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Showing posts from September, 2012

Tokyo Farmers Markets: September 29th and 30th

Miao Village market in China. Ginger galore. Oh my. As October closes in cooler weather should start to prevail and the markets should start filling up with a variety of fall favorites: sweet potatoes , squash , apples, pears (nashi) , and more. Surprising summer stragglers, such as eggplant , will be around showing off their colors and tempting shoppers, too. For me, this is when the real bounty begins, so I plan on taking a backpack to cart home all the goodies. See you there! UN University Market Every Saturday and Sunday in September 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 September A first  visit to this market  was well worth the trek for the number of organic growers and getting to meet a Toky

Damp and Happy: Tokyo Farmers Market Outing Report

Damp squash family members at Earth Day Market. Photo courtesy of Nicole Bauer. Indeed, those two words well describe the hearty bunch that braved yesterday's torrential rains to join me at the Earth Day Market in Yoyogi Park. Eight of us total (down from 15 who initially planned to come out) wandered between the stalls surveying the seasonal goodies - a variety of squashes , awesome jams , heaps of good rice and grains, wine, beer, moroheya and other greens , peanuts, and a few early radishes - under our umbrellas and plotting our purchases. We chatted, learned about  the vendors and their products, indulged in some free samples, and tried to stay relatively try. Tomiyama-san, the Earth Day Market manager, paused in his full rain suit to welcome us and chat for a moment before bustling off to help finish setting up tents and strategize about keeping things dry. Business was brisk despite the weather, and I can only imagine what it would have been if the sun had been shin

Confirming Today's Tokyo Farmers Market Outing!

It is raining cats and dogs out there, but I'm still going . I know the farmers and artists will be there, and I just can't not go. If you're still interested in coming out, please do. Bring an umbrella, rain coat...maybe a wet suit? I'll be on the stone bridge near Harajuku Station at 10am with my red umbrella and orange (or yellow?) raincoat. See you there! - Joan Just in case you forgot to put it on your calendar, here's a little reminder about this Sunday's adventure to the  Earth Day Market . Join me for a few hours of  fun that are full of good food, interesting people, cool artwork, and most likely some music, too. What could possibly be holding you back? (I won't blame you if you opt out due to the rain. I'll do this again. J) Tokyo Farmers Market Outing Sunday, September 23rd 10am - 2pm Meet on the bridge to Meiji Shrine at 10am. It's right on your way from Harajuku Station to Yoyogi Park. I'll be carrying a red umbrella (for s

Tokyo Farmers Markets: September 22nd and 23rd

Miao Village market day in China. I could live there. This is it! The big weekend where you can come out with me to the Earth Day Market in Yoyogi Park . Just beyond the Rockabilly Dancers and whatever festival may be underway that day, you'll find some of the best organic and fair trade stuff around. Everything from fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables to jams to beer to wine to rice to tea to bread to cheese to cool handmade clothes to spicy curry. If you can't make it I'll be sad, of course, but you should then head on out to the other markets happening. Too much fun to be had not to do it! Earth Day Market Sunday, September 23rd *Send along a comment here with your email (I'll keep it top-secret!) to let me know if you wish to join. I could go wax on forever about how great this market is and how important it is for the future of Japanese farming. Instead, I'll just insist that folks go and see for themselves what great things the market and these i

Don't Forget: Tokyo Farmers Market Outing This Sunday!

Sweet times: honey at the Earth Day Market Just in case you forgot to put it on your calendar, here's a little reminder about this Sunday's adventure to the Earth Day Market . Join me for a few hours of  fun that are full of good food, interesting people, cool artwork, and most likely some music, too. What could possibly be holding you back? Tokyo Farmers Market Outing Sunday, September 23rd 10am - 2pm Meet on the bridge to Meiji Shrine at 10am. It's right on your way from Harajuku Station to Yoyogi Park. I'll be carrying a red umbrella (for sun or rain!), and will be the slightly dorky looking tall foreign women with glasses and curly hair. We'll walk over to the Earth Day Market where I'll give you a brief run-down of what I know about the vendors, the food available, and then set you loose! Plan to buy lunch there. A ceramics art fair is on at the same time, which should be just brilliant as well. Pretty bowl for your miso? Nice plate to ser

