October, 2011

Halloween Gift Thanks

A little late, but Mona says “Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa” for the halloween package. Here are some (long) videos of Mona opening it. The photo above is some of Mona’s artwork with the stickers Mom sent, and modeling the new jack-o-lantern socks (from Grandma) in middle of the isle at a hardware store in a [...]


They say that rice is a crop of eighty-eight steps. At least at some time in history it was – and some day I will go into detail about every step that we have taken it upon ourselves to experience. Off-hand, I can think of about twenty-five, but I am not sure what exactly counts [...]

Comments Open

Astute readers may notice that the photos are bigger. Yes, I have finally upgraded to new WordPress blogging software. The private little hack I made to my ten-year-old? Movable Type installation served me well and I hardly got any comment spam until last year. Unfortunately I am not as technologically adept as I once was, [...]


Mukago translates as “Snack-gift of the gods”. Well, not really, but it should. I actually couldn’t find an English translation, so I will name it “little baby potatoes that grow in the vines of yama-imo (mountain potatoe)”. They grow wild all over the place and it’s hard to step foot outside this time of year [...]

Rice Field in October

I spent a few hours yesterday gathering rice husks from the local de-husking center, where everyone takes their rice to be de-husked. Here people make them into charcoals and spread them into the fields as fertilizer. We did that the past three years, but this year decided to drop the charcoal step and just dump [...]

What Gaijin Eat

Its time again, after spending a few days in a hospital eating what must be the worst food I have ever had in Japan. Even the rice was inedible without adding a smuggled-in packet of instant chazuke and some hot tea. I myself was only there for a few days so I was able to [...]

Parents of the Year

Wait… Lets get a closer look at that… Mona came with us to the rice field again today. Aside from stealing a neighbor’s apples she was a perfect angel. AND she her debut entry into the local poultry-slam chicken fighting contest. It wasn’t supposed to be “to the death” but the chickens owner let it [...]

Soba Harvest

Yesterday we had lunch at a friends shack in the mountains. He spends his summers up there off-the-grid. His plumbing is the river and a composting toilet. He has the outdoor bath heated by the sun or wood stove that I have been dreaming of for years now, and access to enough field space for [...]

Farming? Gardening? Playing?

We “farm” enough for our own consumption, to give away to friends, and have some leftover to feed guests and experiment with some unique products to go on sale soon. The very small scale allows us to do much of the farming by hand, which also means that we have little need to purchase the [...]

Help Wanted (“Will you be my friend?”, asks Mona)

Help Wanted. Pass it on, please. Permalink To This Post We are finally getting around to applying for status as an official WWOOFer host (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) – despite the fact that our farm will soon be covered with snow for six months. Of course you need not be a paying WWOOF member [...]