| The Japanese vegetable
box will start the new season on Wednesday 29th
April with the first kabu of the season.
We expect to build up to 4 deliveries per week in the first half of May.
Our softfruit is now laden with flowers and we expect a good crop of whitecurrants and gooseberries this year. Meanwhile our Special Order from Holland has arrived.....
|30/03/2015||Six weeks of cold weather since the first sowings but the first London delivery went out on the 17th March with just enough produce available to supply a few restuarants. We are proud to supply Pavel and Juliana at the new Flat Three restaurant, Pavel having been a frequent visitor to our farm last year. With over 5,000 kabu now sown we hope to start vegetable box deliveries to London on Friday May 1st, subject to reasonable weather over the next few weeks. Meanwhile some of the new nashi budded last year are showing signs of growth and our Special Order from Japan has arrived.....||
|13/02/2015||The first seed sowings kicked off the new season today with mizuna, wasabina, karashina, shungiku, komatsuna, kou sai tai and kabu hoping to be harvsted from around April 24th. Wild strawberry and raspberry beds are being refreshed, fences and gates repaired and not a million miles away a new glasshouse is being manufactured in Holland to our specification. The new glasshouse will be 50% bigger than our existing glasshouse and will allow more nasu and nigauri to be grown in summer, more yuzu and charantais melons. Crucially it will also allow us to expand production of our outside field crops, all started from seed and most started under glass, and to improve our service to customers.||
New Namayasai Glasshouse 32m x 12.8m
|16/11/2014||The last delivery of 2014 is expected to be this Wednesday 19th November with excellent value vegetable boxes as we give generously from all that remains on our fields. Gobo, kabocha, daikon, shungiku and komatsuna are available. Only a few decaying leaves of edamame tell of times gone by. Shiso and egoma are now just a forest of stalks. Manganji and shishitou have finally finished in a blaze of red. However new crops are always in preparation...||
|11/08/2014||Edamame is now in season and we have good supplies of nasu, shishitou, manganji, daikon, kabu, shiso and egoma ('sesame leaf') along with all regular Japanese leaves. The last of the blackcurrants are being harvested this week but black mulberries are in season. Kabocha are ripening well and we expect to have good availability later this year.|
|20/06/2014||Regular thrice-weekly deliveries by van to London started on May 27th this year and continue as we welcome three new restaurant customers and some new vegetable box collection points. Recently we have harvested the first tsuruna ('kōkihi'), the first egoma leaf and have a good crop of English dessert blackcurrants. Other crops have sufferred from a very high slug population so we have had no English lettuce and both beetroot and celtuce crops are delayed. Some 18,000 gobo seedlings have been destroyed but we have re-sown with new seed in a different location and at present still hope to have a (rather late) gobo crop this autumn. We have welcomed a number of chefs to the farm already this year, local children are again using our woodland as a 'forest school' and our youngest visitor ever (Kosuke aged 4 weeks) was so excited he fell asleep......|
|06/03/2014||The first London delivery of 2014 is to restaurants today, using public transport(!) despite the modern absence of goods compartments on trains. On the farm, seed sowing is well underway with beetroot, daikon, kabu, karashina, komatsuna, leek, lettuce, mizuna, shungiku and wasabina having already germinated. Water mint, alexanders, valerian and mitsuba grown from seed in 2013 are now being transplanted. As soon as the fields dry out a little we will be preparing the ground for this year's crops and we have one flower bud on our nashi!.||
|19/12/2013||During a recent mild and dry spell of weather we have been transplanting 36 nashi trees to their permanent sites and a further 32 rootstock seedlings to be budded (in 2014 or 2015) on their long-term sites. We are now half way through various apple maidens on M25 and some quinces and black mulberry will be added before the end of the winter.|
|21/05/2013||The first vegetables boxes went out to lucky Brighton & Hove customers last Thursday and this Friday 24th May we will start London vegetable box deliveries. We still only have limited stock, due to cold weather, but over the next 4 weeks we will do our best to supply all collection points. We have no daikon yet and kabu are still small (80 to 90g). In addition to kabu we have mitsuba, warabi, wasabina, mizuna, karashina and nira, also limited stocks of shungiku. It is notable that in Sussex, English elderflowers are still in bud whereas in previous years we have had flowers from 18th April, one month earlier.|
