(Intern report) Misosoup

Last June groundwork Fukuoka went to Hoshino to made miso ( http://bit.ly/1eTcwoZ ). On the last weekend fermentation was finished, so we drove there to collect the miso and to make some miso-soup with some local people, but this time there were also a trainee from a other company. She came from Switzerland and is doing an internship at a photographic agency in Fukuoka. The event took place in a local school. Additional to the local people some children came, which normally live in urban places, but moved to Hoshino for one year to experience living in a village.                                                                Image

We started on 7:00 am at Kasugabaru station in Fukuoka and arrived in Hoshino around 9:15 am. It was a nice and sunny day with a temperature of ~15°C. The vegetables which we put into the miso-soup were brought by the people who came to there, so we had carrots, Chinese cabbage and a lot of radish. While the half of use were washing the vegetables, the other half, including me, drove away to get the miso. The miso was stored in a house which is now only use as a storage. There around 7 buckets of miso with a weight of 5-10kg and one very large 50 kg bucket. While we were away the most people had arrived and the most adults were helping cocking in the kitchen. When the rice was finished Imagealso some children came to the kitchen to help making riceballs. When we were nearly finished everyone met at the entrance to watch the miso-buckets get opened. Tables were placed in the meeting hall of the school, we carried the food there and set down to eat. After everyone was finished with the meal, we cleaned the kitchen and went the Joyo. There we split the remaining miso into 5kg bags and cleaned the buckets. Before we went home, we went to a ramen-shop for dinner. When I was back home it was around 9:00pm.

In the end it was a nice, but very long day. The miso-soup was very good and the people were also very friendly. I was also very interesting to see how miso is made.

Written by Maximilian Grunow

(Intern report) Two Days

Last weekend Groundwork Fukuoka went to Joyo. Joyo is a small town which belongs to Yame. We went there on Saturday and Sunday, but we had two different kinds of activities.


On Saturday (2/22/2014) we drove to the “Former House Kawaguchi“, to drew, the Emperor (Odairi-sama) and the Empress (Ohime-sama) ,with some local children on roofing tiles in preperation of the Hinamatsuri festival at the 3rd of March.

We arrived there at 9:15 am, the house was an very nice, old, traditional Japanese house. Because it was still morning it was not that warm. At first we put a large blue tarpaulin on the floor to protect from painting colour. Around 10:00 am the first children arrived, in the end 7 children came. We used aquarelle colours to paint, because they are fast drying and easy to clean, because they dissolve in water.

Around 1:00 pm the most children finished their painting and we had lunch. The children got some rice rolls with the Emperor and the Empress in it, made out of colourer rice. While lunch the paintings were put outside to dry. After lunch I finished my own painting, it last until 2:30 pm. When I had finished it we took a picture of the children with their paintings. After that the children went home and we started cleaning up.


On Sunday (2/23/2014) we drove to the “Former House Kawaguchi“ first, but this time we went to do some fieldwork. The field we were working on was a part of the Imo Syotyu project. We produce our own Imo syochu from these sweet potates and sell them. The money that we raise goes towards helping the local people.

We arrived again around 9:15 am, this time we drove to a field, about 200m from the house. At first we got a delivery of fertilizer. After we had unloaded the truck we started cleaning the field, by burning the remaining plants of the last year. While the fire was getting out, we did mechanical tillage and started spreading fertilizer over the field. When we had finished nearly 15% of the field we went to lunch. After we returned we finished the remaining 85% of the field, it lasts till 4:15 pm.

When we left neighbour gave each of us a cabbage.

All in all it was a nice weekend, I meet very nice people and learned a lot of things about how to grow potatoes. Furthermore a member of Groundwork Fukuoka told me how to make little ships out of bamboo-leafs. In June, we will go there again to help them plant the potatoes.

Written by Maximilian Grunow

(Intern report) Peas again

On 6th February, We, Groundwork Fukuoka, went to Umi once again, but this time not only to do some Fieldwork.

We left the office at 9:30am, on the way to Umi we picked up a member of NPO Green caravan. When we arrived, it was around 10:15am, first we went to a volunteer center named Fumirapo. There we meet with to other people of Green caravan and some members of NPO Yokatai. Also some other people came to there.

We had arranged a lecture meeting about the influence of nutrition to the life and the importance of healthy eating. While we listen to the lecture, it began to snow.

