Life in Japan, food, music, whatever…

Farmlog 8th~9th May 2011 19 May, 2011

Filed under: countryside,food & drink — johnraff @ 2:31 pm
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  • Opened the car boot to load in bags and noticed how much the temperature has just gone up – inside the car the air was nice and cool, without any use of the air conditioner.
  • A beautiful day for speed-trapping, and there they were with their white motobikes, in their favourite spot, hauling in a middle-aged lady.
  • The May sun can be quite fierce – there’s a lot of UV out there too, which you don’t notice because of the cool wind so you can get burnt easily.
  • Wild wisteria out in the hills, azaleas, flowers come out one after another – spring is busy. Busy for us too – trees to be pruned, weeds to be cut, and the field where the chillies will be planted has to be dug up. That last job should have been done last autumn, leaving time now for the other stuff…
  • Got some mustard greens (karashina) at the 100yen stand. These have a nice hotness when raw, or pickled in salt, but are also good stir-fried, when the mustardy taste goes.
  • More and more voices around the house – frogs, a strange mournful bird like an owl an octave higher, another one has a beautiful call with a delicate fall at the end, as if it was speaking Thai… but no uguisu yet.
  • Lots of flies.
  • Dinner outside for the first time – a bit chilly but OK if you sit near the fire.
  • There wasn’t much rain last week, but in the woods behind the house there was one bamboo shoot. I made an Indian pickle with the crunchy part, and T cooked the rest with soy sauce, fish flakes and a couple of sansho leaves. Sansho has a sharp lemony smell but has a strange affinity with freshly dug bamboo shoot. Both seem to have an oddly creamy undertone, if that makes any sense…
  • Min temp 5°C max 24°C

Farmlog 15th March 2010 20 March, 2010

Filed under: countryside — johnraff @ 2:31 pm
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An absolutely beautiful Sunday – warm and sunny without a cloud in the sky, just a bit of that Spring haze creeping in. There’s a women’s marathon or something in town today, so we have to get off to an early start to miss the roadblocks. I really don’t see the appeal of running for 40-some kilometres, but there always seems to be one going on somewhere and the TV lap it up. It makes for cheap content I suppose.

The mountains are still covered with snow and on a day like this you get some great views on the way out. Out at the house the stream is softly chuckling under an “ume” with still only a few flowers, though others down the road are now in full bloom. A couple of lizards enjoying the sun in front of the house – just woken up I suppose. No birds to be heard though – are they taking the afternoon off?

Spring weather is changeable and Monday’s cloudy. The birds are back though: a flock of tits and an “uguisu” getting warmed up for its Summer warbling. Those migrants we saw in the Winter are gone I think. Now the digging’s done, it’s pruning – first the “tsuge” in front of the house into a vaguely Japanese shape, then the tea bushes somewhat rounder and less straggly. Tea if left to itself will grow huge and impossible to pick. We don’t pick more than a handful or two at the moment, but I still clip the bushes now and then just to keep them in some kind of usable condition. Just in case.

I don’t think there’ll be any more really hard frost, so no need to drain off the water system this time before leaving. It should be OK now till December, but in Winter if you leave the water in it’ll burst the pipes.

There’s rain coming this evening.

min temp -2°C max 14°C


Farmlog 13th July 2009 18 July, 2009

Filed under: countryside — johnraff @ 2:44 pm
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  • Gets hotter and stickier all the time. This week the theme was damp. Sticky, squelchy, slippery, slimy, squishy… You get the idea. Water somehow naturally appears on surfaces, just out of the air. Mould everywhere – anyway, as long as it’s not actually raining you can see why we prefer to have dinner outside.
  • The Snake Incident!
  • The uguisu was singing away all weekend.
  • Minimum temp. 20°C, mavimum 26°C.

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