Is your produce organic?
To be certified organic in Japan and use the official term yuki saibai you need to undergo a rigorous and rather expensive application process. Here at Nagano, naturally we both have ‘real’ jobs and farm as a rather time consuming hobby so this is not something we have pursued.
Unless clearly labelled ***NOT ORGANIC*** though all the produce here was grown completely without chemicals- those allowed by organic farming methods and those not. We prepare our soil with chook manure from our own chooks, leaf mulch made from buried autumn leaves and liquid chicken manure.
We keep the weeds down with deep mulch method with woodchips we make ourselves, plastic mulch, tractor, grass cutter and good old elbow grease.The main pest control is me pulling caterpillars off the plants and throwing them to the chooks.
We remove bugs by hand or just donate buggy produce to the chooks who repay the favour with more manure and so the cycle continues.
We rotate crops and rest fields and try to work with the earth and not against it. We even water with river water rather than tap water.
However, while we live in a farming community we are surrounded by traditional farmers which means our neighbours do use chemicals to grow their crops. Some use machines to spray. We take measures to avoid inadvertent spraying (we grow a barrier of 2-3 m tall sunflowers at the edge of our vegetable field each year and have barrier strips of land between our rice and wheat fields and the neighbours’ fields) and when questioned about the likelihood of my garden being sprayed my nearest neighbour assured me he wouldn’t waste expensive chemicals on my crops.
So, are we organic?
But the produce listed here is the same produce I feed my family with confidence that it’s as healthy as it gets.
That much I CAN say!
If you have any questions about how we grow any of our produce just ask!