On Saturday 16th of April, Groundwork Fukuoka held the 17th Flowerpot planting Activity which was conducted in 1996. On that day we started quite early in the morning to prepare everything until the event starts. We expected about 100 participants this year so there were a lot of things to do beforehand. Therefore we brought most of the necessary stuff we needed to the flower gardening park the day before, so that we only had to setup everything on the next day.
At 9:30 a.m. the people started gathering and after everyone was done with the accreditation, the event began prompt at 10 o´clock. It started off with welcoming the people and thanking them for participating. Furthermore a little instruction was given so that everybody knew how the course of the activity looks like. Then all the participants started to re-pot the seedlings one by one which were carefully grown by Midori no Machizukuri no Kai in Koga city.
During this time I helped to provide for everyone’s needs and arranged the re-potted seedlings by flower type and the participant’s group name. At approximately 12:30 o´clock all the seedlings were planted into new pots. It was surprisingly how fast and what volume of work can be achieved by working together. About 7000 pots in total were made. After thanking them for participating and for their great work the event was officially over and everybody searched for their name tags to take home the amount of planted seedlings they ordered. When everybody was done and left, we started to clean up the place.
All in all, the entire event was a success. The activity was accompanied by a sunny weather and everyone had a great time. Consequently the meaning of this activity to connect people by gardening and planting together and learn to understand and accept each other was definitely conveyed.
Written by Marcel
On Saturday 9th of April, Groundwork Fukuoka held for the third time a spring event in the Miyazono district of Asakura Kurokawa. The meaning behind this event is to bring people from the local and urban area together by harvesting, cooking and eating wild edible plants together.
The city is about a 1 hour car ride away from Fukuoka, so we left the city quite early in the morning. We arrived about 9:00 am at the event´s place to prepare and set everything in place before the first people arrived. We all were really looking forward to this event because the sun was already smiling at us which showed promising to be a beautiful, sunny and warm day.
At around 10.00 am about 30 people in total gathered to participate in today’s activities. After welcoming everybody we separated into two groups to do different tasks. The first group was leaving to look for wild edible plants around the local area. The second group stayed at the venue and was helping, under the guidance of the professional cooking coordinator Ai Kanetaka, to prepare the Italian dishes.
I took part in Group A to explore the countryside in Japan. We collected wild edible plants like such as bamboo shoots, cod, parsley, aralia, bracken, butterbur and more. It was interesting to see how rich of wild edible plants the Japanese countryside is. After returning back we handed over our harvest and prepared everything for lunch. Since the sun was shining we sat outside to enjoy the warm weather.
Around 1:30 the food was ready and we ate together. Group B prepared several different dishes with wild boar and dear and as well with the wild edible plants Group A harvested. I tried as many as possible and I have to say that the food was very delicious. During lunch everybody enjoyed the meal and was proud of the work we accomplished together. At around 3:00 pm we started cleaning up the place. Due to the help of each other we were done pretty fast and were back in Fukuoka around 6:00 pm.
The day was quite long and exhausting and I felt immediately asleep when I got back home. Nevertheless, it was an awesome experience I was able to make and I had a really great time by exploring the countryside and talking to the people.
Written by Marcel
On Sunday 3rd of April Groundwork Fukuoka held once again their monthly event in the town Umi.
As usual we picked up all the necessary stuff from a members private house and prepared everything at the field. Around 10 a.m. About 14 people in total gathered and helped to fulfill today’s tasks.
First we started with cleaning the field from weed followed by planting broccoli and cabbage. To protect the growing vegetables we netted a bug net over the planted part of the field.
In the meantime some people mixed again the soil of some other part of the patch which I did last time. The soil was now ready to grow new vegetables and we planted radish seeds into the ground. At last, like the last time, we planted again Livingstone Daisy Flowers which were prepared by us one month ago. After planting and cleaning up the place we were done about midday.
Though the event was over, there were a few small tasks left which were done only by Groundwork Fukuoka. In the afternoon we bought potato seedlings at the gardening center and planted them next to the radish seeds. Furthermore we collected some older potato seedlings from another vegetable patch to grow them in the same place like the new ones. At around 4 p.m. we were finished with everything and went home as well.
Even though the weather was cloudy, it was still pretty warm and only a few light rainfalls occurred during the day. Thanks to the support from everybody the work was done pretty fast and we all enjoyed the time together.
Written by Marcel
On Sunday 13th Groundwork Fukuoka held their monthly event in the town Umi. Unlike one week before, when the event first should have been held, the foreshadowed rain didn´t occurred at all which was quite in our favor.
The small town is a bit outside of Fukuoka so we had to go there by car. First we went to the private house of a member of Groundwork, where we picked up all the necessary materials like shovel, pickaxe, seeds, flower soil etc. After that we unloaded and prepared everything for the event at the field site. About 9:30 o´clock, when everything was prepared and ready, 15 people in total gathered and took part this time.
At first we started with removing the weed from the potato bed. Afterwards we put flower soil and seeds into small plant pots which then were poured with water to help them grow over the next few weeks. In the meantime somebody strew lime fertilizer over some part of the vegetable patch while I mixed it with the soil, which was done to prepare the bed for the next farming. At last we planted a lot of flowers called Livingstone Daisy which were prepared the last time, in front of the wall next to the field. I am really looking forward to see how they will grow over the next few months.
Summarizing, the event made a lot of fun and everybody enjoyed themselves. All the tasks were done pretty fast because everybody was motivated and helped each other. Therefore we were done about launch time and after cleaning up together everybody went back home.
Written by Marcel
On Saturday 12th Groundwork Fukuoka held the Miso event in Yame-city. It takes about 1 hour by car from Fukuoka to the village, so we had to leave quite early in the morning.
The event took place in an old elementary school building, which was closed due to the small amount of children in the village. Therefore we were able to use the facility for our event. Around 9 o´clock about 20 people from all ages (children, elderly) gathered to participate in the event. Together we started cooking our own lunch.
First we started with cleaning all the kitchen utensils, which we brought ourselves, followed by cutting all the different ingredients for our meal into small pieces. In the beginning the grownups showed the young children and me how to cut the vegetables into the right size and afterwards it was our turn to do so. In the meantime some other children learned how to wash rice and put it into the rice cooker.
During waiting for the rice to be cooked, one elderly woman explained and showed us how the Miso (soybean paste) for the soup is made. This paste was put into the boiling pot as the last ingredient which gave the soup the good taste for what it is known in Japan.
Shortly before lunch we took the cooked rice and formed the famous rice balls called Onigiri. This is done by dipping both hands into water with salt and then forming the rice with a special hand grip into their triangular form. I also gave it a try but have to admit it is much more difficult as it looks like. My first attempts ended in round circles which made everybody laugh. Nevertheless I didn´t give up and at the end I kind of figured out how to make an Onigiri that could be recognized as one.
After finishing making Onigiris, we laid the table and ate together our own cooked meal. It was very delicious and everybody ate a lot. After lunch we grownups started to clean up while the kids were having fun by playing football. About 2 o´clock the event was over and everybody went back home.
All in all everybody had a great time. Especially I really enjoyed myself and it was really interesting to see and experience how a traditional Japanese food is cooked.
Written by Marcel