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Showing posts from July, 2018

Tokyo and Yokohama Regional Markets: Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22

Takaumi Takase, founder of The Miso Fish Stand, at the Osonbashi Marche. Well, in all this heat there's really nothing for it but to head on out to one of these great markets! Think of all the wonderful ingredients you can get for putting on your ice cream or the sheer distraction afforded by good food. (It works for me, anyway.) Remember, too, that this is ideal weather for eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and even the first few squash will be making an appearance. Don your hat, put on some sunscreen, and be sure to drink plenty of fluids! See you at the market! Nippori Farmers Market Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22 This  charming market in the heart of old Tokyo  abounds with a sense of community and friendliness as well as good food. Small but lively, particularly on Saturday, it features a monthly geographical theme although regular vendors include  Tohoku growers  and some of the best steamed manju in the world. No map, but just head out the East Exit and

Thursday Snapshot: Frog in the Popcorn

Frog in the popcorn. There's a fair bit of wildlife in my garden , which is just how I like it. I take it as a compliment that these creatures want to spend time in my little plot resting in the cool shade of the kale leaves or enjoy the crinkle of dried leaves used for mulch. Some, like the crows or other birds that attacked my popcorn last year are not so thrilling, but I still take their attention as a good sign. The frogs, though, are a favorite and seem to be ever-present. This guy was lounging at head height yesterday in the popcorn, which is to say he was about three-quarters of the way up. It was a particularly hot afternoon, and I was taking a few snaps before heading for ice cream and home. I don't necessarily encourage frogs, but I don't use any chemicals that would deter them, either. Because their are no empty spaces in my garden - everything is covered with plants or some kind of mulching material - they also have plenty of places to hide or just hang o

Tokyo and Yokohama Regional Farmers Markets: Saturday, July 14 and Sunday, July 15

Fresh garlic can still be found!  Hotter than ever with more heat to come, so what better solution than to head out to one of these great markets to find ingredients for cold soup or homemade ice cream? I'll be traveling on assignment, but hope to find a good market or two while away. Meanwhile, enjoy the summer vegetables making steady inroads, and remember, if you find a grower or producer from the areas affected by the flooding , pick up an extra item or two from them. Even if they haven't been directly affected, the secondary impact of damaged roads and rail lines, neighbors needing help , or just the simple fact that it could happen to any one of us at any time ought to be motivation enough. Market of the Sun Saturday, July 14 and Sunday, July 15 One of Tokyo's newer markets,  Market of the Sun (a.k.a. Taiyo Marche) , professes to be one of the largest. A short walk from Tsukiji Market and its wonderful surrounds, this market is worth a visit for its lovely s

Japan Flood Relief Efforts: Advice

Two Mita-san's in the field in Okayama. They're affected by the flooding but ok so far. I'm interrupting my normal schedule of posts to offer up this article:  Japan Floods 2018: How to Help This timely bit of information comes from Robin Lewis, co-founder of Social Innovation Japan and someone who knows a thing or two about disaster relief from his days at Peace Boat. His advice and list of organizations is invaluable. Stay tuned for updates!

Sunday Reading

Watermelon at Hiratsuka's Tanabata Festival! This week brings an assortment of articles, all but one related to growing things in some way or another. The final one on my list is ultimately about climate change and ideas about moving forward. It's an opinion piece that got my dander up a wee bit, but it's important to read things that don't jibe always with the views we hold. The other side is really just somebody like me who is thinking about it a different way. If we don't talk and listen to each other sometimes then we won't get anywhere. 10 Easy Herbs to Grow for Bees at Permaculture is one of those pieces that I adore any time of year. I like growing herbs because they are (usually) relatively easy, smell good, and attract hoards of beneficial insects. It makes my garden a busy and sustainable place by having all of that activity, so I gravitate toward articles like this one. Do watch out for mint and lemon balm . Once out of control, the bees will

July Farmers Markets in Tokyo and Yokohama Regions

Akira Tanada and egg helper of Fresh Egg at the Osonbashi Marche. Summer is here with all of its heat and humidity, which makes it the ideal season for vegetables, herbs, and flowers to get down to the business of growing and ripening. While the rest of us may be a little less inspired, the list of wonderful markets below is surely helpful. Don a sun hat and head on out to see what seasonal treats there are to be found! See you at the market! Greenmarket Sumida **No market until August** Just over the bridge from Senso-ji is the newest market in the heart of the city. A collaborative effort between the local government and the same folks who manage Market of the Sun and Yokohama's Kitanaka Marche,  Greenmarket Sumida  aims to fill the supermarket gap in this old neighborhood. An excellent selection of food trucks nourish weary shoppers while the Beer Truck is often on hand to slake their thirst. 10am to 4pm Asakusa Station Exit the station and cross the river towards th

Thursday Snapshot: Hula hoop Crossing

Always look both ways. There were many things to see and marvel at during our time in Portland, Oregon, and this sign was one of them. We'd just gone on a short hike with a local friend in a local park that marked the tail end of a line of now dormant volcanoes. We were battling jet lag and wanted some time with the big trees that are so emblematic of the Pacific Northwest. This sign made us laugh and look around, fully expecting a hula hoop bearing hiker to emerge on the trail. None did, but it was just a small example of the quirkiness that Portland holds so dear.

Sunday Reading

Office assistants after the dash-by. I know, I know. It should be vegetables or something literary. But aren't' they cute?!? The heat wave settled over the region at the moment leaves little energy, frankly, for anything beyond long naps and trips out for ice cream. A stint at the garden yesterday morning knocked me for a loop until sometime in the early evening. Luckily, with some ice cream and the occasional office assistant dash-by, I do manage to get some reading done. Farming From Internment Camp to Beloved Farm: One Family's Version of Achieving the American Dream at the Munchies is a powerful reminder both of what immigrants have always brought to the United States and the long-term effects of discrimination. The Young Farmers Behind Puerto Rico's Food Revolution at Vogue is uplifting, inspiring, and made me want to dance on the table. (Just drinking coffee, thanks.) Essentially a profile of Rodriguez Besosa, one of the young female farmers leading t