After the lecture, Green caravan and Groundwork Fukuoka went to the same restaurant where I had been with Kana-san last week. This restaurant is run by NPO Yokatai. Again the food was very delicious and after finishing the lunch, we finally went to the field. It was still snowing and we began to build a growth support for the peas additional to the snow there was also a strong wind blowing over the field. We were 9 people working on the field, but after we had finished half the work we had to stop, because it was getting to cold. In the end we had built the framework of both rows.framework

We drove back to Fumirapo to warm up and to decide what will be planted next year. We wrote our proposals on a sheet which got attach at a whiteboard. Thenwe decide which plants should we grow.

In the end we decided to grow potatoes, tomatoes, edamame (green soybeans), taro (colocasia esculenta), pumpkins, wild rice and oriental pickling melons, this is a special melon which is not sweet.

In the end it was also a very nice day, despite of the cold weather and the snow. I think we will finish our work on the field next week and I am really looking forward to it.

Written by Maximilian Grunow

(Intern report) Peas and Daisies


Groundwork Fukuoka has a lot of different projects in cooperation with other organisations.

from the left to the right:
Peas, Daisies, Peas, Daisies

One of these projects is the cultivation of Snap peas (スナップエンドウ) and Crown daisy (シュンギク). This Project takes place in Umi (宇美町), a small town close to Fukuoka.

Two days ago (01.21.14) Kana-san, a staff member of Groundwork Fukuoka, and I went to the Umi to check the growing of the crops. It was a nice, sunny day, with clear blue sky, the perfect day to do some field work.


We arrived at 11am at the field. The field comprised 4 rows of Plants, 2 rows of each plant. To protect the plants from the cold weather, the earth around the peas was covered with a black mulching sheets. The Crown daisies got a Greenhouse, made out of a transparent tarpaulin. At first we weeded the field. A few minuets after we started working, 3 members of Green Caravan arrived and helped us with the work. The Snap Peas were growing well. But, because of the cold weather, the Crown daisies were not able to grow. Also the Greenhouse, could not changed this, so we decided to abandon these plants.


After finishing work, the members of Green Caravan invited us to a restaurant. This restaurant was lead by handicapped people. In this restaurant they serve meals, with the vegetables they grow themselves. The resturante was not that big, but it had a nice atmosphere and the food was very delicious.


In the end it was an very nice day, which Ifeltrather hzoliday than work. The people were very nice and I realy enjoied the trip. I hope there will be more days like these in the future.

Written by Maximilinan Grunow

(Intern report) Self-Introduction

Me 001


my name is Maximilian Grunow, I am a 18 years old German form cologne (Köln).

After finishing school last year, I wanted to study geophysics and meteorology at the University of cologne.

But I could not start studying in the winter semester ,because of the change from G9 (13 years at school) to G8 (12 years at school) there were to many students, so I have to start studying in the summer semester this year.

Because I had a lot of time until going to the University, I started to work at my old school as an tutor. After 2 month of working I started thinking about travelling around. The choose of my destination did not last very long and so I started planing my travel to Japan. After a few days I started thinking about what to do in Japan. Just travelling around were one possibility , but because I can not speak very much Japanese this was not the best Idea. Another possibility was to take Japanese lessons in Japan. This was much better ,but 3 Month of doing Japanese lessons only, also was not what I wanted to do. So I decided to take 2 weeks of lessons and doing an internship at the rest of the time. I also decided to take a flight one week before the beginning of my Japanese lessons, because the tickets were much cheaper than a week later. With this decision I safed 400€ (¥56000). After one month of planing, the way to Japan was prepared so that I could arrive at he 12/30/2013 at Fukuoka airport. My intership should be in an organisation called Groundwork. After doing researches about these organisation on the internet I found a lot of positive experiences reports of other people who did an internship in it. So I decide did my intership there.

After arriving at Fukuoka, the first thing I recognised was that the escalator was talking to me, first I was wondering who was talking to me and so I looked around. After a few seconds I realised that the voice was coming out of an speaker at the escalator, at this moment the escalator ended and I, still wondering about the use of these announcement, nearly feld down. Later I found out that the voice out of the speaker has tried to warn me before the end of the escalator.

I am now 3 weekes here in Fukuoka and I met a lot of nice people and I am looking forward to the next 2 month here at Groundwork. I think I will have a great time and that I will meet a lot of nice and friendly people while my internship.

Writen by Maximilian Grunow