May・Seniors in Hokuryu Town started to cultivate crops vigorously! (Plots of Akarui Farming, a non-profit organization)

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

This spring, the NPO Akarui Noho (President Yumiko Takebayashi) started growing crops on a field (about 1,300 square meters) rented from a local town resident.

Isao Hiiba, 84, director of the corporation, took the lead in starting this project with the cooperation of senior farmers who live in Hokuryu Town and have farming experience. The objective is to grow and harvest crops on rented plots of land and sell them at "Minoricchi Hokuryu," a direct sales outlet for agricultural and livestock products.

The selection of crop types, field design, and crop layout were done by Mr. Kihiko Izumi, 76, a Hokuryu Town resident and seedling professional. Soil diagnostic surveys have already been conducted and PH levels are good.

cultivated items

Edamame, sweet potatoes, yacon, potatoes, watermelon, pumpkin, sweet corn, etc.

Akarui Agricultural Field Map

Plowing, seeding, planting, laying black and white mulch, and laying green mulch in the fields are progressing sequentially in May.

Soil diagnosis results

Soil diagnosis results

working view

Monday, May 15: The field

Plots on May 15

May 25 (Thursday) Weeding

On Thursday, May 25, members gathered for weeding. Participating members that day were Moriaki Tanaka (85 years old), Isao Hiraba (84 years old), Ryoji Kikura (83 years old), and Tomoko Sano (67 years old).

The work is weeding the sweet corn field. The soil is plowed with a weeding hoe to remove small stones, grass roots, etc.

It took less than two hours of work in the heat of the sun, with breaks along the way.

5/24 Watering after planting
Till the soil with a hoe and remove grass roots at the same time
Carefully and carefully distinguish between sweet corn sprouts and weeds!
With fertile soil, pure water and great sunshine.
Take a break.

Tuesday, May 30: Planting pumpkins

On Tuesday, May 30, planting of "kabocha" and "yacon" took place.

Mr. Kihiko Izumi, who is leading the seedling management, four reliable women, and Mr. Morisuke Tanaka also came to support the work. In the cold weather mixed with light rain, everyone continued to work hard.

Mr. Izumi tending to the seedlings.

Hole markings on the stock at equal intervals

Mark holes in the stock at equal intervals.

Pumpkin seedlings" in paper pots

Paper pots protect the roots and are decomposed by microorganisms in the soil, so they can be planted as is.

Pumpkin seedlings in paper pots (Chestnut Megumi)

Hand transplanter (a.k.a. Pelican)

For planting, mark equal spacing (pumpkin seedlings: 50 cm between plants) on the mulch, make holes with a hand transplanter (commonly known as a pelican), drop the seedlings into the holes one at a time, and then cover them with soil.

Hand transplanter (a.k.a. Pelican)

Planting pumpkins

Make a hole, drop the seedlings, and cover them with soil.
Drop the seedlings into the drilling apparatus.
Be handy with a drilling tool!
Soiling of seedlings
piling up or covering with earth

Planting Yacon

Yacon seedlings are drilled with a shovel, removed from their plastic pots, and planted.

Yacon seedlings planted
Yacon seedlings are planted out of plastic pots
Observation of growing conditions in sweet corn field
Mt. Huetai covered with rain clouds

In the future, weeding, watering, and other farm work will be carried out while monitoring the growth of the seedlings and the weed situation.

The Agricultural Professionals Senior Citizens of Hokuryu Town gather to express their boundless love, gratitude and prayers for the great cultivation of life-giving agricultural products.

We sincerely hope for the healthy growth of your crops in the future.

Pray for the healthy growth of crops.

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◇ Reporting and writing by Ikuko Terauchi (Photography and editorial assistance by Noboru Terauchi)