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Showing posts from 2020

Greetings from Japan Farmers Markets in the Time of Covid

Me, on a recent bike ride, feeling giddy about rice harvesting.  I thought it might be a good time to write a note stating that I am still here monitoring markets , eating veg in interesting ways, finding interesting people to write about , and scoping out farms and farmers. You can find more of that at my Instagram and Twitter, too . This page has not been updated for some time as I've had some family stuff occupying my time, but that is humming away at a dull roar at the moment. So, while I can, I'm going to set to work on updating market openings, sharing recipes, and general foodly fun. Get ready for...the usual!

Tokyo and Yokohama Regional Farmers Markets During COVID-19

MomoG Farm at Farmers Market @UNU! Since Prime Minister Abe declared a national emergency on April 7 in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. He recently renewed it until May 31; however, there may be some gradual reopenings depending on how the number of cases goes. The upshot is that restaurants, parks, and other non-essential venues were asked to temporarily close their doors, and many companies made it possible for their employees to work from home. (The government cannot force businesses to close.) Some places, however, chose to remain open with limited hours or only to offer take-out or some other variation on their services. Farmer's markets around the region have followed a similar variety of paths. Some are closed completely while others operate with limited vendors and hours. Markets are listed alphabetically rather than my usual order-of-opening listing. The below information is as I know of it as of this writing. If you happen to go, I'd love to hear ab

March Farmers Markets in Tokyo and Yokohama Regions

Not farmers, but a group of folks that would love the markets as much as I do. Akatsuki-no-kai from Tsugaru, Aomori makes traditional foods from their region in an effort to preserve their delicious culinary history.  Spring is in the air, and while worries of the virus are around, nature continues on her course. One of the best ways to stay healthy is to eat whole fruits, vegetables, and grains, and one of the best places to find those is at a farmers market. There is something to be said, too, for the good feeling that comes with meeting others and building community. If we aren't connected, we are not healthy. So, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, and head out to one of these great markets. Then, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water when you get home, too, before preparing something wonderful with what you find. Market of the Sun Saturday, March 14 and Sunday, March 15 Market of the Sun (a.k.a. Taiyo Marche)  professes to be one of the la

Heirloom and Open-pollinated Seeds in Japan

Smoke Signals, an heirloom popcorn, whose seeds I save and replant. Since moving to Japan eleven 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 F1 varieties. 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 golden paste tomato, the resulting generation of fruit is F1. In order to get that tomato of my culinary dreams, I will choose members of that first generation after the cross that are headed in a direction I like, such as early ripening, medium-sized fruit, and good taste, and save their seeds. The next spring, I will plant them and repeat the proces

February Farmers Markets in Tokyo and Yokohama

MomoG Farm at the UNU Market with his amazing veg. Note the popcorn in the upper right. No slouch! A new year is well underway, and farmers markets are up and running around Tokyo and Yokohama. I'll be posting more about my thoughts and ideas for this space, but for now, here is a schedule of where the best seasonal fruit and veg hunting is to be had. Enjoy and hope to see at the marekt! Market of the Sun Saturday, February 8 and Sunday, February 9 Market of the Sun (a.k.a. Taiyo Marche)  professes to be one of the largest, and it is certainly a good one. A short walk from Tsukiji Market and its wonderful surrounds, this market is worth a visit for its lovely selection of foodly and crafty items that rivals the goodies found at the UNU Market. 10am to 4pm Step out of Kachidoke Station at Exits A4a or A4b and look for the tents. Koenji Farmers Market Saturday, February 15* Spotted a handful of years ago while riding the Chuo Line,  this little market  i