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Sunday Reading, June 26th

Only a desire to not overwhelm folks with information kept me from making this list longer. What a great bundle of stuff popped up this week!

This article about natural and organic farming in Japan and the supplemental blog post offer up some more good information on how farmers are thinking about radiation on their crops and land. (Shameless marketing: And here's my piece about a small tea grower in Saitama and how they're affected by radiation from Daiichi.)

This post at Shots, NPR's health blog, is chock full of good links about pesticides found on fruits and vegetables. It also includes updated lists of produce highest and lowest amounts, which alone makes it worth visiting. (The report in question is one I referenced earlier this month for good reading, by the way.)

For those living in Japan, planning to visit or who just enjoy perusing great blogs about food (from the growing to the preparing to the eating) then Shizouka Gourmet's expanded list of food bloggers in Japan is a little slice of heaven. (Full disclosure: I'm on the list, but I'm but a blip on the screen here. Seriously, check out some of those amazing blogs!) Organized by region with links and short descriptions, it offers hours of fun and inspiration.

Emma Cooper, a UK gardener who blogs and podcasts all while wielding a trowel and gathering eggs, has a new gig going. The Peat Free Diet is a book she's currently blogging, and it promises to be as informative as the rest of her materials. (Full disclosure: I reviewed her first book, The Alternative Kitchen Garden, and loved every minute of it.) The preface briefly talks about why gardeners (or anyone, really) should care whether or not peat continues to exist, and the first chapter, like Cooper always does, explains the nuts and bolts of germination. Good stuff.

Something I think about often (just this morning, in fact) is what it means to be a farmer. And I wonder as I harvest beans in the rain, wipe down heads of cabbage, and trim tomato blossoms is whether or not I am one. I know it doesn't really matter, but I still think about it. (The wheels are turning, so this must deserve more thought and a post of it's own. Meanwhile...) This post by Ben Hewitt about exactly that really got my mind turning. (Thanks to Nourishing Words for the tweet!) Farming seems to be such a "hot" concept just now in Japan as well as elsewhere (no intended allusion to radiation there), and so I wonder what it's all about. I've mused about farm work and about gardening, but I shy away from giving myself the title. Too lofty a goal? I don't know.

Photo: Kaki (persimmon) blossoms on the farm caught turning into fruit.


You say "Farming seems to be such a "hot" concept just now in Japan..." That is awesome. People need get back to the land, individually and collectively. Land is where we find peace, prosperity and fulfillment. Thanks for a nice informative blog.
Thanks for stopping by, Florida Gardener! I suspect we experience some of the same growing conditions, so I'm looking forward to perusing your blog more. (Found you through the Ultimate Blog Challenge Directory, by the way.)

I agree. Land is where we find those things, if we can get our hands dirty in it. For those who can't, I would hope they can at least root around in a pot or two and savor the harvest of at least a fresh pea pod or cherry tomato. It does wonders and opens up a whole new world.

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