Takeshi Ichikawa/市川武史 (22 years old!)
The Western part of Shizuoka Prefecture is also called the greatest garden of Japan by many for good reasons.
Not so much for the quantity but for the extravagant quality and abundance of varieties!
A lot of devoted farmers and cooperating researchers from all fields have contributed to this amply justified reputation, but all this work would have come to nought without an emerging new generation, the more for it that the previous generation was practically lost to the lure of towns and desk jobs.
Takeshi Ichikawa and one of his clients, Chef Hiroyuki Adachi/足立久幸 at Harmony!
Fortunately times have changed, and with the advent of the Internet more young people are attracted to a healthier life, however physically strenuous it might prove.
That is why more and more young men and women like Takeshi Ichikawa, instead of wasting time at universities where students are increasingly losing their goals, prefer to learn and study through real experience and enjoy the joys of true social life with their peers and customers.
Takeshi Ichikawa ‘s outdoors corn fields!
Takeshi Ichikawa, after graduating from Iwata Prefceture Agriculture High School, decided neither to continue school or succeed to his father as a Nashi/Japanese pear producer, but to start his own corn and lettuce cultivation. At the age of 22 he already has 5 years of experience and is still learning fast!
It was never easy, especially considering the resistance of older generations to changes. He has been trying for some time to encourage young farmers like him to venture into new types of culture including poly-culture. He told me that still too few are allowed by their families to move that step forward…
That crow has become a real scarecrow!
But Takeshi has stayed humble all the time. He fully realizes he still has lots to learn. He couldn’t believe me when I told him crows are found all over the world!
These corn ears in the outdoors fields will soon be harvested!
Takeshi grows two varieties of corn, kankan Musume and SKA 318, both Japanese hybrids, both in greenhouses and outdoors for a longer harvesting season.
This means very few holidays during the year. Fortunately for him his school sweetheart has become his wife and she has become the true half of their farming team.
I was invited inside their home and I can tell you these two are really young at heart and certainly more modern and world-conscious than many people of their age!
That is what I call real corn!
Takeshi is appalled at the idea that some people use gene-modified corn and will replant corn only from his own crop!
These kankan musume corn are a real beauty not only in shape and color but in taste.
I tasted them both raw (juicy and so sweet!) and cooked. No wonder they fetch a good price on the market!
Takeshi does not rest on his laurels and grows other vegetables like Qing geng cai (Green pak choi) to answer market demands and his own consumption.
They certainly look appetizing, but once again it looks like a lot of work!
His education at a top-class agricultural high school is paying off as he is conducting his own experiments on potential crops!
But this does not mean he is rejecting his own roots: he grows his own rice!
I told him it reminded me of an English lawn!
Now, Takeshi’s father is a renown grower of nashi/Japanese pears with fields dispersed all over the city!
A proof that his kosui/幸水 and hosui/豊水 are popular is that he sells them exclusively on a direct-sale basis!
These trees are 30 years old!
These fruits need constant pruning, a back-breaking and neck-twisting work if there is one!
These fruit will be ripe next August!
I do not need telling you when I’m paying my next visit to Takeshi! (and his father!)
Takeshi Ichikawa/Chouchou Farm
438-0804 Shizuoka Ken, Iwata Shi, Kamo, 200
Corn: June~July (May for greenhouse)
Japanese pears/nashi: August~September
Rice: Middle of September
Other vegetables (please call for more information!)
Private orders welcome!
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