|24/04/2013||Good news for our soft fruit as flowers appear on our whitecurrants and blackcurrants, giving hopes of our very first harvests of these fruits this year. The gooseberries also look healthy and are coming in to leaf and we will harvest shungiku and violet flowers this week. It is now full speed ahead with seed sowing as we endeavour to catch up on lost time following the cold start to the season - gobo is sown (33% more than last year), lots of daikon, kabu, mizuna, wasabina and karashina are already out in the field and yesterday we sowed the first edamame. The first London delivery of 2013 is this Friday.||
|19/02/2013||Finally the rains have ceased and our fields can once again be walked upon. The first signs of spring are here with elderflower leaves and the first willow bud break. Our wild carrots have a good growth of leaf on them and our parsnips are just starting to leaf now. In the forest, honeysuckle is in leaf, bluebells are up and we are preparing a wasabi bed in the stream. Foretelling good fortune we hope, a large barn owl has been seen twice now swooping low over our farmland at around five in the evening and two little owls have consistently greeted us from a tree by the road throughout the winter.||
|With a cold and frosty week forecast to start next weekend, this will be the last few days for shishitou, manganji, shiso and nigauri. The last nasu were harvested last week. In season however is komatsuna, naga-negi and gobo, although the latter are small and somewhat thin this year. For traditional English tastes, Queen Anne's Lace - planted primarily to attract beneficial insects - has a truly delicious and very fragrant root, not quite as sweet as the parsnips which we have also just started to harvest.|
|03/09/2012||Nature continues to astound with her resilience and now despite the cold summer we are harvesting shishitou and manganji peppers, edamame and nigauri. We have good supplies of white, red and hinona kabu, good stocks of large daikon and shortly China rose and karami daikon will be ready. The first kabocha will be harvested this week. For the future, seedlings of kaki, yuzu, Pyrus and sea buckthorn are growing well in the nursery. Now is a good time to visit the farm and we are happy to receive visitors on most days, by arrangement - come and see where your Japanese vegetable box comes from!.||
|03/08/2012||The cold and cloudiness of the season to date has meant that many of our normally reliable varieties of daikon have failed to form large roots and we are unable to supply some restaurants. Edamame and shishitou are also performing badly, our charantais melons are not as sweet as they usually are and even kabocha is struggling. The season has just started for kyuuri and nasu. Our wasabi sown from seed is being toughened up outside but as a result has suffered from leaf and petiole damage by local fauna.||
|11/05/2012||London deliveries have now started - so far only restaurants, with delivery by train to keep costs down, and we are pleased to have a new restaurant customer in the Ladbroke Grove area. Next week we will do the first van delivery and will be starting Japanese vegetable box deliveries to London. We anticipate that it will take 4 to 5 weeks to bring in all 39 drop-off points as we plan the most economical delivery routes. At present we have no daikon but have excellent supplies of kabu and the first shiso will be harvested next week. Freshly seeded Gobo has emerged (double last year's quantity), we are transplanting thousands of naga-negi and will be attempting a risky transplant of the first kabocha plants this weekend. Why not come down and help?|
collected from Japan, over
450 wasabi seeds were sown recently for the start
of on-farm trials with this crop.
It will be grown naturally in up to three locations outdoors. Crops
this year are off to a slow start because of the prolonged cold spell,
with soil tempratures very low. Nevertheless, the first edamame were
planted out on Friday and we are now harvesting kabu,
with mizuna, wasabina, shungiku and karashina
becoming available in another week or two. We have good supplies of warabi
This year we are again trying naked oats, a new variety, and have some 150 gojiberry plants grown from seed. Fruit is already forming on the desert gooseberries planted last autumn and later this summer we will be budding 50 nashi pears.
| Preparing for
the future (2): during the winter we have dug 600 metres of trenches
and laid 50mm MDPE pipe for a water supply from our borehole and for
mains drinking water. We have also been preparing a second growing
field for 2012, fencing the perimeter against deer and rabbits. Both
projects have been an opportunity to learn more about the soil that
will be the prime ingredient for our future pleasure and productivity.
