Small new farmer just outside Matsue-Shimane

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MatsueMadness
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Small new farmer just outside Matsue-Shimane

Post by MatsueMadness »

Greetings all, I'm from NZ and my wife is from LA but with Japanese parents, we currently have a 2 year old girl and another one due next May'ish.

Purchased an Akiya about 2 months ago, we are not currently living at the house as the bathroom is a fire heated brick unit that my wife just straight refused and said it's from Totoro so currently doing some renovations and will be moving in in about April once that's done and also when the local daycare has a space open in their new year as well.

New farmer who has a total of 6months experience working on Japan farms and farms in total (did Wwoof'ing for 6 months, 4 in Saitama(completely organic, grew pretty much everything and then sorted and packed and then sold in boxes and sent out, also had about 200+ chickens which was their main export. 1 in Gifu that had about 10 cows, and then just a small vegetable patch for the owners. 1 in Osaka that was a peach orchard with about 5 different fields, we bagged them on the tree and cut grass, missed the processing of them though unfortunately).


It comes with 5 rice fields that are not in our name yet but will be once I can get my license (though I'm not too keen on rice to be honest). Local farmer who has been renting it for the past years is still going to look after it. Also comes with 1 small field that'd I would guesstamate to be about 15metres by 15metres with a shed on the corner already built in. And then some smaller land up near the house that I will use for our own random veggies and fruits. Maybe some chickens as well, would love to have around 10 or so and there is already a shed that I could convert and then add some outdoor area for them (where can I get chicken wire? never seen it at our local Inai, Juntendo or Conans).

I've been thinking of trying EzGro stackable pots and growing some peppers and other things but mainly strawberries so if anyone has some advice I would love any help. Using a liquid fertilizer that in the future I'll try to have semi automated (just drip lines and a timed pump set up).

We also have a hillside that has been terraced and not too sure what I could grow there, fella near us I heard grows Grapes so maybe I could try that with a thin-skin variety. Ugh that's a wall of text so maybe good for now.

If there's anyone local'ish it would be awesome to catch up and talk shit and hopefully learn from you.

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Zasso Nouka
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Small new farmer just outside Matsue-Shimane

Post by Zasso Nouka »

First of all let me say thank you for signing up to Japan Simple Life, we really do appreciate you taking the time to join our little community.

So, what are you thinking of growing in the rice fields ? shouldn't be too difficult converting them into growing something other than rice.

Drip tubes are pretty easy to set up, we use them in our poly tunnels. You'll need to source the tubes and maybe buy a Dosatron to mix the fertliser but it's a fairly easy process.

As for keeping chickens I'd suggest getting an electric fence energiser from Farm Age, they aren't cheap but the quality is good and once you have one installed it will protect your chickens for a very long time.

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Small new farmer just outside Matsue-Shimane

Post by MatsueMadness »

The farmer who is currently renting it and growing rice will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, once I have a couple of years growing on the small plot they said they'd help me sort out the license. They just want to see what I do and how I handle the land I guess? Otherwise, no idea. From what I've heard it is nearly impossible to stop using them for rice, If I had the choice I'd probably chuck some fruit trees in 3 of them, other 2 would be more pot grown tomatoes, peppers, maybe a few smaller raised beds and see if I can make some spicy sauce for my wife and maybe try to sell that.

But I'm completely new to all of this and how to make a little bit of money from the land. I had considered maybe trying microgreens for local boutique restaurants cause there's a few of them around but honestly that's just pipe dreams and seeing "how to make your acre farm profitable" on youtube...

That Dosatron looks interesting, the one's I've seen were more of a plastic 44gallon drum that then just kept re-circulating the mixture until it was really low and then making a new batch in the drum which seemed nice.

