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Rakiura
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Post by Rakiura »

Hi all, I’m a simple-lifer in southern Osaka not too far from where Osaka prefecture ends and Wakayama prefecture begins. I’ve been living here in this area for 14 years on a 170 tsubo section with a beastly jungle corner which is hard to tame, weedy lawns, untamed trees. I like gardening but the weather makes it hard. I spend the bulk of my time pruning! But it’s a mess. :shifty:
Like many here, I had dreams of renovating an old house and opening a cafe. That was a hard thing to do but I took some action last year to get closer to that idea.
Last year I enrolled in a program to learn how to grow organic vegetables. That finished in February 2020 and I then rented my own 12 sq.m plot from the same organization to continue my hands-on learning. The advisors are there to help on weekends. It’s a lot of fun.
In addition last year I opened an online store which is the first phase in getting to have an actual store/cafe. To be honest I can’t see the cafe happening - it’s such a lot of work.
For the purposes of this group I’d love to share and learn about gardening and growing stuff. Covid 19 meant I got started later than expected at my new plot so I’ve only got a couple of tomatoes, peppers, edamame, cucumbers, and sweet potatoes. Time to think ahead to winter though.
Other than that I’m a mum with two sons, one at uni in Tokyo and the other at junior high.
Thanks for having me!

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Zasso Nouka
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Post by Zasso Nouka »

Welcome to Japan Simple Life Rakiura and thank you very much for signing up, we really do appreciate that.

Don't worry too much about your jungle our farm looks like one for most of the year :oops:, it's a constant battle against weeds and insects. The organic vegetable course sounds quite a good idea, it's even better that you can rent land from them and get continued support from them. Always nice to have someone with more experience on hand if you run into anything later on.

@donguri has her own restaurant I think so she may be to offer some advice if you do go ahead with your cafe. Mrs Nouka also runs a cafe at the weekends on our farm but she doesn't log into JSL all that often.

Now is a good time to be preparing for autumn/winter growing if you are thinking of kale, cabbage, Brussel sprouts and stuff.

Anyway, thanks for joining and hope to hear how you get on with your veggy plot.

donguri
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Post by donguri »

Welcome aboard!

3 years ago my husband and I bought a 90-year old house deep in the countryside of northeast Aichi. The property included 500 tsubo of land, so I feel your pain regarding land maintenance, tree care (they grow SO fast) and trying to keep the jungle at bay in this weather!

We renovated the place to use the first floor as a restaurant/izakaya and the second floor as living space-and yes it was a lot of work, and continues to be a lot of work, but we enjoy (most of) it and love living here. It's doable, but you need to know what it really is you want to do, how much money and time you have to work with and how much return you can expect from a cafe business. It may sound basic, but getting clear with yourself and putting together a simple business plan serves as your map and takes you into reality. I'm not familiar with your area, but in many rural communities there are subsidies and financial incentives for people renovating old houses, starting new businesses etc. so it's worth checking with the local town office and community business council.

How awesome that you had the organic growing experience! After a couple years of growing a few herbs and potatoes, I started my organic garden in full force this past year and while I'm still a total newb, I'm enjoying it immensely! The harvest is such an inspiration in the kitchen too.

Anyway, welcome to the group, look forward to hearing more about what you're doing.

Rakiura
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Post by Rakiura »

Thanks for the warm welcome, ideas and suggestions, much appreciated!

It’s nice to be able to talk about this kind of thing with people who are into it. My family are interested to a certain extent and really supportive but there’s a limit.

The renovation idea is completely shelved now as corona puts my husband’s business under stress. And I think I have to be realistic about what I’d be taking on basically by myself. It may crop up again in a few years.

It’s ironic that where we live now had an old farmhouse on it when we bought it but it was unable to be salvaged due to extensive rot and termites. We managed to save about 1/3 of the old garden though which made me happy.

It’s nice to meet you guys
I’m in southern Osaka “Senshu”.

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Zasso Nouka
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Post by Zasso Nouka »

Opening up a cafe now would be very challenging I think. Most of the restaurants we supply are getting less eat-in customers than normal and Mrs Nouka is wondering whether to keep her cafe open with the rising infection numbers, she's going to talk to her staff today and they will decide whether to stay open or close down again so you've probably got plenty of time to mull it over before Corona has run its course. Even if it turns out to be more of a pipe dream it can still be fun to plan out and run through some ideas.

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Post by gonbechan »

@Rakiura welcome to JSL.
Taking a course in organic growing must have been amazing.

It is great to have you here with us and I look forward to hearing about your adventures on your allotment.