[forecast]Now that’s a good looking field! I scattered some composted cow manure and steamed bark today, and tilled it in with the tractor. I’m getting better at my planning and execution with the tractor. There’s no running water at this field, so we’ll use it for crops that don’t need much watering—potatoes and broccoli are in the plans right now. We have some seed potatoes that we’ll be cutting up as soon as we have some ash to spread on the cut sides, which prevents rotting while they get rooted in.
Tired! I worked on that field for about 7 hours today, raking up bits of plastic, shopping for the additives, spreading them (that’s when my back started to get tired), going over it with the tractor twice, and then hoeing the row ends into shape. The last part is very important, because the neighbors will complain and gossip about you if you don’t make it pretty. The same goes for tilling the rice fields—you have to do it the right way so you don’t leave any big tire marks when you exit the field or you’ll suffer the same social indignities.
I guess an introduction of sorts is in order. Where to begin… I’m an American with about six years’ experience in Japan. I came the first time just after I graduated college, to live with a friend who was on the JET program. Japan unexpectedly grew on me, as it does many, and I eventually applied for the JET program and came to Wakayama in 2004, intending to stay for two years–long enough to pass the 2nd level JLPT test–and then go home. Life being unpredictable as it is, I got married and stayed four years on the JET program. After a break to America my wife and I are back to help the family in its long-running restaurant and farm business, which I’ll introduce more specifically later.
Time for a well earned relax!