As we continue with composting which we started last year, we have decided to participate in CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) from this year as well. This is a new initiative from 4Nature Co., Ltd., which also operates [1.2mile community compost], another initiative we participated in.

There are several options for CSA but we chose a small farm in Chiba prefecture. A female farmer manages the farm by herself, and this time I participated in the form of farming assistance in order to deepen knowledges and ideas with everyone.

As you can see, vegetables made without pesticides are growing in the field, which is as large as 8,000 m2, and canola flowers are in full bloom at this time of year. For someone like me living in the city, this feeling of openness is irresistible and impressive. An environment surrounded by nature gives a sense of relaxation to so many of us living in a stressed society.

The day started with weeding carrots.

The seeds were planted a month ago, and now you can see pretty leaves growing a little by little. Of course, weeding does not mean spraying medicine!  As you can see in the photo, what you do is, find the carrot leaves in the weeds and pay attention so that you only pull out the weeds. This is a very labor intensive  task. My back was hurting and some time I accidentally pulled out the carrot leaves. It really makes you understand how hard it is to grow vegetables without pesticides.  

Once the morning work is over, in the afternoon we planted  beets.

It was my first time to see beet seeds and everyone including myself were all surprised to see that the beet seeds weren't round. I hope that next time I come, I will find the beet seeds budding! 

Once the planting was done, next was to harvest the vegetables!  We got to harvest seasonal vegetables such as kale, canola flowers, turnips, Japanese mustard spinach etc.

I also got the salad set which was recommended by the farm. It was very rich in flavor and tasty!

In addition, the landowner's grandfather kindly guided us to the bamboo shoots where we were able to dig the bamboo shoots, and we were even able to bring some home.

Bamboo is said to be a sustainable resource, but if it is left unmaintained, it can lead to lost of photosynthesis which will kill other plants. Furthermore, since the roots grow laterally, it is said that if they do not coexist in a well-balanced manner with other trees, the ground will loosen and landslides will easily occur.

In any case, we should not forget the basic principle; the best vegetables are the freshly picked ones, but only take and eat what is necessary. 

In the future, we have plans to grow vegetables with the compost that everyone has made. What kind of vegetables should we grow? I'm really looking forward to our next plans.

Touch the soil with your bare hands and feel the earth.

Understand the fact that we need to live within the ecosystems; work together with the micro organisms and insects inside the soils and ground. 

Are you interested in such initiatives? Why not join CSA?