Two in one to catch up a bit.
15th ~ 16th May
- After a wet week, it’s sunny and hot again, going on scorching in fact, though the breeze is still cool as we get out into the hills of Gifu.
- At last all the rice has been planted out in our area. This year they seem to be using every available square inch of land – are they anticipating a rice shortage this autumn with the fields of Fukushima knocked out?
- Peas and broad beans: up till last year or so the fresh ones were sold in the supermarket in packets so tiny you could count them, at a ridiculous price, but now they’re more plentiful for some reason. Are the imports of Chinese frozen vegetables being replaced locally? Anyway rice cooked with peas is very good. Just throw in a handful and cook them together.
- Our other dinner item was san sai tempura. San sai means “mountain vegetables” and means the delicious wild shoots you can pick in the spring. Dinner outside wasn’t quite as cold as last week but still a bit chilly.
- Checked the woods, and got two more bamboo shoots.
- After listening to the Lebanese legend Fairuz on the radiowe had a programme of hogaku, or traditional Japanese music. While many other countries have a rich musical tradition – Indonesia, Brazil, the USA… – Japan too has quite a variety of less well-known genres: Hogaku, Minyo, Enka, Kayoukyoku…
- Min. temp. 5°C max. 23°C
22nd ~ 23rd May
- A foretaste of the tsuyu rainy season – humid and hot in Nagoya, chilly at the farm.
- Cobwebs are the theme as we arrive, everywhere you move, there’s one in your face.
- Many bird voices, but still no uguisu – I wonder what’s happened?
- The weeds are growing at an incredible rate, but it’s raining so no weeding done.
- T picked some tea from the fresh shoots on our bushes. Most of it goes unused, but lately she’s found you can dry it with a microwave so we can drink some of the produce of our plantation. This is less ecological than sun-drying I agree, but much quicker.
- Min. temp. 6°C, max. 28°C.