Skip to main content

Tambo Art Project Planting in Soma!

Photo courtesy of Soma Tambo Art Project.

For those hankering to get their hands in some soil this Spring, please consider joining this wonderful trip to Soma. Tomoyuki Endo, a local rice farmer, Hideharu Asanuma, an architect with Youkei Design Group, along with Tomohito and Nagisa Minowa of Minowa Farms in Chiba, started the project in 2014. It was the first year residents of Soma were allowed to grow rice, and the group wanted to do something that would boost the morale of residents, attract new people to the area, and be beautiful, too. So far, so good.

The field sits just below a levy that is a favorite walking path for people in the area. While it is not as large as those in Aomori, it is a potent annual work of art. Visitors and locals alike have a chance to mix and mingle while planting rice by hand, sharing meals and stories. Over the years, friendships have grown, and while I don't know of any weddings yet, I wouldn't be surprised. For the people of Soma, it is a sign that people outside Fukushima Prefecture still think of them, and for the participants it is a chance to have a positive impact. Joining isn't an act of charity, but rather a way of collaboratively creating and building community.

If this sounds appealing, then by all means, come join us for one of the most delightful weekends ever. Read my earlier article about Soma and a related project, and then check out the event details. Hope to see you there in the tambo!

Soma Tambo Art Project Planting Event
Saturday, May 19
Website and Registration


Popular posts from this blog

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

Kamakura Farmers Market: Giant Buddhas and Good Vegetables

Kamakura Farmers Market entrance A little more than an hour train ride south of Tokyo sits Kamakura. Like Kyoto and Nara, Kamakura is a former capital full to the brim with temples, shrines, and a bounty of historical sites lining its winding streets. Nestled in a cozy bay with beaches and a giant Buddha tucked amongst the rest, it's a city that invites multiple visits if not at least one. And those seeking a farmers market well-stocked with traditional vegetables, skilled growers ready to share recipes and chat about their wares, along with some nifty prepared foods to rejuvenate themselves after so many temples surely won't be disappointed, either. Kamakura Farmers Market - right side full of signs Started nearly twenty years ago, the Kamakura Farmers Market or Kamakurasui Nyogyou Rensokubaijo, runs seven days a week nearly year-round. A ten-minute walk from the station, the market is located in what at first glance looks like nothing so much as a run-down w

Satoimo: One of Japan's Favorite Slimy Things

Satoimo in all their hairy glory. This post first appeared in slightly different form on Garden to Table as part of the 2012  Blogathon . The website has since moved on to the ether, but the post is still a good one. After all, people here are still eating satoimo on a daily basis, and many others are just seeing these little potato-like objects for the first time. Enjoy! Satoimo is one of Japan's odder vegetables. Under it's rough, slightly furry skin is white flesh that is a little bit slimy even raw, and with a gentle nutty flavor.* Baked, grilled, steamed with dashi, or deep-fried satoimo stands well on its own or paired up with other vegetables and meats in a wide variety of soups and stews . (The leaves are also edible.) Satoimo stores well, and like any root crop worth the effort, stocks are just running low on this household favorite as the farmers in my area of Tokyo get ready to put a new crop in the ground in May. I cannot say I was a fan of this l