Saturday, June 22, 2019
A brilliantly warm, bright and sunny day dawned. People at the farm were up early for the morning routine. Actually, the ladies, Mikako and Maiko, had been up for a long time the previous night, preparing the food for the day. Maiko was busy making delicious rhubarb cakes! Who knows how much sleep she got?!
All hands were on deck as the tables were set up in readiness for the seven people who were soon to arrive. By now, Hiro had arrived from London. He, Shinya and Colleen had some last-minute discussions on how the day would proceed.
At length, the study participants arrived from Royal Wooton Bassett, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Plymouth and East Sussex. They were from a wide range of professions; Ecotherapist, IT Analyst, Phlebotomist, Retired, Smallholder and a Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Everyone was curious to find out about this novel way of growing fresh produce. Most had gotten to know about the program from the BBC Radio 4 show which had been aired in May.
The day proceeded as all the others had with presentations, lively discussions and farm tours. Only, this day was quite different; there was a practical component. During the farm tour, Shinya presented each person with seed trays and together with the participants, he demonstrated how to plant lettuce seeds. Each person was given their lettuce seed trays to keep and bring home with them.
Mikako and Maiko lived up to their reputation of being excellent Japanese cuisine chefs. They had prepared potato croquette, carrot leaf tempura, parsnip tempura, miso soup, rice mixed with mushrooms, mixed green salad leaves and dressings. It was a veritable feast and all present offered their compliments to these two ladies.
The day ended with rhubarb cake topped with rhubarb jam. All fresh produce was provided by the farm and other Natural Agriculture farming enterprises.
All participants were amazed that fertilizers are not used. The principle of seed saving was new to them too and many said that they would start to save their seeds. The general feelings at the end of the day were those of great interest, gratitude and inspiration. All participants had thoroughly enjoyed the day and had learned a great deal.
So, another successful day has ended. There is only one more one-day Learning Programme in July. In August, there is the three-day intensive course PLUS the annual Open Day at the farm.
Watch this space for more exciting reports of these educational activities at the farm.
See everyone again soon!
Report by Colleen McDuling.