May 9, 2010

Vegetable Gardening, Spring 2010/菜園作り、2010年春

Yesterday, my son and I spent the afternoon doing vegetable gardening.

Our rented farmland now looks like this.

We planted watermelon, cherry tomato, and tomato seedlings, among others.

Edited to add: We also planted okra seeds, and will plant molokheiya seedlings as soon as they are available.

Farmland against Mt. Makitaha (near the center of the photo) and Mt. Kinjo(on the left).

In the yard around the house, we planted six tsurumurasaki (Malabar spinach).

Strawberry plants:

Two sweet potato seedlings:

Piece of land where I planted corn seeds:

I forgot to place mulch before planting the seeds! So, I placed the mulch after I planted them. How stupid I was!

Other strawberry plants:

The mulch was blown away by strong wind...

I bought two seedlings of tochiotome (strawberry variety) last year. They now look like this:

Two perilla seedlings (top) and two basil seedlings:


Yangsze said...

Hi Hiroyuki,
Wow, your town looks so beautiful under the mountains! It's so nice that your son loves gardening. What a blessing children can be.

Here in northern California, I tend the school garden at my son's preschool. Last year I planted a lot of daikon, beetroot, lettuce, tomatoes, and even kabocha. The sad thing about our kabocha is that some thieves came in the night and stole them, as well as the ripe tomatoes! I could not believe that someone could be so mean as to steal little kid's vegetables! In any case, this year I'm going to plant some giant American pumpkins instead. I was interested to see your sweet potato plants. I am growing regular potatoes this year, but was thinking I should have planted sweet potatoes. Do you buy seed potatoes, or do you just cut up chunks of old potato? Btw, the Chinese like to eat sweet potato leaves and consider them a delicacy.

Hiroyuki said...

YSC: At my daughter's elementary school, rice planting has begun. Every year, the fifth graders are in charge of rice planting, and they sell the rice in fall, on the day when the cultural festival is held at the school.

We bought satsumaimo seedlings, not seed potatoes, like these:

The Chinese eat sweet potato leaves? I didn't know that!

Yangsze said...

Yes, they used to be considered poor people's food, but now they are often viewed as a delicacy. You need to pull the leaves off the tough stems and eat only the leaves. You can stir fry them with a little bit of garlic -- very tasty!

Okasan said...

ブログは大好きです。 私は日本語を8ヶ月勉強しています。 今少し知っています。

I think this is as far as I can write in Japanese. I just want to say that I thoroughly enjoy your blog since I love to cook, garden, Japanese culture & also learning Japanese at the same time. In your blog you have all those things I really enjoy. I love the way you have both English and Japanese and I actually use it as my learning (study) tool as well.

I envy your lovely vegetable garden, you can grow so many things that I can't here in Alberta Canada. We are at the foothills of the Rocky Mountain so evenings are very cool, hence slow down the growth. Plus our growing season here is only from May to September so really not long enough for anything that requires a long growing season. We definitely can't grow スイカ、オクラ or しそ。  In the lower part of British Columbia or Ontario is a different story. Apparently the west coast can produce wasabi わさび and export to the US. We can however grow イチゴ、lettuce, トマト、zucchini, potatoes, レンゴ、beets, peas, corn and a few other things that needs short growing season. I don't grow much vegetables but I grow many other things like roses, peonies, lilies, lilac, ornament grasses etc.

Just want to express my appreciation for your blog. 頑張ってください!


Hiroyuki said...

Okasan: Thanks for your comment! I visited your blog and found many recipes in different cuisines. Quite amasing! You must be a good cook! Keep up the good work!

Hiroyuki said...

YSC: Thanks! I did some googling and found some nice recipes, and I found that stems are also edible! I will try both leaves and stems and report back!

Okasan said...

Thank you for your kind words. My blog is nothing like yours. I've just started so it looks a bit amateur and I need to take better pictures. 頑張ってる!

Amatō said...

Hiroyuki, do you maybe know where I can get (in Japan) sansho seeds?
There is only one supply in Germany for sansho seedlings, a small plant.I bought it last year but it didn't survive the cold winter...
I would like to get some myoga seeds. Here same story, bought a small plant, it got sick already in late summer last year...
I have also read about herbs in eg forums, but the problem is, the people who made good experiences with some plants live in very different climate I do.

Hiroyuki said...

Amato: Sorry, I don't.
Have you tried Amazon or other world-wide online shopping malls?
They may carry some of the seeds you desire. Or, maybe you should start a thread in an appropriate local forum on eGullet. Good luck!

Amatō said...

my japanese herbs post is done, also already translted, if you want take a look.

gautam said...

Dear Hiroyuki,

Wishing you & family much happiness and luck with your gardening this season. Was quite amazed at your 40 (!!) tomato plants!! Momotaro is very happy, healthy and bountiful here in cool Ithaca: a minimum of 10 kg/plant spaced 2.5 feet apart, and as much as 30 kg w/o any problem. People who disbelieved me were made believers on their OWN plots, with 12-15 different varieties. And good quality too, not watery fruit pumped up by fertilizer to get high yield only!

The Japanese cherry tomatoes, likewise, are exceedingly good & bountiful!! H-san, you are going to be flooded with tomatoes!!!!

Just for fun, please go to Sand Hill Preservation Center and look up their descriptions of heirloom sweet potatoes, that include some Korean and Japanese + Okinawan as well.

I hope your Tochiotome does well. Akihime is very sweet too, but a little softer. Please let us know how they compare to each other.

When you & Jr.are ready,the wall space would be great for a vigorous pear with high tree/foliage quality like TYSON. Given the relatively gravelly,infertile substrate it would be growing in,its natural vigor would be usefully curbed without compromising its innate healthy quality. Fruitfulness would improve vastly by simply bending the branches and growng them in horizontal lines along the walls, not against them.The original meaning of espalier. I hear European pear is expensive in Japan: here is a high quality,fuss free variety. Your son may have a lot of fun & learning experiences, manipulating his pear tree. No better way to learn many important tenets of plant science first hand : auxin, photo-reception & flowering, wood formation, spur & fruiting buds etc.

Hiroyuki said...

gautam: Thanks for your suggestions and sorry for a late response.

The two Tochiotome plants have yielded only two strawberries in this season, which were consumed by my son only(!) I hope I can get more from them next year.

European pears are expensive in Japan, and almost all other fruits and vegetables are rather expensive in Japan, for that matter. Fortunately, here in Niigata, we have two European varieties, Le Lectier and La France, which can be had at relatively low prices when they are in season.