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Showing posts from April, 2014

Tokyo Farmers Markets: Saturday, April 26th and Sunday, April 27th

Fresh veg from Kokobunji at the Roppongi Market! May is nearly upon us, which means planting season is about to begin in earnest. Belly up to the farmers market table for some of the last of Winter's best and the first of what Spring has to offer. Don't forget, too, to check out the Earth Day Market in all their fun organic foodliness! See you there! Earth Day Market Sunday, April 27th I could go wax on forever about how great this market is and how important it is for the future of Japanese farming and global food security. Instead, I'll just insist that folks go and see for themselves what great things the market and these innovative growers are doing. This month the market will be a bit of its wonderful normalness. If something exciting comes up, though, I promise to alert folks. Planning is in the works, so who knows what Fairtrade excitement might be in the air? 10am to 4pm, Rain or shine! Map UN University Market Every Saturday and Sunday

Tokyo Farmers Markets: Saturday, April 19th and Sunday, April 20th

Cool carrots at the Ebisu Farmers Market. Don't let a rainy Friday deter plans to head on out to the markets this weekend. Spring is wet, which is good for vegetables, so no complaining! Pack an umbrella just to be safe and venture out to find scrumptious seasonal fruit and vegetables including sansai (mountain vegetables) , lovely greens , and more. There's always something wonderful to be found! Ebisu Market Sunday, April 20th Don't miss the opportunity to head to a nifty part of the city where on these sweet Sundays you'll find farmers and producers galore. (One even comes from Okutama with a lovely array of vegetables and a vegetable-based spread that will knock your socks off.) It's worth noting, too, that  Do One Good , an animal NPO will be on hand with some of the cutest dogs ever waiting to go home with you! 11am to 5pm Map Koenji Farmer's Market Saturday, April 19th A new market I spotted while riding the train on a Saturday morning int

An Interview with Emma Cooper, Part 2

Today we continue our conversation with Emma Cooper, author and gardener, whose latest book, Jade Pearls and Alien Eyeballs, is due out on May 1st. Emma also graciously did a reading for us, which is another wonderful way to preview her work. You can also read my review . Enjoy! - JB How did you do most of your research for the historical section? Was it part of your thesis work or other on-going research? I wrote most of the book, including the historical section, before I went back to university to become an ethnobotanist. In 2009, Carolyn Fry brought out a lovely book in association with Kew, called The Plant Hunters , which is a potted history of plant hunting, and that was very useful for my research. It’s a topic of interest to me, so I’ve done a fair bit of reading on it! I thought it was utterly fascinating to hear how plants wandered about. It reminded me of something Michael Pollan posits at the beginning of one of his books: did we choose the plant or did t

An Interview with Emma Cooper

It is my great pleasure to host Emma Cooper, author of Jade Pearls andAlien Eyeballs , as part of her virtual book tour . Emma graciously sat down with me to answer a few questions about her book, the plants she loves, and writing. And don't forget to listen to the reading at the end! It's really wonderful. Any questions for Emma? Send them along in the comments and I'll share them with her. And on Wednesday, Emma will stop by again to continue our conversation. Don't miss it! - JB Emma Cooper, ready for action! What inspired you to write this guidebook? You touch on it in the introduction, of course, but I'd love to hear a bit more about it. I first started thinking about writing this book in the middle of 2010, and for very personal reasons it was put on hold several times. To be honest, I can no longer remember the first spark of inspiration that led me to develop the concept, but I was (and still am) interested in why people choose to grow unusual e

Tokyo Farmers Markets: Saturday, April 12th and Sunday, April 13th

Lovely citrus at the UNU Farmers Market. Even as the sakura (cherry) blossoms fade, Spring keeps rolling in. And that means that growers everywhere are getting ready to roll out a new round of the seasons best. Don't hesitate even in this early season to venture off to one of these great markets to see what treasures can be found. Citrus still abound while winter veg are making some of their final appearances. Keep an eye out for the odd-looking udo and some of its stranger sansai (mountain vegetable) counterparts. There's foodly adventures everywhere! See you at the market! Market of the Sun Saturday, April 12th and Sunday, April 13th The newest of Tokyo's farmers markets, Market of the Sun professes to be one of the largest. A short walk from Tsukiji Market and its wonderful surrounds, it's worth a stop for a selection of foodly and crafty items that rivals that at the UNU Market. 10am to 4pm No map but step out of Kachidoki Station exits A4a and A4b

Jade Pearls and Alien Eyeballs: A Review

The latest book by Emma Cooper , Jade Pearls and Alien Eyeballs (Smashwords, May, 2014) , combines two of her favorite topics: gardening and unusual edibles. Cooper, author of four unique gardening books – The Allotment Pocket Bible (Crimson Publishing, 2011), The Alternative Kitchen Garden (Permanent Publications, 2009), Growing Vegetables is Fun! (Dennis Publishing, 2008), and the audiobook The Peat Free Diet (Emma Cooper, 2012) – is an established author and expert in her field. The recent addition of a Master of Science in Ethnobotany deepens what she is able to share on her website and helped spur Jade Pearls into existence. Cooper states in her introduction that Jade Pearls is meant to inform and inspire gardeners everywhere to try growing unusual edibles. Many are perennials, which makes them easy to incorporate into forest gardens, regular landscape schemes, or anywhere a gardener might want to have a reliable feature. She begins with a short history of global p

April Farmers Markets in Tokyo

A lovely month to find and buy seed-starting supplies at markets, too! April is upon us and the sakura are blooming like mad! Skies alternate sun and rain, which only means plenty more for farmers to bring in to tempt your tastebuds. Try some sansai (mountain vegetables), nanohana, or any of the many other delightful spring treats only to be found in Japan! See you at the market! Ebisu Market Sunday, April 6th and Sunday, April 20th Ebisu will be in full form this month with its two usual markets. Don't miss the opportunity to head to a nifty part of the city where on these sweet Sundays you'll find farmers and producers galore. (One even comes from Okutama with a lovely array of vegetables and a vegetable-based spread that will knock your socks off.) It's worth noting, too, that  Do One Good , an animal NPO will be on hand with some of the cutest dogs ever waiting to go home with you! 11am to 5pm Map Market of the Sun Saturday, April 12th and Sunday, April