On the 5th of September, 2010, at 8.30 a.m. I was picked up by Mr. Otani and his wife. Another employee of Groundwork Fukuoka joined us and Mr. Otani took us to Joyo, Yame City in the southern area of Fukuoka Prefecture. Along the way uphill the landscape was already beautiful. The streets are surrounded by dense forests composed of bamboos, conifers, overgrown with moss and creepers. Joyo was even more beautiful. Surrounded by mountains you can see both those forests and rice- and teafields and furthermore a small village within that beautiful landscape.
At the Children`s Museum, named warabe kan, more staff of Groundwork Fukuoka joined us. First we had a look at the two fields that should be planted and had a short walk into the cool forest.
Then it was time to plant the potatoes. A local resident prepared the soil of the field and showed us the way the potatoes should be planted. Before we could go down to work we had to rake some rows of hollows into the earth. With the help of a broken bamboo stick that we used to keep a certain distance between the potatoes, we put them in these hollows. After we had given some fertilizer over the potatoes, we covered them with earth. The work was tiring because it was a hot morning. Nevertheless everybody`s mood seemed to be the best and all the participants were motivated and made an effort to do a good job.
We enjoyed lunch at the restaurant besides warabe kan with delicate, self-made dishes. After lunch, we went to the Children`s museum. This museum is quite interesting and all the more beautiful because the exhibitions spaces of the museum are still in use for children to play.
After this refreshing break, we went to another field to sow some radish. In the meantime the cloudy and the cool breeze of an approaching thunderstorm made it much easier to work. The field was already in rows of small mounds prepared. On top of these mounds we dig a small low, where the seeds were put in and then covered with earth. When we finished our work it punctual started to rain. What a good start for these vegetables to grow!
I really enjoyed this day in Joyo. It was my first time planting potatoes and it was really interesting. By the way I supported Groundwork Fukuokas`s aim to keep the famous agriculture in Yame alive. It felt good having done something like this.
(Written by Verena)