When you talk about the electric fence, are you meaning to use it to deter pests? As I looked at their site but there was nothing for chickens. I am planning on building like an enclosed chicken run and then I can lock them into the shed at night

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Small new farmer just outside Matsue-Shimane

Post by Zasso Nouka »

A lot depends on your local area, some municipalities are fine growing fruit or vegetables on former rice fields for others it's completely verboten. A lot depends on the local Nogyou Inkai, agricultural department in your local council and how you get on with them and your neighbours, if people like you and see you are trying hard that will help immensely. In my area so long as you are using the land to grow something they don't really mind what it is but trying to take it out of farming is way harder.

If you want to sell prepared produce, like spicy sauce or other cooked foods you'll need a separate kitchen which will have to be inspected by your local health department. How hard or difficult this is will come down to the individual staff at your location, some are really strict others more liberal. You'll have to go down and chat with them and see what they require.

We use an open loop system for our drip tubes so the water isn't recirculated, you can get an organic liquid fertiliser that's made from fish. It stinks but the plants love it, you wouldn't want to use that in a closed loop system as it would go rancid pretty quickly :lol:

For your chickens there is a plan you can download in the chickens thread to build your own house for them. If you have hakubishin or racoons in your area then you'll need an electric fence as they can dig under netting and hakubishin can even break chicken wire. Run three wires around the chicken area aiming to have the middle wire at nose height, 10,000v delivered to a curious wet nose is a powerful deterrent :D . FarmAge have a guide here for smaller animals Small Animal Fence Setup. You can either go for a battery powered or mains supplied fence if you can run a cable to the chicken area. You can also get automatic door openers that have a light sensor so you don't have to always be there to open or close the door at night. I bought one from a german company AXT Electronic, they offer really good service and can ship replacement parts very quickly if anything goes wrong. They shipped a replacement circuit board that arrived within a few days when mine stopped working after many years of faithful service. Ideally a chicken house should be raised off the ground to stop predators burrowing in to it but if you've got an electric fence that might not be necessary.

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Small new farmer just outside Matsue-Shimane

Post by baragua »

I'm still living in the US, but I'll be near your neck of the woods at the start of next month--just today picked up my visa from the consulate in LA! My wife and I are currently renting a place on the Kurayoshi side of Hiruzen, with the option of buying it if we decide we want to stick around the area. Also kind of a newbie when it comes to growing food, but we did grow a ton of micros over the last year or so. Happy to share what I've learned and also link up once you guys are settled. Looking forward to joining my wife out there and getting to know the area!

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Small new farmer just outside Matsue-Shimane

Post by gonbechan »

Wonderful to have you here and that is an awesome area you are living in.
I think out of all of Japan, the people in the Tottori and Shimane areas are the friendliest.

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Small new farmer just outside Matsue-Shimane

Post by MatsueMadness »

Zasso Nouka wrote:
Wed Nov 17, 2021 7:18 am
A lot depends on your local area, some municipalities are fine growing fruit or vegetables on former rice fields for others it's completely verboten. A lot depends on the local Nogyou Inkai, agricultural department in your local council and how you get on with them and your neighbours, if people like you and see you are trying hard that will help immensely. In my area so long as you are using the land to grow something they don't really mind what it is but trying to take it out of farming is way harder.
That would be awesome as I have no interest in rice, seems like either a shit load of work or needing completely specialized machinery that probably isn't cheap. I understand I might be able to borrow neighbours stuff if I help them back but still not too keen. So if I could swap out rice for some veggies and orchard trees that would be freaking amazing.

The shed that is already there is a sheet-metal sided with a concrete base, will look into the electric fence maybe on the outside run I will make for em and maybe around the shed itself. We have some Inoshishi (spell check)(wild boar), fella near us traps em and butchers them and has offered us some so will be trying that sometime soon hopefully.

