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Showing posts from October, 2016

Weed Killing Without Chemicals

This swallowtail caterpillar is motivation to find chemical-free weeding methods. I have mixed feelings about weeds and tend to use them as mulch or compost in the garden. However, there are plenty of other ways to deal with them, too. Attainable Sustainable makes a number of great suggestions including mowing, smothering, making good use of chickens, and eating them (the weeds, not the chickens, necessarily) among others. You can read the full post here and my thoughts on purslane, the edible weed, here . Joan Bailey writes about food, farming, and farmers markets with a little bit of travel thrown in for good measure.  Get in touch  to learn more about food in Japan or read some of her other work  here .

Finding Heirloom Seeds in Japan

Drying pods of heirloom Hutterite Soup Beans. Since moving to Japan eight years ago, one of my greatest challenges as a farmer-gardener has been to find heirloom or open-pollinated seeds. The majority of seeds available are not GMO (genetically modified organisms) as Japan, at this point, doesn't accept this material. Most seeds, though, are nearly all F1 varieties. Heirloom and F1 Varieties In plant breeding, F1 is the name given to the first generation of a cross between two true breeding parents. For example, if I decide to cross an Amish Paste Tomato with another heirloom variety tomato such as Emmy, in hopes of getting a gold paste tomato, the resulting generation of fruit is F1. In order to get that tomato of my culinary dreams, I'll need to choose members of that first generation that are headed in a direction I like - early ripening, medium-sized fruit, good taste - and save their seeds. I'll plant them and repeat the process again and again over time unti

October Farmers Markets in Tokyo and Yokohama

Best baked goods ever on a bicycle! Kichijoji Harmonica Yokocho Asaichi As temperatures drop and winter vegetables begin to appear, go on out and welcome the sunshine at one of these great markets. The rice harvest should be rolling in , literally, by the bagful so scoop up a kilo or two along with sweet potatoes for a great traditional autumn dish. Or just admire the many squash and the early daikon that will surely spice up any meal! Market of the Sun Saturday, October 8th and Sunday, October 9th The newest of Tokyo's farmers markets at two years old,  Market of the Sun  professes to be one of the largest, and this month looks to be all about the grape. 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 Kachidoke Station at Exits A4a or A4b Kichijoji Harmonica Yokocho Asaichi Sunday, October 16th Early birds o