Foods are imported and exported all over the world now, and it is amazingly convenient to buy and eat various kinds of dishes. On the other hand, it is difficult for people living in urban environments to touch the soil: producing district of vegetables.
The NPO “Omosiro-Nogyo”, which means “fun farming” in Japanese, is giving opportunities to urban residents to understand about agriculture. What they’re aiming is not only making communication between people, but also trying to save the food culture in Japan.
Rice-planting tour at farmer’s place
Based in Kansai region – known as Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo Prefecture and more – “Omosiro-Nogyo” mainly organizes 2 projects, the rooftop community garden and farm tours.
The garden costs 3,000yen (about $30) a month for renting 1m2 size. Including advices for cultivating soil, growing vegetables are given if requested from members.
The tour styles are widely arranged formal to casual, such as rice-planting and harvesting, visiting farmers to have conversations, or sometimes hold a BBQ party with fresh foods!
Shinnosuke Katagiri, a representative of “Omosiro-Nogyo”, used to be working at a department store for 12 years. He explains about the unforgettable moment which made him feel a sense of danger against food culture in Japan.
When I was lining up fish at a department store, one lady asked me “how much is that horse mackerel?”. And what lady was pointing at was NOT horse mackerel, but “mackerel”.
Imagine packing beef and pork packages without any labels at the supermarket. Can you tell the difference?
This may sounds like a joke, but Katagiri experienced similar situation. Therefore, in these days people is lack of knowledge about food and also lack of interest against food. “THAT is the crisis of food culture in Japan”, Katagiri said.
“Omosiro-Nogyo” is not trying to raise the number of farmers, but to increase people’s concerns about the background of our daily meals. So that the “real good foods” can be preserved for the future generations.
Helping children farm at medical center in Osaka.
The tour even covers fishing industry!
How about your foods? Giving just a bit of attention to where it came from and how it’s produced, would help to enjoy the taste and spend valuable time.
[via Greenz.jp written by Kensuke Akashi]
[English Text by Yoshikazu Eri]