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Showing posts from August, 2015

Red Shiso Juice: Recipe

One of two bundles harvested from the garden. My mother often advises me to be careful what you wish for. Most of the time it works out well. Once, on a hike in Hokkaido I really wished for a hiking pole. A day or so later a friend discovered one discarded along the trail. The timing couldn't have been better as I'd just bruised pride and right knee in a fall coming down to a natural onsen (hot spring). Later, I wished for a pair of gloves. They, too, magically appeared along the side of the trail. "Why don't you wish for a million bucks?" quipped my husband, and we all laughed. "The universe does seem to be listening to you," said our friend, Ryan, and I sent up a small word of thanks. I still have the gloves and the hiking pole. However, when it comes to aka shiso (red shiso) I should have been more careful. "I wish aka shiso grew in my garden," I said this spring. Used for making umeboshi , the deep red almost purple leaves of aka

Tokyo and Yokohama Regional Farmers Markets: Saturday, August 22nd and Sunday, August 23rd

Shopping for seasonal delights at the Ebisu Farmers Market. Still hot as the dickens, but oh, imagine the joys of those summer vegetables when they get home. Not to mention how hot the farmer must have been harvesting and tending them, so quit fussing and get out there. Just plan to go early and grab some ice cream before and/or after. It makes everything better! Kamakura Farmers Market Every day A small local affair featuring Kamakura heirloom fruits and vegetables raised in yet another former capital city, the Kamakura Market is a small but wonderful venue. Head in early to get the best selection and pick up a loaf of Paradise Alley's charcoal infused bread while you're there. 7am until sold out Map 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

Thursday Snapshot: Snapping the Ebisu Community Garden

Vegetable geeks go to great lengths to get their story. I don't usually include photos of myself here, but this one is hilarious. That's me standing on the railing across from the community garden spot I found while walking the neighborhood. We'd just been to the Ebisu Farmers Market, and so I was feeling quite happy. That happiness doubled when I spotted the little garden area overflowing with luscious and delicious greenery. It was locked, hence the pose here. I wiped the railing off when I got down.

Tokyo and Yokohama Regional Farmers Markets: Saturday, August 15th and Sunday, August 16th

The Ebisu Farmers Market in a cooler time. Cicadas continue their strumming and the heat stays firm. I'm off in the US at the moment, but feel certain it is still warm in Japan. While I'm lolling in a lake or hiking with nieces and nephews, find your own vegetable adventure at one of these great markets! Ebisu Market Sunday, August 2nd and Sunday, August 16th 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! I'd also  recommend a trip to Afuri Ramen  when you're done for some of the best yuzu tsukemen in town. 11am to 5pm Map Koenji Farmer's Market Saturday, August 15th* A new market I spotted while

Thursday Snapshot: An American Heirloom in Japan

Hutterite Soup beans drying. I have long wanted to grow my own dry beans. Since I am lucky enough to have found a community garden space out here in Kanagawa, I decided this was the year. Hutterite Soup Beans were planted a wee bit late alongside the popcorn and left to their own devices. I managed to forget to thin them, and still they thrived. Somewhere in the first week of August I picked the not quite dry pods and set them to dry on the zaru I use for umeboshi and popcorn. I'm visiting in the US and won't be in Japan to rescue them from typhoons, marauding tanuki, or anything else that may come along. We'll see what happens.

Zucchini Quick Pickle Coleslaw: Recipe

Shredding it! Zucchini and carrot get together in the pickler. The recent theme of my garden and, subsequently, my kitchen is zucchini. The farmers gave me some seeds last year, which I promptly forgot about until this spring. I started them, they sprouted, thrived, and were transplanted to the garden. Despite a certain amount of neglect, a period during which I felt quite sure they would not survive and once again our household would be bereft of a favorite vegetable, they began to thrive. They are now beyond thriving. They are fearsome.

Tokyo and Yokohama Regional Farmers Markets: Saturday, August 8th and Sunday, August 9th

Mushrooms about as fresh as they can be at the Ebisu Market. Hot enough? Jeepers. Even my tomatoes seem to mind this heat and humidity a bit. The zucchini, though is booming and the little frogs that call my garden home seem happy, too. Who am I to complain? Here's this weekend's round-up of marketly goodness. Obon fast approaches, so get to the market while they are on. Do double check schedules and proceed with a Plan B in mind. (I suggest ice cream as a Plan B.) Have fun! Earth Day Market Sunday, August 9th 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 a three-day wonderland of organic and fair trade goodness not to be missed. Come frolic and enjoy! 10am to 4pm, Rain or shine! Map Kamakura Farmer

Thursday Snapshot: Frog in the Garden

One of my colleagues. One of the great joys of my garden are the frogs. They are always leaping ahead of me, appearing on a leaf or tomato as I look for what to harvest, or landing on my foot between hops. This little guy is at head height in my popcorn, enjoying the view. He and his compatriots sing a delightful song as evening comes, their chirping rolling from one end of the valley to the other and back again.