About Me

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 as well as climate change and 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.

こんにちは、ライターのジョーン ランバート ベイリーです。日本の食材や農業、ファーマーズマーケットについて書いてます。私の信条は、地域社会の不在や不足、環境破壊から気候変動肥満に至るまで、世界のあらゆる問題の現実的な解決策は小規模農業にあるということ。四季を通じて同じ土地をまさに何千年もの間耕してきた日本の農家の方々の知恵世界中で共有・伝授できるものであると私は考えており、その普及の一翼を担いたいと願っています。

But I'm biased. I worked on a local, organic farm in Tokyo nearly every day for five years. Keeping my hands dirty there was 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 have worked 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 was hardly a meal made in my house that didn't include something from that green square of earth five minutes from my apartment and the train station both by bicycle.

しかし、私は偏っています。[KF1] 東京で暮らした5ほぼ毎日、地元の有機農土いじりに汗水流していました。私にとって手を泥まみれにして働くことは、ずっと昔に米国ミシガン小さな地方農場(母の菜園、という言い方もできます)でわくわくしながら始めた農作業の続きであり、ありがたいことにその経験がいまだに私の生きざまと考え方を形作っています。東京で[KF2] 最高に親切な仲間2人と一緒に土をいじり、畑の実りだけでなく、農作業や人生について思うことからレシピまで、多くを分け合ってもらえたことは本当に幸運でした。住んでいたアパートと最寄り駅から自転車で5分のところにある農園でとれた食材を使わずに家で料理をした日などほとんどないと言っていいくらいです。

Here in Kanagawa, the tradition continues. I've started preparing the soil in a community garden plot and chatting with my fellow gardeners about growing techniques, seeds, and you guessed it, recipes. While I'm working on a smaller scale, it is no less exciting and satisfying.


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. I 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 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 about guided visits to farmers markets, supermarkets, or about food and farming in general, feel free to send a note to joandbailey (at) gmail dot com. I'd be glad to hear from you.

ファーマーズマーケットやスーパーマーケットへのガイド付き見学、また食や農一般についてお問い合わせがありましたらjoandbaileyatgmail dot com までお気軽にご連絡ください。心よりおちしております

Take a look at my author website, too!

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Unknown said...

Hello Joan,

I'm Lisa and I'll be moving to Kyoto with a vegan friend for an exchange year.
Do you have any knowledge of organic farms/markets in the Kansai area?

Thank you for what you are doing.

Joan Lambert Bailey said...

Hi Lisa, Yes, I do! I wrote an article for Kansai Scene not too long ago about a few different options. Here is a link to the article. https://www.kansaiscene.com/2014/01/growing-momentum/

I think what you might find the most useful will be the list of places to buy these products near the end. Good luck and let me know what you find!

Kunjika said...

Hello Joan,
Could you tell me of some organic/non organic farms in Japan?
ones in country side.
I need a list of some family run, independent run farms in rural Japan.
Similar to the list one sees on workaway and WWOOF websites.
your help will be appericiated
thank you :)

Joan Lambert Bailey said...

Hi Kunjika,

Such a list is pretty hard to compile. I think the ones you see on WWOOF are a good start. You could also look at some of the websites of the farmers markets I list here and go to each farm's site. Good luck!

JJWalsh/Inbound Ambassador said...

Love this bilingual introduction of your background Joan!
Keep up the good work!

Joan Lambert Bailey said...

Thank you!