May 7, 2017

Helping My Father with His Field Work/父の畑仕事の手伝い

Today, I helped my father with his field work all day.
First, he took me to the spot he recently found where warabi (young shoots of bracken fern) comparable to those found in the Snow Country can be collected.
It may be hard to see from a photo, but
we were able to collect this amount of warabi in no time.
Our work in the morning was to cut the sasa (bamboo grass), which was quite hard work because we had to cut the sasa manually, using scissors, except the sasa thin enough to cut with the grass cutter. Besides, there were rose plants.
Warabi we collected:

Our work in the afternoon was to put up a net over the buckwheat field.

Tomato plants:
Momotaro, the most popular variety in Japan.

My father has two ume trees in this field.
The ume fruits can be picked up in June.
It took us more than two hours to put up a net over the 23 x 8 m field, although my father had made preparations in advance.
父は前もって準備していましたが、23 x 8 mの畑にネットを張るのに2時間以上かかりました。

This is the green house for strawberries.
More than 70 strawberry plants
We collected this amount today.
Before leaving the field, my father cut some young shoots of myoga (Japanese ginger).

Just chop them, season with soy sauce, and put them on top of hot rice, according to my father.
Edited to add:
Even though I was exhausted, I made udon using the noodle maker for my noodle-loving father.
Kishimen, flat and wide noodles, kind of udon my father likes.
400 g churikiko (all-purpose flour)
144 g water
No salt
Kneading time: 8 minutes. I think that the default kneading time of 5 minutes is enough.
中力粉 400 g
水 144 g
こね時間: 8分。標準のこね時間5分で十分だと思います。


Yangsze said...

Wow, I'm so impressed by your dad's farm! He must be very glad that you are there to help him. :)

Hiroyuki said...

Yangsze: Yes, he should be. Putting up a net this big would be impossible without the help of one person.

Sissi said...

Your father has lots of produce to take care of and to pick afterwards! Luckily you are there to help him.
I am a huuuuuuge fan of myoga and wonder if one day I'll be lucky enough to taste the young shoots... I would grow myoga on my tiny balconies, but I think they are quite big as plants... though maybe I could grow only for shoots... hmmm have to think of buying some bulbs this autumn in Tokyo (if I find them).
This spring I have sown komatsuna for the first time. I had never tasted it before so it's very exciting!
I have also new salad leaves growing: it's called "wasabi rucola" and apparently has a taste similar to wasabi! I wonder if it's true.... I'll see in a month or so.

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: Luckily? Well, I try to look at the bright side of things, but leaving my wife and daughter in the house in Niigata and living with my parents to support them can sometimes be tough as you can easily imagine.

Young shoots of myoga taste just like the flower buds.

Komatsuna is easy to grow, and it grows in only one month. I hope you can thin out some of the sprouts and have them, roots and all, because they are tenderer and tastier than fully grown leaves.

Sissi said...

Well... luckily for him, maybe not for you. My mother lives far away too but in case of a "practical" not "sentimental" help she would never accept her children leave their lives and move in to help her. She would ask us to pay for someone to come and help every day... though of course we would have a choice. My French mother-in-law has the same attitude. At this point maybe Japan is different or maybe it's a personal choice.

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: In present-day Japan, it's definitely a personal choice, and there are all sorts of day care services available for the elderly.