Monday, February 11, 2008

Imperial Household's organic farms

Japan's Imperial Household is an institution that is supposed to take care of the Emperor and his responsibilities as head of state. They also run seven farms around Japan.

I got interested and checked it out - and found out that the farms are in fact organic, not using chemical pesticides or fertilizers. Yokota Tetsuji has written several books about the food served at Imperial events, with insights about organic farming and the Goryou Bokujou traditions and its history (He also wrote about the Imperial duck farms and how to protect them from bird flu).

Young Japanese organic farmers are also blogging about the Imperial farms, and they have participated in conferences together.

In Europe, Prince Charles is well known for his support for organic agriculture. I really wish the Japanese would be more outspoken when they actually do something really good, like this.

From the Imperial Household Agency website Goryo Bokujo (Imperial Stock Farm):

The Imperial Stock Farm is situated approximately 13km north-east of central Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture. At the farm, the main activities are arable farmings and stock breedings, which includes rearing of riding horses and carriage horses for the Imperial Family and for the Court functions, raising other livestocks and poultry, and producing such as milk, meat and eggs for the use of the Imperial Family and domestic and foreign guests. The farm is also used for the reception for the diplomatic missions resident in Japan.

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