Umi Fureai Farm Project introduction

In this project we aim to make effective use of the fallow land of Umi town. Everyone can participate – including adults, children, elderly people, disabled people, locals, or people from other regions. People from various living conditions and generations can take part and enjoy communication while growing vegetables together. We hold this project every first sunday of the month. In the spring we harvested potatoes, in the summer green peppers, eggplants and cucumbers and in fall taro. The purpose of this project is bringing together people from different generations and becoming active while having a good time together.





intern report: self-introduction

My name is Isabel and I will do an internship at Groundwork Fukuoka from the 15th of January until the 13th of February. I am from Berlin, the capital of Germany and 19 years old. I am interested in foreign languages and enjoy learning English and Japanese in my free time. Since I have a lot of time left until I enter university I decided on going to japan in order to improve my Japanese skills. That’s why I applied for the work and holiday visa after I graduated high school and left Germany on the 15th of November. I think that the experience I will gain while working here will be helpful for my future career or further studies. I am looking forward to work at Groundwork Fukuoka.

(Intern report) Misosoup

Last June groundwork Fukuoka went to Hoshino to made miso ( ). 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