Thursday, May 11, 2006

A little help from my friend!

My friend Sunny (aka Yoko) came to WWOOF at my house for a couple of days this week. For anyone unfamiliar with this term it doesn't mean that she came to bark at the ever growing chorus of frogs in the ricefields, but it means that she came as a "Willing Worker on Organic Farms". Actually I am not officially a member of this group, but what it means is that people come to work for you in exchange for a bed and meals. A good deal for all involved.
For me it was a really nice time to share some of the things that I have been trying to develop here and to have someone to talk with during some of the more tedious jobs. There are only so many hours you can spend picking chamomile flowers before the "beautiful smell" becomes too familiar and the satisfaction of separating seedlings becomes more like a chore. We talked a lot about different ways that we could make ends meet doing things that we really want to do and also a lot about the importance of making bridges between different people who are trying to do the same. As soon as everything you do is focused on profit it seems like the fun disappears and the reason you started the business disappears with it. However, without even a small profit the business cannot survive..... As always my life seems to be coming back to a balancing act!
Anyway, thank you Sunny for helping me - you are welcome back any time (I promise Masaki will even take his cup into the kitchen all by himself next time .......). Thank you also for the following photos. Anyone who is interested in looking at Sunny's own blog the link is: It's all in Japanese, but the photos are great!

Chamomile flowers - before and after being picked

My back-yard garden and some of the millions of lettuces in it.


  1. The Brother12:11 AM

    What's the plan with all the chamomile flowers? Tea bags? Drawer smelly things? Pressed in bookmarks? A new type of confetti?

    Inquiring minds want to know...

  2. Hi, Jo.

    Thank you for taking good care of me, serving beautiful meals and masaki's waik-up call(???) every morning. I really enjoyed the stay. Good fun to talk with Emily and Masaki while they are happy!! I really impressed that you were doing very good mother. One day, you need to teach me how to grow kids as well as vegetables...

  3. Mickey3:38 PM

    Hi, Jo and Sunny!

    Sunny, how have you been?
    Thank you for sent to me a photo of Mt.Fuji.

    Anyway, recently rainy rainy rainy....
    I feel lucky because I need not take a water to my garden.
    But, I worry that the weed grow up than vegetable sprout.
    In fact, my garden be like a green carpet...
    I'm anxious about this weekend that may become heavy work to pull out the weed.

    By the way, my mobile phone doesn't work after all.
    I am going to change it tomorrow.

    See you!

  4. Plan for the chamomile flowers? Well..... last year I planted them with other plants as I had heard that they were a "plant doctor" and would therefore look after my plants for me and then this year they self-seeded everywhere so I thought I would try drinking the tea and discovered that it actually tastes really good. So, I decided to start picking them and trying to dry them to use them myself, but then they just kept producing more and more flowers so I am thinking that if I can dry enough of them I might be able to sell some for dried herb teas. I even bought a book with 101 recipes for different herb tea blends, but unless I can work out what "skullcap", "damiana", "kava-kava root" etc. are the recipes are not of much use to me....

  5. Anonymous3:56 AM

    such industry Jo. It's been inspiring even if I too can't work out how to drink that many flowers. I used to think the tea was made from the leaves. Have I got that wrong. Is it really a floral bouquet?