We're a member of Cats Street Farming, which is a small community based in Harajuku, Shibuya that aims to promote community involvement and circular economy. As part of this activity, seasonal vegetables and herbs are grown on the roof of a building in the Harajuku area and chefs in the neighborhood can come and visit as well as harvest the vegetables for use at their shop.
We were able to harvest a lot of Shiso (Perilla) from the roof top garden so we had a Shiso juice workshop which we participated as a family. It was a great experience for our son as well!
Shiso has a strong fertility, and last year's seeds grew naturally. They grow quickly as long as they have abundant sunshine and water. As you can see in the picture some of the red Shiso doesn't look as red as the others. That's because those harvest time passed and the red subsided. But not to worry, they can be used and so fragrant!
The first step is to remove the harvested red shiso leaves from the branches. A lot of leaves are needed to make shiso juice, so it's quite a hard work! However, it was fun and fast as we worked on it together and talked while moving our hands
Next step is to wash the shiso leaves. It's a necessary step even if it is hard work as it is important to remove the soil and any insects hiding on the leaves or the soil.
Now the fun part! Boil water in a large pot and add the shiso leaves. We were surprised and amazed amazed at how quickly the color came out. Remove the leaves and voila! A beautiful pink base is completed. After that, add apple cider vinegar and adjust the taste to your liking with sugar and/or lemon juice.
Here's the finished Shiso juice. Isn't the color beautiful? It also tasted great especially knowing that the Shiso leaves came from our roof top garden where we helped grow and harvest by the community members.
We're hoping to challenge ourselves to make Shiso juice at home next year.
Interested in the activities of Cats Street Farming? Check out the Instagram here : @cats_streetfarming