We have also planted 11 sakura trees, from which one day we hope to pick the blossoms and host a hanami.
|Preparing for the future (1): with the last London delivery on 22nd November our work and nature's work continues back at the farm. Yuzu - all 15 plants - were thrust prematurely outside this summer and are now wrapped up with a slim chance of winter survival. Soramame have a better chance and are now 5 or 6cm high, hopefully destined to give us a good harvest next May and June. For a crop in 2013 or 2014, we recently planted four varieties of desert blackcurrants and two varieties of whitecurrants. This weekend we have 50 gooseberry bushes to plant, varieties all sweet enough to eat straight from the bush!|
|Recent highlights have included the first flowers on our tara-no-me plants, some tasty - but unfortunately rather few - nigauri and the first sansho berries. As usual nature has suprised us with some new pests and the cool weather this summer means that we have a very poor yield of kabocha. This is the last week for edamame and shiso but we expect to start harvesting naga-negi and gobo soon, with continuing good supplies of shungiku, wasabina, komatsuna, mizuna and daikon.|
Sunday Japan Matsuri in London - 10.00 to 20.00 - not to be missed! Japan Matsuri 2011 is this year at County Hall, London SE1 7PB. An opportunity to talk to us face-to-face and to taste and buy fresh Japanese vegetables, harvested from 1 a.m. that morning. Our extensive list of produce will include four varieties of daikon, edamame, gobo, kabocha, three varieties of kabu, karashina, komatsuna, mizuna, naga-negi, nigauri, nira, shishitou peppers, shiso (red and green) shungiku and wasabina.
|9/09/2011||Some good crops of red kabu and other kabu varieties at present but shishitou and kabocha yields are low and the season has started 1 month later compared to last year, a direct result of the cool and cloudy conditions experienced this July and August. Nira is now growing very well after recent rains and Karami, China Rose and Kochin daikon are being lifted as well as regular varieties. We are currently harvesting some good edamame and the first komatsuna was harvested this week.|
|15/07/2011||The first nasu of 2011 were harvested on Wednesday but the future of supplies is uncertain, with parts of the crop being ravaged by Tetranychus urticae the two-spotted mite. Identification of predators is difficult and we are currently just waiting for nature to get to work. We continue to have good supplies of daikon, kabu, mizuna, shungiku, karashina and hakusai. Nira is available but struggling. Kabocha, kyuuri and nigauri are in full flower with fruits forming on all but the latter. Edamame and shishitou are also flowering and we should finally have some green shiso in early August.|
was included in Tuesday's Japanese vegetable box delivery to London and
we managed to find several large daikon for lucky
Forest Row customers. This daikon harvest sets a new record for us -
after washing and trimming
off older leaves, the largest daikon weighed 2.1kg
and was 42cm long, 9cm girth.
The spring shungiku and karashina have now finished but 'autumn' supplies will be available from mid-August through to December, likewise the wasabina season is over now but a new crop will be harvested from early September.
