Hey everyone

Please introduce yourself
taro83
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2021 5:18 pm

Hey everyone

Post by taro83 »

My name is Julian and I was invited to this forum / board from a reddit comment I posted, seems like an interesting place to exchange information.

I have been living in Japan for tthe last 13 years (with a couple of short impasses) and doing organic farming in different scales for the past 10.

Located for the last 5 years in Hokkaido, living near a small fishermans village of under 100 habitants.

Hopefully I can contribute a bit here and there.

User avatar
Zasso Nouka
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 4203
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 am
Location: Chiba Prefecture
Has thanked: 3683 times
Been thanked: 3026 times

Hey everyone

Post by Zasso Nouka »

Welcome to Japan Simple Life Julian and thank you very much for signing up, we really do appreciate you taking the time to join our little community.

Hokkaido sounds like it's got a pretty good climate for farming through the main season and then a good cold winter to kill off any insect pests that build up over the summer. What do you have growing right now ?

User avatar
gonbechan
Founder
Founder
Posts: 1937
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:10 am
Has thanked: 2404 times
Been thanked: 1357 times

Hey everyone

Post by gonbechan »

So lovely to have you here Julian. Looking forward to reading about your adventures in Hokkaido.

taro83
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2021 5:18 pm

Hey everyone

Post by taro83 »

Zasso Nouka wrote:
Wed Aug 18, 2021 6:02 am
Hokkaido sounds like it's got a pretty good climate for farming through the main season and then a good cold winter to kill off any insect pests that build up over the summer. What do you have growing right now ?
The growing season is rather short, I am located on the western side of Hokkaido so we rarely get any typhoons reaching us. This year however I wish we had some typhoon since we had a nearly two months long drought.

I grow mostly for self sufficiency and to give to friends and family members, from this year I am attempting to shift towards a core of perennials and less annuals with a special focus on fruits.

As annuals I have right now:

Tomatoes
Eggplants
Zucchinis
Pumpkins
Ingen mame
Sora mame
snapend mame
Peppers
Paprika
Cucumbers
Mini Melons
Sweet potatoes
Mizuna
Lettuce
Komatsuna
Celery
Basil
Parsley
Okra
Peanuts
Daikon
Radishes

Dont do Carrots / Potatoes / Corn / Onion and Garlic since my close friend does them commercially and I get huge amounts of organic produce from them that cant be sold.

As Perennials:

Kale
Sorrel
Asparagus
New Zealand Spinach
An ungodly amount of Negi varieties
Sun chokes
Nettles
Potato Beans
Air Potatoes
Musk Mallow
Licorice
Udo
Mitsuba
Black Burdock
Chorogi
Okawakame
Chicory

And fruits its too many, I got about 25 different ones and plan to expand to about 40 within two years.
I am sure I forgot a bunch of other vegetables too....

User avatar
Zasso Nouka
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 4203
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 am
Location: Chiba Prefecture
Has thanked: 3683 times
Been thanked: 3026 times

Hey everyone

Post by Zasso Nouka »

Good grief, looking at that list makes me green with envy :crying-yellow: , over half of the leafy vegetables you have growing are impossible here during the summer without huge amounts of pesticides or protection from the elements. We spent a small fortune on asparagus crowns only to have them all wiped out during a particularly wet summer and trying to grow lettuce through July and August can be especially dispiriting as you watch them rot away in the rain or flower almost immediately after germinating, same for chicory.

I've lost count of the number of fruit trees we've lost to kamikirimushi :crying-yellow:

taro83
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2021 5:18 pm

Hey everyone

Post by taro83 »

Yeah, weather makes a huge dent in your intentions when you are farming.

I found that the key point is planning accordingly, I haven't had problems loosing crops at all.

While it's true that we benefit here with the ease of growing certain things we also do have a much smaller roster of things we can grow simply because the growing season is too short and frost is a real threat.

In the case of Asparagus I would recommend you to give it another shot, this time forget about buying crowns and plant them from seeds directly its not only cheaper but the plants will be way more resilient although it will take an extra year to be able to harvest produce it's a very good trade off.

On the subject of fruit trees the way to go is to plant them nearby other varieties that you dont care about and they prefer over your fruit trees, I manage my fruits like a forest.

User avatar
Zasso Nouka
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 4203
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 am
Location: Chiba Prefecture
Has thanked: 3683 times
Been thanked: 3026 times

Hey everyone

Post by Zasso Nouka »

The plus side for us is we can grow leafy vegetables from the autumn right through until summer again but it's during the summer that I personally most want to eat salad.

We since found out that all the asparagus grown successfully around us is in vinyl houses to protect them from the rain during the summer, then the houses have the plastic removed so the plants experience the cold during winter and the plastic goes back on just before the rainy season starts.

We're surrounded by forest which provides and ideal staging ground for kamikirimushi to live and invade our trees, mikans seem invulnerable (maybe the wood is too hard ?) and yuzu do well but soft fruit is an insect magnet.