Seasonal Jet Lag in the Garden

Bee in last of the basil flowers. Who am I to deny his harvest? After three years of gardening and farming in Tokyo , I should be accustomed to the turn of seasons. I should know that these hot September days belie the fact that cooler temperatures are coming, but I just can't believe it. My Midwestern seasonal sensibilities tell me otherwise. Vaguely lower temperatures (88-degrees versus 90-degrees) don't seem much different in the blazing sun as I sweat similar amounts whether working in the fields or trying to write at home. Winter is a far-away land, a dream. To my Midwestern self, summer remains firmly entrenched. My beet and kale seeds will surely protest. My inner calendar remains out of sync. It's a sort of seasonal jet-lag. Since returning from China I've gone to the garden every day. Four weeks off in total - two in Hokkaido and two in China - meant a long list of chores. My first day back, Takashi-san told me what I already knew: "It's time

Tokyo Farmers Market: September 15th and 16th

Small outdoor market in Gyuiyuan, China. Cool stuff! A hot September weekend that seems just a bit over the top for this Midwestern woman who hankers after rain and cooler temperatures. Thankfully, the apple season is just beginning and with every crunch fall seems that much closer! Where to get some yummy apples? Glad you asked. Head on out to one of the markets listed below, and you're sure to glimpse a few of the early varieties as well as purchase. Take a shopping bag and don't be shy. Good food awaits! Also, just a reminder that next weekend I'm hosting my first excursion to a market . Join me at the Earth Day Market to case out the seasonal vegetables and fruit, meet some great growers, eat some good food, enjoy a simultaneous ceramics show and sale, and generally have fun. Details here . Do come on out. It's so worth the effort. Nippori Farmer's Market Saturday, September 15th and Sunday, September 16th 10am to 5pm Another great market in t

Home from Parts Beyond

Note: My apologies for the lack of a photo. Seems the site I use to resize photos is on the fritz. Fingers crossed it's up and running soon! Whew! We are back in Tokyo and getting resettled into daily routines. An early morning visit today to the farm and garden found a few winter crops already in and other fields ready for daikon and Chinese cabbage. The eggplant , peppers sweet and spicy , and moroheya are still kicking it, bless their vegetable hearts, but the tomatoes are done. Takashi-san and I peered through the greenhouse doors to see their withered selves drying in place. It makes them lighter, easier to remove, and they break down a bit faster in the compost pile. It will be a dusty clean-up job, but it wouldn't be any fun if we didn't get dirty. My garden is nearly ready for turnover as well, although a few late watermelon sat wallowing in the sun. And the tsuru murasaki is wrapping everything in sight in its tender arms. (Drop a note if you'd like a bund

Guest Post: Chilled Summer Soups

Dona Bumgarner chimes in again this month while I'm out roaming in China to share some of her favorite cold soup recipes. She'd mentioned them first during an email exchange a few months ago when Tokyo temperatures were already beginning to rise. Mouth-watering and brow sweating, I requested a post. And here it is! At the tail end of summer, when hot days fade into steamy evenings, the last thing I want to be doing is standing over a stove making dinner. Here are three chilled soups that are quick to assemble, filling and tasty. Only one requires a stove but you could cook it in the cool of the morning and then just pull it, ready-made, out of the fridge for dinner. Chilled Avgolemeno Soup looking scrumptious! Chilled Avgolemeno Soup Serves 6 In our house this soup is affectionately known as "avocado lemonade" soup, though it contains no avocado.  It is a spin on a  traditional Greek soup , thick with eggy custard and tangy with lemon. It is my toddler&

Tokyo Farmers Markets: September 8th and 9th

UNU Farmers Market produce galore! Strangely, this weekend in Tokyo is a wee bit sparse for markets. Never fear, though, the usual weekly affairs will be humming along to satisfy all your foodly (and more!) needs. Remember, it could still be a bit warm, so grab an umbrella, plan to pause for ice cream or a brightly colored kakigori while pondering that next item for the shopping bag! UN University Market Every Saturday and Sunday in September 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 September A first  visit to this market  was well worth the trek for the number of organic growers and getting to meet a Tokyo farmer from just down the tracks in Kokobunji! 10am to 2pm Map Kinshicho Market Every S