilities might be. At the first one we were told to come back later when the farmer was around. At the second one, a very nice woman heard our story, and seemed open to the idea. The ground is quite rocky there, and really needs to be worked. They have been marking out small plots to tackle and plant, and hope eventually to bring it around. (It looks to be a chestnut orchard or some such that I walk past regularly. They've been working alot, and this is one I regularly look forlornly at over the fence.) I said I liked the idea of helping make the garden a better place, and thought it would be fun. She took down Ryan's number and gave us hers, and said to check back in a week or so. She needed to speak with some other people first, but thought it was a good idea.

Pleased (ok, elated!), we walked back to the first farm. A farmworker we had spoken to earlier said the farmer was back, and pointed out to the field. We started walking over when a woman approached us. We explained our situation, and she in turn said the small spot would not work out for them as it would be in violation of some kind of farm law in place for Tokyo. Her husband, the farmer, came up and agreed with her. However, he offered that if I wanted to come and volunteer one day a week on the farm I could, and he would pay me in vegetables.

Let me just say here it took all my strength and will-power to not jump up and down with joy and hug both of them. Culturally inappropriate, to say the least. I enthusiastically accepted his offer, and they gave us a tour of the farm. Broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, and arugula seedlings waited in flats in a little greenhouse to be planted. Peas were eagerly climbing a trellis, and onions were already standing tall. Blueberry bushes (seriously, blueberries) were giving serious thought to budding, and a grassy green cover crop waved as I walked by.

Finally, we ended at a patch of broccoli that they said was done and needed to be cleaned up. Very generously they said we should pick as much as we wanted to take home and eat. The farmer then, in a gesture so similar to one I've seen Ken King do a million times over that it made my heart ache, took a bite out of a stalk he'd just picked. He said it was sweet tasting, and that it was organic. (If it weren't for the time difference and the fact that I don't have a cell phone, I would have called Ken on the spot to tell him about this. I felt so at home.)

So, we picked a good bundle, and waved a farewell until the next time. I'm so happy.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Mowed Down!

I promise to get back to talking about cool stuff in Japan, or at least my version of that, but this little blurb about mowing grass caught my attention. Proof, once again, that less mowing (if not no-mowing) is the way to go!