|25/05/2011||London vegetable box deliveries resume this week, Wednesday (south and west groups) and Friday (north). Daikon is now being harvested but we have had two crops failures with green shiso so supplies will be late this year.|
|13/05/2011||Japanese vegetable box to Tunbridge Wells and Bromley - please contact us if you would like to be added to the list. Deliveries to Brighton and Hove are now weekly and include the Japanese vegetable box, likewise to Forest Row. We now have good supplies of kabu, wasabina, karashina, mizuna, shungiku, sansho, yomogi and some ashitaba.|
|11/05/2011||Special sale of produce - kabu, wasabina, mizuna, karashina and kinome, possibly also ashitaba and mitsuba - at Koya Japanese Udon restaurant in London (Frith Street W1D 4SG) this Wednesday 11th May from 2 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.|
|13/04/2011||Special sale of produce - gobo, shungiku, wasabina, mitsuba, yomogi, warabi and tsukushi - at Koya Japanese Udon restaurant in London (Frith Street W1D 4SG) this Wednesday 13th from 2.30 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.|
|08/04/2011||Special sale of produce - gobo, shungiku, wasabina, mitsuba, yomogi, warabi and tsukushi - at Koya Japanese Udon restaurant in London (Frith Street W1D 4SG) this Friday 8th from 2.30 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.|
また、今回のチャリティーセールで大変お世話になりましたKOYAさんでもEat For Japan Dayと銘打って来週火曜日29日の売り上げ全額を義援金として寄付するそうです。
Eat for Japan day is on Tuesday 29th of March 2011. Koya is open for lunch between 12 – 3pm, and dinner between 5.30 – 10.30pm
100% of all takings will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross, Tohoku District
Koya is at 49 Frith Street, Soho, London W1D 4SG
|23/03/2011||Special sale of produce (gobo, shungiku, wasabina and mitsuba) at Koya Japanese Udon restaurant in London (Frith Street W1D 4SG) this Wednesday 23rd from 3.15 p.m. to 5.15 p.m|
|14/03/2011||We are considering how to make a small contribution to the rescue efforts now underway in Japan. This will most likely take the form of donating all our income from vegetable sales for a period of time. Since this is our low season, one option to boost sales (and so our contribution) would be to arrange a special digging and delivery of gobo to London. Proposals will be sent out to our customers shortly.|
|02/03/2011|| The first weekly
deliveries start this Thursday to Horsham
and include gobo and a limited range of fresh
leaves. This year we expect to start the first local vegetable box
deliveries to Brighton and Eastbourne
as early as April.
The first seeds of 2011 were sown yesterday - mizuna, wasabina, shungiku, karashina, kou-sai-tai, kabu, daikon and English letttuce. In 2011 we will be trying three new open-pollinated varieties of kabu including hinona kabu, and four new varieties of daikon, both in addition to our 2010 varieties. In this way we hope to extend the season, improve quality and of course give our customers more choice.
| We're back!
Despite record low temperatures in December our crops of mizuna,
komatsuna, mitsuba and ashitaba are growing very well in our unheated
glasshouse and are ready to harvest. Even the young yuzu seedlings
to have survived.
This week we have been using willow and hazel growing on our site to construct shade screens (see picture). Some of the uprights should root and produce new leaves and branches, giving strength and longevity to the structure and of course the screens blend in very well with the adjacent natural landscape.
| The last
delivery of 2010 was on Friday 26th and the season is now finished. For
anyone ready to travel and visit us however we will continue to harvest
gobo (minimum order 2kg). We hope to resume deliveries in April or May
We would like to thank all our 2010 customers, every one of whom has given us the strength and desire to continue despite numerous set-backs. Also a big thank you to everyone who has helped us in the field this year - this makes a huge difference, whether the help is for one day or for six months. For us, just an hour of sharing some work can leave a happy memory lasting a year or more!.
With the last
few beds of daikon now protected from frost by a
blanket of bracken, we keep ourselves warm under the stars
by digging gobo. Not quite as bad as waterboarding,
this is nevertheless quite a punishment when the soil is wet and we
have 20 kg to harvest before daylight!
With komatsuna attacked by slugs, snails and birds we are short of leaves this year, although shungiku is now going in the vegetable boxes and we hope to have wasabina in the next week or two.
| Deliveries to
shops and restaurants have now ceased for 2010 - a month earlier than
anticipated, due to unexpected
demand and some early frosts. We hope to continue vegetable
boxes for another month and to add shungiku,
wasabina and even some mitsuba
to the box selection.
Our last farmers' market of 2010 will be in Lewes on Saturday 6th November, 08.00 to 13.00, when a reduced selection will include daikon, gobo, kabocha, otsukemono and English beetroot.
|15/10/2010||Gobo finally went into the vegetable boxes today - it took 6 hours to harvest 12 kilograms by torchlight early this morning. Today was also our longest ever London delivery run, leaving the field at 11 a.m. and not getting back until 10 p.m. With frost expected next week we have now reached the end of our nasu and shiso seasons but expect to have gobo, daikon and kabocha available in to November.|
| Vegetable boxes
- we are delighted with the recent surge in popularity of these
and ask you to please be patient if we cannot immediately arrange a
delivery. To ensure we keep our prices low, we have to plan our London
journeys very carefully.
