Saturday, May 06, 2006

New Challenges

It is currently "Golden Week" here in Japan. This is a string of public holidays which means that everyone is going away somewhere. For me that signals that I should stay at home and get all the jobs done around the place rather than sitting in a car battling with all the other traffic, which is basically what we did. There was also a festival here where I was able to test the market a little more and had some successes as well as some failures - everything is a learning curve at the moment! My biggest success was selling some of the extra seedlings that I have at the moment. In total I managed to sell about 100 lettuce and tomato seedlings which is much easier than actually planting them, watching them grow, packaging and taking them off to the market! I also sold out of all my jam (I'm now waiting for more fruit/vegetables so I can make some more) as well as my latest product - "Herb Infused Olive Oil". I only made 6 bottles of this for a start, but sold out of them on the first day of the festival. I think that this could also prove to be a reasonably successful product if I can market it well.
I had less success with selling fresh herbs. I made some bundles of mixed herbs and included a recipe with them, but as most of the customers were older people they didn't sell well at all. Fresh chammomile flowers were better, just....

My garden is starting to fill up quickly. I have now completely planted 3 out of 6 rows and another half row was planted in the rain this evening. The tunnel house is slowly emptying out of seedlings, which is lucky as I think I have to vacate it for about a month while the rice seedlings are growing. After rice planting I will begin the challenge of growing things in the tunnel house over the autumn and winter.
Within the garden I am trying to do some "companion planting", but I am never exactly sure what they mean when they say to plant "together" - how close do different things need to be in order for them to be beneficial and how far apart do "enemies" need to be? Under my gherkin wigwam I have planted lettuce plants which will hopefully benefit from the shade and there are carrots under the first tomatoes - apparently they are good partners. There is also thyme under the brussel sprouts. I have no idea whether it will make a difference or not, but anything is worth a try!

Three completed rows - until the lettuce plants are harvested.....

Gherkin and lettuce wigwam - the advantage of living in a country where bamboo is almost considered a pest is that there is a ready supply of "building" materials.

Tomatoes planted with carrots - my latest companion planting book is called "Carrots Love Tomatoes" so it must be a good idea!

1 comment:

  1. rosie6:38 AM

    What an amazing project-beautifully described and more beautifully depicted. I am both envious and exhausted looking at the scope of it all. Trips to NZ will definitely be dictated by the season from now on! You are a true entranepeur with big dreams and goals.