Asami Itoh/伊藤麻実さん, the young owner/manager of Marufuku Tea Comppany/丸福製茶株式会社 in Shizuoka City had been experimenting with organic tea for quite some time with her late father Bunji/伊藤文治さん.
Yesterday I was invited to the first picking/Ichiban Cha ever in a new field she had developed in view to produce more organic tea.
Asami with a friend and one of her veteran employees!
For this special occasion she had invited many of her close friends for this first ever harvest in her new field!
The new field is located in high altitude, about 600 meters, along the River Abe in Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Hirano/静岡市葵区平野 in a field called Ogi Hatake/扇畑!
Even at this high altitude the fields have to be constantly protected from the damage caused by wild boars, deer and what else!
When I arrived at 9:00 some people already busy hand-picking the tea sunder the supervision of Japan Agriculture Department inspector!
Asami does not like things being half done!
When devising her new field she also had a wooden house built for tea harvest storage and even modern toilets on top of water and electricity!
Plenty of space for a car park, too!
Firewood for the colder season when fields have to be cleaned and tended!
Some of the morning harvest when I arrived!
Asami had planted some rosemary along the tea fields as she intends to market a scented tea in the future!
The part of tea field where I was going to contribute to the harvesting!
Can you see the new leaves on the trees!
Each new leaves have to be selected with eye and touch before being twisted out (not pinched out) by hand!
Tea leaves in my own basket!
An employee came regularly among us to receive individual harvests!
It was a hot day even in the morning at this high altitude!
Two more employees were tallying the crop safely stored away from the sun inside the shed!
The forty of us had harvested no less than 100 kg by noon!
In the evening I received good news from an e-mail sent by Asami:
Apparently the tea has been judged of high quality and will be submitted to a National Judge Panel!
Asami is convinced this is the fruit of the friendship of all the people who turned up to participate to this first ever crop!
Marufuku Tea Factory (Owner: Ms. Asami Itoh)
420-0006 Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Wakamatsu, Cho, 25
CHA-O (Director, Ms. Asami Itoh)
420-0006 Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Wakamatsu Cho, 94
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