This summer brings some changes to the farmers market scene in towns and cities up and down the country. While some markets have shut down, or others are sorting out schedules, fruits and vegetables are still ripening and farmers are harvesting! Here are a few farms working to make sure fresh, seasonal and delicious produce lands on a table near you.
Chuck Kayser estimates he accidentally started organic farming about fourteen years ago while hunting for land to build a cabin. That first small plot in the mountains near Kyoto now includes more than one hundred types of vegetables from other nearby fallow fields that are part of an effort to teach farming, preserve rural culture, mitigate climate change and increase food security. Farm tours and community events add to the delicious work afoot. Customers can purchase a vegetable box for pick-up or delivery within the Kyoto area for ¥2,000 to ¥2,500. www.midorifarm.net
Thomas Kloepfer and Kaori Niisato grow more than 60 varieties of fruit and vegetables year round on their organic farm overlooking the Seto Inland Sea. Their harvest can be found at local farmers markets, their on-farm shop or Thomas’ roving bicycle vegetable market. Aided in their endeavors by chickens, goats and sheep, Kloepfer and Niisato also offer workshops and farm tours. Vegetable boxes range from ¥3,000 to ¥5,000 (plus shipping). www.facebook.com/pitchforkfarms
Founded in 2007, Niseko Green Farm grows a wide variety of organic vegetables on roughly 12 hectares west of Sapporo near Mt. Yotei. While the farm sells their produce at Hokkaido farmers markets and online, they also welcome visitors for pizza making and farm experiences. Customers further afield—or those not able to make a visit—can order a variety of products as well as single or multi-variety vegetable boxes for delivery from May to October. Prices vary. www.nisekogreenfarm.com
Eight Kobe-area organic farmers banded together to become the Biocreators Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Customers can choose a weekly or biweekly box of seasonal items that include everything from seedlings to flour, homemade pickles to a variety of fresh vegetables and herbs (with recipes!) to get cooking. Five pick-up locations make it easy to get the box. Home delivery is also an option for those living in Kobe. The ten-week plan is ¥20,000 and ¥12,000 for the five-week plan. www.biocreators.org