Azuki beans, from 2009 farm-saved saved, now have green pods. Lewes Farmers Market on Saturday saw our first sale of English quinces. Swamp Milkweed grown as an experiment this year is now making an amazing sight as the seed pods start to split open. Kabocha is now being put into all vegetable boxes and we will soon dig deep to see if our gobo crop is good enough for sale this year.
Saturday in London - 10.00 to 20.00 - this is the event not to be missed! Japan Matsuri 2010 at Spitalfields Market, Brushfield Street, London E1 6AA. An opportunity to talk to us face-to-face and to taste and buy our produce, harvested from 1 a.m. that morning.
|Do-nothing farming. Annuals can be perennials. Why spend time and money on cultivation, buying and sowing seed when nature will do it, better, for free? The pictures here show a green-manure mixture of crimson clover, vetch and cereal rye sown at considerable expense in early autumn 2009 to improve the soil. A blaze of colour in May, the crop has already self-seeded and is growing well, ready to perform again prior to planting crops in spring 2011. Common self-seeders elsewhere are buckwheat, phacelia, yellow trefoil, fennel, sorrel, mizuna, shungiku, shiso, lettuce and beetroot and we have many good harvests from crops produced in this way.|
|04/09/2010||Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 we will be at the Cliffe High Street Lewes Farmer's Market. Daikon, edamame (freshly harvested on the stem, and some cooked ready to eat), shishitou peppers, nasu (Japanese aubergine), kabu, karashina, mizuna, red and green shiso, shungiku, beetroot, rocket and Charantais melon will be on sale, together with our bags of ready-to-eat seasonal salad. Also on sale will be some will be the first kabocha of the season, some Otsukemono (pickled kabu, and pickled daikon) and as usual we will have some English cottage garden cut flowers.|
|We are now have good supplies of shishitou, sun-ripened and crunchy, together with more limited quantities of the new purple togarashi and some manganji peppers. Momotaro tomatoes taste excellent, as do nasu and the new season of edamame. We should be able to supply up to 1,000 stems per week of edamame (including black edamame) between now and early November. Shiso is growing very well outside this year, sheltered from strong winds by 1-metre high flowering soba. The first kabocha will be harvested this week and we're relieved to finally have some rain.....|
|07/08/2010||Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 we will be at the Cliffe High Street Lewes Farmer's Market. The first edamame of 2010 will be on sale, together with daikon, hakusai, kabu, karashina, kyuuri, nasu, nira, shiso, shungiku and possibly the first shishitou peppers of 2010. Bags of our ever-popular ready-to-eat seasonal salad will be available, probably some Charantais melons, and some unusual 'English cottage garden' cut flowers. Tubs of fresh black mulberries will complete this month's line-up.|
|03/08/2010||Today this harvest of ninety nasu.......||.......came from this remote outpost ......|
|24/07/2010||The first Charantais melons were harvested today - a total of 5, beautifully fragrant and intensely sweet, a well-deserved reward for some hard labour earlier in the year preparing the new glasshouse at our Cooksbridge site. We were very pleased to welcome two families from Acton to share this harvest, and who were able to harvest other vegetables from our field whilst seeing at first hand the methods we use to grow (and the methods nature uses to destroy our crops if we don't get things right!).||
|21/07/2010||Seed saving - even though it is only mid-summer, this important task has already begun. So far this year angelica, ashitaba, shungiku and soramame seeds have been harvested from our land and an oak-leaved lettuce is about to follow. Whilst we encourage crops to self-seed (often resulting in an earlier harvest), collecting some of the seed allows us more choices in where we grow the following year and gives greater certainty. In both cases the result is a crop better adapted to local conditions.||
|Seasonal salads looked good at the weekend as numerous edible flowers are now available to complement our selection of leaves. The first mizu-nasu were harvested for Wabi restaurant in Horsham recently and kyuuri will be available from this Friday. Our new glasshouse, having not yet attained the controlling balance of a natural ecosystem, continues to house large numbers of whitefly and greenfly which are attacking our crops. However ladybird larvae and adults taken from angelica plants in Lewes are now thriving and multiplying, as are hoverflies too, both feeding voraciously on the pests.|
