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Showing posts from April, 2012

Tokyo Farmer's Markets: April 28th and April 29th

Staff at Koenji's little monthly market happy and smiling despite a chillly day! The month rounds out with the Gyre Market and a handful of others to keep us in good stead before May is arrives. Crops at the farm are almost all in and my garden should be steadily rolling along towards summer, too. Head on out to see what this middle season has to offer! Gyre Market Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29 A gem of a market hidden away in one of Tokyo's high-end shopping districts offering seasonal favorites in a way that feels homey yet rather boutique-y. 11am to 5pm Map UN University Market Every Saturday and Sunday in April A massive weekend affair that is great fun and features a variety of fruits and vegetables and prepared products from all over Japan. Plus, the curry I had during my last visit from one of the vendors was plate-licking good. (I refrained, but only just.) 10am to 4pm Map Roppongi Market Every Saturday in April

My Most Beautiful Thing

My garden this spring. Beautiful in a homely sort of way these days. I've actually been thinking about this for a long time. And it was surprisingly hard to choose one most beautiful thing. Really, there are so many things - large and small, living and inanimate -  in my life that are beautiful, ranging from the tiny little bee I spotted in the calendula this morning to the blueberry blossoms on the patio to my rain-spattered violas. And then there are the people in my life, of course, beautiful in such a myriad of ways that it would be impossible to choose just one. (Although, surely, my husband will make a case for being at the top of the list.) In short, I realized as I mulled over this post inspired by Fiona Robyn over at Writing Our Way Home and her My Most Beautiful Thing Blogsplash , that I had enough most beautiful things to write about one every day for a month if not a year. My final choice, of course, will be no surprise: my garden . Imperfect as it

Tokyo Farmer's Markets: April 21st and April 22nd

Markets are a wee bit sparse this weekend, but perhaps that simply means there's no excuse not to head out to the UN University Night Market at long last! Warm breezes and ever longer sunny days mean that summer is coming right along to serve up tomatoes, green beans , eggplant , and a full basket of other treats that will help us stay cool with pleasantly full tummies. And give some thought to potting up some of your own. Lots of vendors will have seedlings on hand this time of year, too! Balcony fresh blueberries , anyone? Kichijoji Market A terrific two days of seasonal vegetables, fruits, homemade treats, and even some fun activities for those whipper-snappers! Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22 10am to 5pm Map UN University Market Every Saturday and Sunday in April A massive weekend affair that is great fun and features a variety of fruits and vegetables and prepared products from all over Japan. Plus, the curry I had during my last visit from one of the

Tokyo Farmer's Markets: April 14th and April 15th

Surely if you didn't get enough cherry blossoms last weekend then this weekend ought to more than sate the appetite for pink flowers in trees. Early birds will want to head to Kichijoji for the farmer's market as well as to save themselves a prime spot under the blossoms. Folks heading to the Nippori market should take the time to visit Yanaka for a walk through the cemetery there for some spectacular blossom viewing as well. (Pick up some of those yummy manju to munch as you gaze upward into the pink haze...hmmm, now I have an idea for the weekend!) Regardless, get out there to soak up some spring blossoms, some good food, and do your bit for the local economy ! Photo Note: Pictured here are two employees of Aizu Wakamatsu commissioned by their city government to come down and help the farmers and producers selling at the Nippori Market. Ganbatte, Tohoku!  Ebisu Market Sunday, April 15 11am to 5pm A nice sized market held on the terrace just in

Back in the Garden

Early April, 2012 in my Tokyo garden. A friend recently said that he thought some of my best writing was about gardening. "It's when I really hear you ," he said. And for some time now I've not written much about the garden. The last year was intensely busy and the garden took a back seat. Truth be told the garden wasn't even in the back seat. It was in the trunk under an old blanket. I'd visit to harvest and then quickly leave. Spending more time than that meant thinking about chores I didn't have time to do, plants that were neglected, things I didn't have time to buy. Rather than a joy it became a sorrow to be there, and it seemed best to hurry away. This year I'm still busy, but marginally less so. I'm making room for the garden again. And for marmalade . And reading. I need that dirt under my fingernails (and subsequently a new nail brush) and a few good rounds of weeding to bring me back around to the physical an

Tokyo Farmer's Markets: April 7th and April 8th

Nippori market vendor selling colorful and scrumptious potatoes! Visitors to farmer's markets this weekend will be greeted by the first rush of cherry blossoms this year. After a storm to beat all storms on Tuesday evening, a trip to a farmer's market with a sighting or two of some of those spring lovelies ought to reset the balance a bit. Hit up SUN Grocery in Shinjuku for some treats and then head on over to Shinjuku Goyen! And don't forget, if you know of a market large or small drop me a note and we'll get it on the calendar lickity split! SUN Grocery in Shinjuku Saturday, April 7 11am to 3pm A once-a-month outreach effort by the students running a neighborhood grocery featuring fruits and vegetables from independent farmers. Map UN University Market Every Saturday and Sunday in April A massive weekend affair that is great fun and features a variety of fruits and vegetables and prepared products from all over Japan. Plus, the c

Kogane-ya: Savor Local Flavor and Support Local Economy

Kogane-ya store front, late afternoon.   One of my firmest beliefs is that food and farming possess real potential as economic engines . Readers of this blog won't be surprised to see that nor will they be surprised to learn that the group I see as a positive force for the future are small farmers and producers. Small farmers and farmer's markets offer up jobs and economic stability along with tables full of seasonal fruit, vegetables , and locally produced goods. Small farmers and producers are invested in their community because the community is their home as well as their customers. By supporting them I'm helping keep jobs in my community, good land growing food I get to eat, and getting to know a new recipe or two.  Businesses represented at Kogane-ya. All of this brings me to Kogane-ya . An unassuming little shop on the south side of Higashi-Kogane station, the name literally translates as "Kogane store." Initially drawn there one evening by t