Also the fish fertilizer sounds good, has it got everything they need or would I also need to supplement that with something else? Might try the open loop system to start with cause we have a continuously supplied mountain water supply so I could hook up a water pipe to that and run it down, it's about a 10metre elevation change so hopefully that would provide enough pressure to run the open loop.
baragua wrote:
Wed Nov 17, 2021 2:35 pm
I'm still living in the US, but I'll be near your neck of the woods at the start of next month--just today picked up my visa from the consulate in LA! My wife and I are currently renting a place on the Kurayoshi side of Hiruzen, with the option of buying it if we decide we want to stick around the area. Also kind of a newbie when it comes to growing food, but we did grow a ton of micros over the last year or so. Happy to share what I've learned and also link up once you guys are settled. Looking forward to joining my wife out there and getting to know the area!
Oh mate that'd be awesome, never been there only driven past along the coast heading out to the sand dune. It's not too close but maybe within 2 hours drive. Saw your post about moving to Totori as well, hopefully things arrive quickly and work out for you
gonbechan wrote:
Thu Nov 18, 2021 9:16 am
Wonderful to have you here and that is an awesome area you are living in.
I think out of all of Japan, the people in the Tottori and Shimane areas are the friendliest.
Thanks mate, yeah everyone here seems chill and relaxed so I've been enjoying it. Wives family is mostly from the Oki Islands and moved here for the big city life :lol:

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Post by Zasso Nouka »

MatsueMadness wrote:
Thu Nov 18, 2021 2:08 pm
That would be awesome as I have no interest in rice, seems like either a shit load of work or needing completely specialized machinery that probably isn't cheap. I understand I might be able to borrow neighbours stuff if I help them back but still not too keen. So if I could swap out rice for some veggies and orchard trees that would be freaking amazing.
The amount of machinery needed for rice farming is mindblowing and most of it only gets used once a year, all of that needs maintaining and servicing. You might be able to borrow but likely they'll be using the dryer and mill just as you want to use it but if you can do it on a large enough scale you can earn good money but it's a hassle.
MatsueMadness wrote:
Thu Nov 18, 2021 2:08 pm
The shed that is already there is a sheet-metal sided with a concrete base, will look into the electric fence maybe on the outside run I will make for em and maybe around the shed itself. We have some Inoshishi (spell check)(wild boar), fella near us traps em and butchers them and has offered us some so will be trying that sometime soon hopefully.
Inoshishi meat is awesome if you can get it, great in winter nabe or have a go making your own sausages and bacon. Neither are particularly difficult.
MatsueMadness wrote:
Thu Nov 18, 2021 2:08 pm
Also the fish fertilizer sounds good, has it got everything they need or would I also need to supplement that with something else? Might try the open loop system to start with cause we have a continuously supplied mountain water supply so I could hook up a water pipe to that and run it down, it's about a 10metre elevation change so hopefully that would provide enough pressure to run the open loop.
It's a bit nitrogen heavy but if you add other fertilisers to the soil with more phosphorous and potassium before planting it's fine.

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Small new farmer just outside Matsue-Shimane

Post by Chuck2 »

MatsueMadness wrote:
Tue Nov 16, 2021 12:46 pm
Greetings all, I'm from NZ and my wife is from LA but with Japanese parents, we currently have a 2 year old girl and another one due next May'ish.

Purchased an Akiya about 2 months ago, we are not currently living at the house as the bathroom is a fire heated brick unit that my wife just straight refused and said it's from Totoro so currently doing some renovations and will be moving in in about April once that's done and also when the local daycare has a space open in their new year as well.

New farmer who has a total of 6months experience working on Japan farms and farms in total (did Wwoof'ing for 6 months, 4 in Saitama(completely organic, grew pretty much everything and then sorted and packed and then sold in boxes and sent out, also had about 200+ chickens which was their main export. 1 in Gifu that had about 10 cows, and then just a small vegetable patch for the owners. 1 in Osaka that was a peach orchard with about 5 different fields, we bagged them on the tree and cut grass, missed the processing of them though unfortunately).


It comes with 5 rice fields that are not in our name yet but will be once I can get my license (though I'm not too keen on rice to be honest). Local farmer who has been renting it for the past years is still going to look after it. Also comes with 1 small field that'd I would guesstamate to be about 15metres by 15metres with a shed on the corner already built in. And then some smaller land up near the house that I will use for our own random veggies and fruits. Maybe some chickens as well, would love to have around 10 or so and there is already a shed that I could convert and then add some outdoor area for them (where can I get chicken wire? never seen it at our local Inai, Juntendo or Conans).

