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A Duck of My Own

Minowa Farms at the Earth Day Market.
Way too much fun to not stop and say hello!
Each month I pick up a bag of brown rice from Minowa Rice Field at the Earth Day Market. The rice is good, and it's organic, of course, but what charmed me from the start were the ducks. The Minowa's use ducks to help weed their rice fields. The ducks eat weeds but not the rice seedlings, add a bit of fertilizer as they go, and at the end of the season, when the rice is harvested, we eat the ducks. Utterly brilliant, if you ask me.

Duck has been on our family table ever since I can remember. I come from a family of hunters, so each Thanksgiving our turkey and stuffing was served up with a smaller plate of dark, rich duck meat. My oldest brother remains an avid hunter with a deep admiration for water fowl, so when we're home in winter, I often get to sample this favorite dish.

So this year when Nagisa Minowa mentioned their duck owner program, I was intrigued. In previous years they've partnered with a chef at a nearby French restaurant to make pate (scrumptious!), but this year they decided to try something different. Essentially, for 10,000 yen customers can sponsor a duck. Not only do I get a processed duck for eating at the end of the season, but I also get 10 kilograms of the Minowa's most excellent rice. How awesome is that?

*While I'm not sure if ducks are still available, I do recommend perusing Minowa Farms blog (English follows Japanese) and stopping to see them at the Earth Day Farmers Market in Yoyogi. Look for the duck on the bag.

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