Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Snow on the Farm in Tokyo

Snowy Monday afternoon at the farm in Tokyo.
Snow in Tokyo is an extraordinary thing, and yesterday we got a good 7cm of it. It started in the morning as rain, but by 8:30am it turned to snow. Big, fat flakes fell at a slant past our windows quickly framing the outside world in white. The frame soon filled in with more and more, and the view out our window became something more reminiscent of home, Hokkaido, and Nagano.

Needless to say, I was thrilled. Once I filed a new story with my editor, I dashed out the door to...shovel. Then I dashed about in the snow in a manner similar to when I was ten. (I'm considerably beyond those two numbers now.) I made a snow angel in the pocket park behind our building. I was happy as a lark.

The hubby and I walked over to the farm, helping push a stuck motorist to a safe parking place along the way, and laughing as two little girls threw snowballs at each other. They felt as much glee as I did with my snow angel, although I had a proper hat on. They wore sento towels on their heads. I'm sure it seemed a logical choice when they ran out the door.

Everything was coated in snow and it kept coming. The hubby suggested going in the farm gate and knocking some snow off the row covers. I said it would just melt. We shouldn't worry.

Famous last words.

My garden under snow.
This morning, after the snow had stopped and every surface had turned to ice in the night, I walked to the farm. (Biking was out of the question.) Groups of people were out chipping at the ice and shoveling away as the sun rose and gradually warmed things up. The fields sparkled beautifully when I arrived, but upon closer examination it was clear not all was well.

The plastic tunnels bowed under the weight of the snow, but the net tunnels over the norabo had broken. Nearly without exception they lay flat in place, hoops cracked and split. Somewhere under all that were the plants. Norabo is hardy, but I still worried. Unearthing them proved to be a rather delicate process as the sun had quickly warmed the snow enough over the netting to make it difficult to move in one piece. As I excavated I tried to remember exactly where the plants were located. A little squashing did occur.

Turns out all is well. The little norabo survived with flying colors as did the rest of the plants in the netted row. (The sun reflecting off the snow made photos out of the question.) Now, we'll have to see how they fare with the coming freezing nights.

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