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Richtko

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Post by Richtko »

Hello all,

Been lurking on and off here for many years so thought I'd finally sign up.

Originally from the US, been in Japan since 2006.Grew up bouncing between the NE Pennsylvania and Texas, spending most summers on my uncles ranch in Texas earning my room and board cleaning stables.

My wife and I have consistently been wanting to move to the countryside and homestead, but for the most part we are stuck in Tokyo due to work and our daughters schooling. We own three properties atm, She has a 200sqm lot in Matsuyama, her home town, we also have house in central Tokyo (currently under construction) and I have a 20,000sqm plot in Iwate.

We have a small garden in Tokyo that we rent annually, the wife likes to grow most the typical Japanese vegetables and I grow mostly heirloom varieties. We are also slowly converting the property in Matsuyama into a small food forest/lot, we have berries and some trees planted there. I also have a hobby of growing trees and keep some trees there, currently I have hard maples, red oaks and black walnuts there potted up waiting for a permanent location.
My property in Iwate is at the moment just raw forested land, its a small Satoyama, not steep and has terraced areas that look like they used to be used for agriculture. I have a lot of work to do there but I'm waiting for our house build here in Tokyo to be completed and free up some finances.

Thank you for reading
よろしくお願いします。

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Post by tataminodani »

As a fellow newbie, welcome aboard!

The forest land sounds fun. 20k sqm is a good patch of space, I am jealous. There should be some nice soil under there.

Where did you get your heirloom veggies?

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Post by Zasso Nouka »

Thank you for joining our community and welcome aboard. We do appreciate you taking the time to sign up.

Wow, you really do have quite a diverse set of properties with some interesting possibilities. The food forest sounds wonderful and then you have an almost clean slate up in Iwate. What a wonderful opportunity, with land that size you could do so many things. What will you do up there ? Or is the planning still in it's early stages ? No rush really, it's not going anywhere :)

Richtko

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Post by Richtko »

tataminodani wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2023 5:16 pm
As a fellow newbie, welcome aboard!

Where did you get your heirloom veggies?
Thank you for the welcome.

Up until last falls seed ordering, I had been ordering from baker creek. Never had a problem, so I would stock up usually twice a year.
Both times I've ordered this year I received empty packages with a notice from customs.

I still have maybe 20 seed packs left but not sure how viable they are now. Would like to plant some solely to save the seeds but currently don't have the space.

right now I'm growing a couple varieties of Swiss chard and kale.

Richtko

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Post by Richtko »

Zasso Nouka wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2023 6:20 am
The food forest sounds wonderful and then you have an almost clean slate up in Iwate. What a wonderful opportunity, with land that size you could do so many things. What will you do up there ? Or is the planning still in it's early stages ? No rush really, it's not going anywhere :)
I think the land has a lot of promise, but there's also a lot of work to be done. More then half of it I have yet to explore and I need to do a lot of thinning. Its mostly young hardwood forest, but the trees are very close together.

Eventually I want to put a small cabin there and have a decent sized garden with a lot of nut and fruit trees. long term goals :)

Heres a few pics

Map from the real estate agent
Image

from the road
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Image
Attempting to clear some of the internal road,...
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Post by Zasso Nouka »

he land looks great, so much potential there.

Having all those hard wood species is a definite plus over a monoculture of sugi or something, certainly gives you a nice diverse base to build up from.

Looks like you are going to have a fun time cutting a path into the land :D but I quite enjoy jobs like that, hopefully you do too. Thinning those trees out should give you a nice supply for a wood burner if you go opt to fit one to keep you toasty and warm on cooler nights.

A great project, will be interesting to see what you do with the land in the future.

Richtko

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Post by Richtko »

Zasso Nouka wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2023 7:11 am
he land looks great, so much potential there.

Having all those hard wood species is a definite plus over a monoculture of sugi or something, certainly gives you a nice diverse base to build up from.

Looks like you are going to have a fun time cutting a path into the land :D but I quite enjoy jobs like that, hopefully you do too. Thinning those trees out should give you a nice supply for a wood burner if you go opt to fit one to keep you toasty and warm on cooler nights.

A great project, will be interesting to see what you do with the land in the future.

Oh yes, its going to be a lot of "fun" clearing, haha. I do enjoy it, just need to make some progress and build something to store tools. Every time I'm there I try to get a little done, over the summer I didn't seem to be getting far because every time I'd come back the brush would have mostly regrown. Also need to figure out how to avoid the massive biting flies that always leave me with 6-10 golf ball sized welts on my back and arms as a parting gift. The projects a bit daunting, so just taking small steps.

Most the trees on the outer side of the property are 5-10cm thick, not amazing firewood but definitely cutting and stacking it for use in a few years. The trees are much larger in the inner areas, not huge but 30-40cm. Theres also a few rather large sugi and hinoki which I will eventually take out and use for lumber I think.

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Post by Zasso Nouka »

Are those biting flies "abu" ? Horseflies? Look like huge houseflies and land on you waving their front legs around. A fan jacket with long sleeves and a hood will keep them off your upper half and head and also works for mosquitos. For your legs, I wear light coloured trousers and when you see one land move your hand slowly towards it and when about 20cm away splat them with your open palm. Sometimes that just stuns them so make sure to kill them properly or they'll get back up and come in for another go

Richtko

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Post by Richtko »

Zasso Nouka wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2023 4:07 pm
Are those biting flies "abu" ? Horseflies? Look like huge houseflies and land on you waving their front legs around. A fan jacket with long sleeves and a hood will keep them off your upper half and head and also works for mosquitos. For your legs, I wear light coloured trousers and when you see one land move your hand slowly towards it and when about 20cm away splat them with your open palm. Sometimes that just stuns them so make sure to kill them properly or they'll get back up and come in for another go
Thank you for the advice. The fan jacket is a great idea. I found some long sleeve shirts at the home center which helped but they still can get through sometimes. Now that the temperature has cooled off it should be fine for now.


They followed me to the car, was able to grab a blurry pic. waiting on the door for me to come out.
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Post by Zasso Nouka »

I've been attacked by two varieties, the gold on in your picture and one that has the same colouring as a typical house fly. The reason a fan jacket works is because it puts too much space between your skin and the outer fabric so they can't reach your skin 4. Normally the feed on pigs, cows aand horses so can go through quite thick clothing, DEET seems to deter them if you don't mind spraying that.