Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Oversized Takenoko and Tots














We spotted this little group on Sunday morning bright and early. Clearly, they'd made their way to a farm just down the Tamagawa Jousui (Tama River Canal) that runs along north of where we live. It's a corridor of wilderness with a bike path on either side, and heaven knows if I was a kid I'd be roaming about there with my friends, too.

One farm along the way has not only a killer vegetable stall - stunning seasonal bouquets, tasty pickled vegetables as well as a nice selection of fruits and vegetables, too - but an absolutely magnificent bamboo forest. I've sat on the path next to it for a time just to hear the wind move the leaves and clunk the trunks together occasionally. It's a delight, and always makes me wonder how the loss of such green spaces (bamboo forests would have been de rigeur for a Japanese farm, much like the American woodlot) impacts the country today.

The shoots in early spring poke up out of the ground to have a look around them, and by this time of year they're nearly as tall as I am (about 5'10 inches) with no intention of slowing. The smaller, earlier versions can be harvested with a good deal of digging and served up in rice or as a quick pickle. Like strawberries or rhubarb or snow peas, bamboo shoots (takenoko) are a first taste of a new season. But for these whipper-snappers, I'd say it's a new toy!

5 comments:

Anjuli said...

What a GREAT pic!!! Would love to sit and look at the Bamboo forest- and listen.

Joan Lambert Bailey said...

It's really an amazing thing, Anjuli. On summer evenings when it's finally cool enough to want to go outside we often walk by, and then listen to the cacauphonous sounds of birds chatting away. Some amazing wildlife must find the grove a welcome refuge.

Julia Munroe Martin said...

Beautiful photo and wonderful descriptions of the farm, the food, and surrounding areas!

Garden4Life said...

I would love it! I get really excited when we go to area zoos and parks where its grown. So green and peaceful to be there. AND to be able to eat them too... sounds wonderful.

Joan Lambert Bailey said...

Thanks Julia and Garden4Life. It is an amazing thing. I'm hoping, in fact, to toodle by the stand today to see if she's started offering up those bouquets. They're so wonderful!