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Showing posts from February, 2020

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