I've been thinking of trying EzGro stackable pots and growing some peppers and other things but mainly strawberries so if anyone has some advice I would love any help. Using a liquid fertilizer that in the future I'll try to have semi automated (just drip lines and a timed pump set up).

We also have a hillside that has been terraced and not too sure what I could grow there, fella near us I heard grows Grapes so maybe I could try that with a thin-skin variety. Ugh that's a wall of text so maybe good for now.

If there's anyone local'ish it would be awesome to catch up and talk shit and hopefully learn from you.
Hi and welcome,

I can totally relate to having a wife straight out refuse to first live in an newly purchased akiya. Wife's mom made a comment in the beginning that she wouldn't have taken our akiya for free. Haha. It took 5 months of renovations before my wife would live in it. Wife's mom 7years before she would spend a night, and even then I think she didn't sleep well because of fear of seeing a ghost.

We have done pretty much every kind of reno so if you need any advice would be able to hopefully give some.

Looks like you got lots of experience through woofing. Was the peach orchard organic? What colour of bags were you using? I grow grapes and peaches in Hiroshima prefecture inaka for a living. I spray both but I really want to start growing them organically. I irrigate both with drip lines/ timed controller and liquid fertilizer. Lots of times I feel like I know nothing about how to grow them but if you decide to grow them I could give you my advice what I do know.

Good luck with your adventure, having a young family and doing what you're doing is going to be stressful at times, just do what you can and things will turn out ok.

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Post by MatsueMadness »

Chuck2 wrote:
Sun Nov 21, 2021 7:21 am
Hi and welcome,

I can totally relate to having a wife straight out refuse to first live in an newly purchased akiya. Wife's mom made a comment in the beginning that she wouldn't have taken our akiya for free. Haha. It took 5 months of renovations before my wife would live in it. Wife's mom 7years before she would spend a night, and even then I think she didn't sleep well because of fear of seeing a ghost.

We have done pretty much every kind of reno so if you need any advice would be able to hopefully give some.

Looks like you got lots of experience through woofing. Was the peach orchard organic? What colour of bags were you using? I grow grapes and peaches in Hiroshima prefecture inaka for a living. I spray both but I really want to start growing them organically. I irrigate both with drip lines/ timed controller and liquid fertilizer. Lots of times I feel like I know nothing about how to grow them but if you decide to grow them I could give you my advice what I do know.

Good luck with your adventure, having a young family and doing what you're doing is going to be stressful at times, just do what you can and things will turn out ok.

LOL we got lucky with our place, it's pretty solid and no one died in it. But we do have the families graveyard tucked away nearby.

We got connected with an english speaking architect, her and her family do renovations on places and they are helping us out. Mainly, organizing the rebates from the government, and we are doing some earthquake structural work with them (couple of walls to enclose the genkan properly and brace them). I'll be doing everything else but using them for their connections for wood and anything else I need. So that's been a help asking them where to buy stuff, first one been where to get concrete board to place in the bathroom for the tiles. I'll keep your offer in mind though it will come in handy I'm sure.

Not sure but have you seen Tokyo Llama on youtube? He did some Shikkui (spell check), like a limestone plaster. I asked about it and they didn't seem to know too much about it and said it was for outside??? I like the idea of what Llama said about it been anti mould and that it can help with Moisture. Any info you have about that would be good. OR PAINT!!! I've seen some at our local (Innai), Konan had a little bit more of a selection. But from NZ we had dedicated paint stores where the colour selection was complete, multiple shades of the same colour and what not, any idea on that?

About the peach orchard, nah he was the only one who wasn't organic and we spent a couple of days spraying his yards but I can't remember with what. The bags (this was about 6 years back now) were a white paper wax bag. It was pretty much a take off all the small peaches and leave the 1 biggest on each branch and then bag it. Pretty sure he said he got them off amazon (he loved the same day/next day shipping).