My purchase of the day!
As promised last Sunday I went all the way to Fujinomiya City yesterday to pay a visit to the Hirakakis’ Kitayama organic farm!
Masaaki Hirakaki/平垣正明さん (45) was kind enough to pick me up at the station in his small pick-up truck to drive me all the way to their home across his fields.
Once again it was flaming hot and I certainly appreciated the slight drop in temperature as their fields lie at an altitude of 400 meters at the foot of Mount Fuji (which was lost in the clouds then). Mind you, it can be bitingly cold there in winter!
They grow all kinds of vegetables here and there on plots of land totaling 6,000 square meters!
When you discover all that natural grass (tough to keep in check!) between the rows of vegetables and among them you understand quickly that no insecticides, herbicides or agrichemicals are used there!
I just couldn’t catch all the names of the fancy vegetables, some of them in some kind of Italian. I just sweated too much and was too busy to take pics to jot down all the names! Next time I will take a secretary along…?
Anyway, these chili peppers are a sweet variety!
Common (?) green pepper.
Dwarf violet eggplant/aubergine.
Big and round violet eggplant/aubergine.
The same in its row.
Notice that the ground is protected with black vinyl to keep off insects.
Long and thin “thread eggplants/aubergines”!
Very crunchy and juicy Japanese cucumber!
Sweet potatoes/satsuma imo!
Again tough work to pull off that grass (used as compost later!)!
Beautiful pumpkin with an impossible Italian name!
The same and its flower!
I love all those healthy pumpkin flowers!
Instead of using insecticides or herbicides Masaaki “burns” the soil under vinyl sheets with the help of natural sun light and heat!
There is certainly no lack of pure water constantly flowing from the slopes of Mount Fuji!
Some plants are marked with a ribbon to indicate they are let grow freely to supply next year’s seeds!
Okra flowers are edible!
Big violet okra grown for their seeds!
Masaaki also grows his own rice, half for his own consumption, half for sale!
Have you ever seen rice flowers?
These tomatoes are not let to grow on stalks. They are for cooking, not to be eaten raw!
Sweet white corn field! It has to be protected with nets to fend off rampant civets!
Incredibly sweet and juicy eaten raw!
The Hirakakis (both 45 and so young!) in front of their home they built with their own hands!
Part of the day’s crop on sale!
Their home is such an intelligent jumble of bits and pieces, including some real antiques!
They do have many friends of all ages from all sorts of locations to help them organize regular parties!
Many of them are producers I will soon visit!
Organic shallots left to dry outside.
Rare organic chicken and quail eggs from a friend’s farm!
We actually went back to the fields to pick my favorite banana peppers! Incidentally these grow upwards!
The Hirakakis, professional photographers, moved here from Shizuoka City 6 years ago.
At the time Kiko had a pet rabbit she fed with organic carrot leaves grown by a friend.
They started to grow organic carrots for the pet, which developed into full-fledged organic agriculture!
Little beauties, aren’t they?
Tomatoes for cooking!
Kiko san fried the same tomatoes with olive oil, a little salt and pepper and cheese!
So sweet and delicious!
We ate them with these enormous organic sweet basil leaves!
I purchased all these for my friends in their izakaya!
Aki Suzuki/鈴木朋さん at Yasaitei/やさい亭 in Shizuoka City!
She does not look too happy, not because of the beautiful vegetables she holds, but because I caught her on a busy day! LOL
Can you guess which ones I brought?
To be continued…. I mean these trips to Fujinomiya City!
Kitayama Organic Farm
Masaaki and Kiko Hirakaki
418-0112 Fujinomiya Shi, Kitayama, 3102
Mobile phone: 090-2261-8821
Orders accepted according to personal priorities and seasonal availability!
RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES
With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento
Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery