|Me all giddy at the Kamakura Farmers Market|
My name is Joan Lambert Bailey, and I write about food, farming and farmers markets in Japan. I believe small farms are a very real answer to all that ails our world from a lack of community to environmental degradation and climate change to obesity. Farming the same land season after season for literally thousands of years makes me think Japanese farmers have much to share with the rest of the world (and probably to learn, too), and I'd like to help facilitate that.
But I'm biased. I work on a local, organic farm in Tokyo nearly every day. Keeping my hands dirty there is a continuation of a farming adventure that started eons ago on a little farm in rural Michigan (or my mothers garden, depending on how you look at it), and thankfully continues to shape my life and thinking. I'm lucky enough to work alongside two of the nicest people in the world who share the fruits of their fields, their thoughts on farming and life, and recipes galore. There's hardly a meal made in my house that doesn't include something from that green square of earth five minutes from my apartment and the train station both by bicycle.
Needless to say then, I take every opportunity I can to sample Japanese food, try out traditional recipes and then put my own twist on them, talk to farmers and producers wherever I am in my ever-so-slowly-improving Japanese, and then share what I find here. With a bit of initiative, map-reading, a phrasebook, and a little bit of time, it's more than possible to find good, locally grown food anywhere – from Tokyo to Osaka to Hokkaido and beyond – in Japan. I can help you get out there to find it, learn how to make it, and maybe even to grow it yourself.
If you'd like to contact me feel free to send a note to joandbailey at gmail dot com. I'd be glad to hear from you.