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Showing posts from August, 2014

Thursday Snapshot: Saroma's Pumpkin Arch

Saroma's pumpkin arch heavy with fruit. Last September we ventured north to Hokkaido to say goodbye to a dear friend, visit others, and together remember the joy and adventure we all shared. One of our stops included Saroma, a town that has an utterly fantastic pumpkin festival each year. And let me just say, they know how to celebrate a vegetable: parades, live music, games, fireworks, and, of course, heaps of lovely pumpkin-based foods. This year we will be in America visiting family and friends, meaning that our annual trek to our favorite place in Japan will be delayed. It feels odd to not be biking the seashore or hiking in the mountains , but we will plan to return again in the winter. Until then, Ezo!

Thursday Snapshot: Mushroom

Freshly showered! Again spotted while out on a hike near our place in Kanagawa this little fellow was too colorful and robust not to snap. A morning shower left the path still damp, which made the trail a bit slippery but ever brighter in color. I was happy to pause to capture this blushing bloomer.

Thursday Snapshot: Negjibana (sprial flower) in the garden

Nejibana (twisting flower) in my garden. This lovely flower, perhaps no taller than 7cm, greeted me one morning in early July as I walked in the garden at our place in Kanagawa. A member of the orchid family, Nejibana (twisting flower) is a member of the Spiranthes family. Relatives can be found globally, although it seems the Japanese branch of the family prefers pink.

Thursday Snapshot: Ajisai (Hydrangea) in bloom

Ajisai (hydrangea) in bloom in early July. Ajisai (hydrangea) are long done, but this variety was too interesting to not share. Spotted on a hike near our home in Kanagawa, this one featured the tiny and slightly curled blooms seen here. The resulting visual texture intrigued my fellow hikers enough that I had to wait in line to snap this.

Compost: How to use compost

Happy impatiens with their compost home. Even if growing space is tight, a compost bin can make a big difference to a garden. It is well worth setting up, whether homemade or a snazzy purchased one, for the benefits it offers. It means less garbage to the landfill, which also means fewer purchased garbage bags. It means less potting soil, and it definitely eliminates the need for inorganic fertilizers. (These are made from petroleum products, which are not healthy or delicious for the soil or the grower.) Compost can be used in containers as well as in the garden as a mulch, as a soil additive, and as a tea . It brings life giving microbes and other creatures to plants and places in the garden that may be in dire need. It provides hearty nutrition for plants, which in turn makes them healthier and disease-resistant. Spread a layer of compost around established garden plants for a nutrition boost. Top it with standard mulch (straw, grass clippings, or weeds with their roots tur

August Tokyo and Yokohama Region Farmers Markets

Two young farmers from Aizu Wakamatsu at the Nippori Farmers Market. Even as I type out this schedule the cicadas are singing and the temperatures, too, hum along at steady pitch. It does not bear mentioning that the humidity is also right up there. Tomatoes, basil, beans, and other summer treats are enjoying every moment of this, although I cannot say that I share their sentiment. However, as I much cold spicy cucumber or sip a cold glass of umehachimitsu I find relief. Venture out with hat, backpack, sunscreen and cold refreshment of choice to one of these fantastic markets to savor the heat! Tokaidaigakumae Organic Market Sunday, August 3rd This fledgling market is worth a visit, particularly for those out in this neck of the woods, not only for the diverse selection of fresh vegetables and fruits, but for the awesome venue. Ginger and Pickles is easily one of the best little secrets around, and visitors can find both excellent local produce and some scrumptious vegan fare