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Kitchen Garden Japan: Largely self-sufficient, Tom farms, Izumi cooks, Kento throws our organic fruit and vegetables at the wall. Haruto mainly gurgles and sleeps.

Kitchen Garden Japan


The quake just didn’t reach it this far. And nor, too, did the tsunami. The outlying island of Shikoku, home of Masanobu Fukuoka, an influence whose book “The One-Straw Revolution” partly inspires this project, blocked and diffused the wave. By the time it reached here, the wall of water was thankfully a mere 20cm high.

And now you know why...

Fukuoka’s message is most easily explained by his food mandala, pictured below, in which he advocates growing and eating seasonal foods. It’s not rocket science, just common sense, but it is sense that society’s “I want this and I want it now” culture overlooks all too easily. It’s all about harnessing seasons:

Round and round

So in the orchard, we’ve planted with eyes on succession; taranome, loquats, and cherries segue into apricots, plums and peaches, before passing to apples and akebi and pears and olives and chestnuts before the cold-weather citrus kicks in, with grapefruit, citron, mandarin oranges, lemons, limes, Seville oranges and kumquats. There’s fun stuff in there, too; daffs, iris, gladiolai, tulips, cinnamon, azaleas, butturburr and butterfly bushes, all trying to close that circle, trying to create a natural, enjoyable year-round food-source cycle.

The project within the project I was working on when the quake struck was trying to innovately insert grapes into our mandala by creating an arbor; a place for blossom-viewing and hammocks, for summer shade, for the DJ’s that come and play, for playing with the kids, and maybe even snatching a sneaky kiss (not with the DJ’s, mind you). It was, like the entire orchard project is itself, a labour of love.


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