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Showing posts from September, 2014

Thursday Snapshot: Tiny Jizo in HIda Takayama

Tiny jizo statue in Hida Takayama. Last year while my sister-in-law and I roamed the markets of Hida Takayama, we spotted this charming Jizo statue and friends at a local shrine. Despite the cliche, I will say I was utterly enchanted.

Vermicomposting over at Ecotwaza

Photo courtesy of James Kemp at grege. I am a big fan of worms, and I'm a big fan of compost. So, it was with great pleasure that I penned this month's piece at Ecotwaza about vermicomposting . Thanks to James Kemp at grege, importer to Japan of the Can-O-Worms vermicomposter,  for his lovely interview and photos, too!

Tokyo and Yokohama Area Farmers Markets: Saturday, September 20th and Sunday, September 21st

Lovely and delicious heirloom appleas at the Portage Farmers Market in Wisconsin. UPDATE: THE EARTH DAY FARMERS MARKET HAS BEEN CANCELLED FOR THIS MONTH. I'm sorry to say that this is true. Organizers decided it would be best to hold off for this month in light of worries about dengue fever. They look forward to seeing us all in October, though! Welcome to the most farmers-market-y weekend of the month! A glorious selection of spots to go for the foodly minded among us. Groaning tables abound at each and every one, although this weekend is the last for Oiso's Night Market. A lovely extravaganza of food, art, and music it should be given serious consideration. The other usual culprits surely will be as terrific as ever. Check out a recipe , make a list, and head on out! Ebisu Market Sunday, September 21st 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

Thursday Snapshot: Making Kuntan

Making kuntan after the rice harvest. Farming is my great joy and pleasure, so last year when we were able to help harvest rice in Nagano I jumped at the chance. Before and after our days work I spent plenty of time roaming the village to see how other people did it and what other things were happening. One of the most common sights was this: the making of kuntan . The momigara (rice hulls) are piled up around a fire, which slowly charcoalizes them. The black hulls are then spread on the fields in spring to help melt the snow and arm the soil while also giving it a nice energy boost. Brilliant.

Bassanova Ramen Review in Metropolis Magazine

Scrumptiousness defined at Bassanova Ramen. Ramen is not one of my favorite foods, but because my favorite spouse has a particular passion for it I end up eating a fair amount. One could say that I am something of an accidental expert. One of my top three ramens is Bassanova in Shindaita. (I'm salivating now just thinking about it.) So it seemed only logical that I would write a review of it for Metropolis Magazine . Iitadakimasu!

Tokyo and Yokohama Area Farmers Markets: Saturday, September 13th and Sunday, September 14th

Glorious bouquet at the Vang Family Farm table. Portage Farmers Market, Wisconsin. A lovely holiday weekend awaits with a nice selection of the usual markets ready to serve up fresh seasonal vegetables, fruits and more to those venturing out. Eggplant , squash , cucumbers , and tomatoes should still be available, although keep an eye out for seedlings of some winter vegetables . Nashi , too, should be making a strong showing, and that should not be missed. My mouth is watering at the thought... Futamatagawa Farmers Market - Yokohama Every Friday A charming little weekly market tucked conveniently just outside the turnstile at Futamatagawa Station in Yokohama where a nice selection of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables await. Joining them are baked goods, rice, miso, and all the other fixings one might need for the week or just a good snack. Plenty of Kanagawa goodies, too, so be sure to ask! 10am to 6pm Look for the tables when you step out the gate! UN University Mar

Thursday Snapshot: Blooming Port-a-potties

Morning glory curtain I have long stated that my favorite toilet ever was a toilet set on a hillside behind my friend's house in Guatemala. There were no walls or roof, just me and the valley swooping away before while the far green mountains ran along the other side. If it rained, I took an umbrella and sat. If it was sunny, I wore a hat. The entrance. This set of port-a-potties comes in at a close second, though, with its drapery of cool green leaves and bright blue blossoms. I gave serious thought to 'taking a rest' here even though I had no real need. Across the street from an elementary school and next to a mechanic's shop, I am sure it is something of a neighborhood constitutional institution.

September Tokyo and Yokohama Area Farmers Markets

Casing out the heirloom tomatoes at the Portage Farmers Market in Wisconsin. September arrives with a bit of heat, a bit of rain and wind, and hopefully will round out with some cooler temperatures and bright days. We've been wining our way about the American Midwest savoring good beer, good food, a few early apples, and enjoying our first summer in six years. Delightful and wonderful barely cover how wonderful it has been. However, I am looking forward to getting back to the markets here and seeing what's happening. See you there! Tokaidaigakumae Organic Market No word yet on a market for this month after a well-deserved August break.   Ginger and Pickles  is worth a visit any time, though! Ebisu Market Sunday, September 7th and Sunday, September 21st 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 veget

Thursday Snapshot: Crocosmia or the lovely orange flower

Crocosmia crocosmiliflora in bloom This little orange bloomer is a member of the iris family that started out in South Africa and has since wandered the globe in ever varying forms. It is not a native, of course, of Japan, but can be found in almost every garden. I do love those cheerful blooms, a hallmark of summer that I enjoy inifinitly more than the oppressive heat and humidity. September will see them start to fade, but I'll eagerly search them out next year when summer drives me out in search of ice cream.