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