On Sunday, I, my wife and son visited Nagual garden in Kamakurayama to participate in an organic farming lecture.
This farm is managed by Romana (Keiko) san, and she offers a monthly lecture called 自然農 学び堂. You can learn how she is growing seasonal and organic vegetables here.
This garden was originally cultivated by Mr. David Duval-Smith, and she took over the responsibility since 2009. Her methodology is based on Masanobu Fukuoka's natural farming (福岡正信の自然農法).
She keeps the soil as natural as possible and let withered plants and insects to cultivate the underground.
In the morning, we planted young tomato and lettuce. For me they are hard to distinguish from weeds, but once pointed out, there are so many variety of vegetables around my feet. She offered to pick some of the asparagus and herbs, and they were so fresh and tasty.
Many of the seed come from her own nursery.
After two hours of farm-work, it's time to thank the harvest !
The lunch started with ふき(butterbur), エシャロット(échalote), and あしたばの天ぷら (Ashitaba Tempura).
Fennel and various green leaves with a balsamic dressing was so fresh, and the pasta carbonara which used 酒粕 instead of cheese and cream was fantastic.
Keiko-san said that a farm of 1000㎡ (300坪) is enough to produce vegetables for a family, and another 1000㎡ for the rice. Her garden is about 2000㎡ and she manages it all by herself. After having spent her career in Italian gourmet world, she said that she now gets more inspirations by growing foods with her own hands. Seasonality and freshness overcome expensive ingredients, that was exactly proved by the lunch !
More pictures in Nagual Garden Kamakura - a set on Flickr.