|03/07/2010||Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 we will be at the Cliffe High Street Lewes Farmers' Market.|
|01/07/2010||Available now are good supplies of red and green shiso, some small daikon, hakusai, kabu, karashina, mizuna, nira, sansho, shungiku, soramame and wasabina. We also have small quantities of kinsai and mitsuba. Kabocha have the first female flowers and nigauri have just started flowering. Some fruit is forming on nasu but these are suffering badly from aphid attack. Our first momotaro tomatoes are green and should be ripe for picking soon.|
|16/06/2010||Some excellent soramame are now being harvested - truly delicous, these are larger and sweeter than the English broad bean varieties and the long harsh growing season (plants endured snow and -9 degrees celsius) has probably enhanced the flavour and nutrition. Air freight from Japan was expensive for these large seeds so we intend to save some of this year's crop to sow again this October.||
|08/06/2010||Wild and alpine strawberries are now in season and we will harvest the first soramame this week. Red and green shiso are now available in limited quantities as is the purple-stemmed kou-sai-tai. A shaky start for vegetable boxes, with Hove now regular and Bromley started last week, Wimbledon and New Malden this week. However due to a number of crop failures discovered yesterday we have with great regret had to cancel Friday's Dulwich delivery. Finally, we have successfully propagated a further 33 yuzu seedlings after losing our previous plants last winter. Some seeds proved polyembrionic and it will be interesting to see how they develop.||
|15/05/2010||The first vegetable boxes of 2010 finally went out on Thursday 13th to a new collection point in Hove. We expect to have enough produce for London deliveries very shortly. A complete absence of rain for over a month and very low temperatures have put back our growing schedule by a full month, however rain and warmer weather start today!|
|01/05/2010||Wagashi! Hand-made by Worthing-base An-an these traditional Japanese sweets will be available at our first market of the season, Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 at the Cliffe High Street, Lewes, Farmer's Market. A limited quantity of nira, shungiku, wasabina, yomogi, sansho and mixed salad bags will be on sale. Some English produce will also be available - sorrel, Swiss chard, myrrh, lovage and angelica. We will have a limited number of young shiso plants available.|
We are desperately trying to find sufficient fresh produce to re-start
these but the long cold winter and current drought have not helped. In
the shortest crop turnaround time (from sowing to harvest) is 4 weeks -
mizuna. Daikon and shiso take 8 weeks, edamame 12, nasu, shishitou and
gobo 16 to 20 weeks. Box deliveries should start in the second half of
the first week in June.
Meanwhile warabi is now in season and we recently found a 'giant tsukishi' with a distinct fragrance of chocolate! This is a different species to the Japanese plant and not one we will be selling.
Ready even before the warabi has emerged, this wild delicacy was
harvested from our Isfield site on Tuesday and made a delicous addition
to our picnic lunch the
next day. The plant is rich in anti-oxidants, including the flavanoid
Yomogi leaves are now abundant, sansho and tara-no-me leaves are opening and any day now we expect the first cherry blossom flowers.
||With longer days and very slightly warmer weather, soramame (a sweet and large-seeded Japanese broad bean) is growing better, as are self-seeded lettuce and self-seeded shiso. Gobo has self-seeded and numerous perennial crops are emerging from winter hibernation - nira, lovage, musk mallow and Turkish rocket for example. Other crops such as alpine strawberry and salad burnet never disappeared over winter. We continue to harvest a limited range of salad leaves for local outlets.|
||Hedge planting! From this Friday 4th, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday 9th we will be planting over 1,000 young trees including 30 different species. The weather forecast is for sunshine and no rain so why not come down and join us for some fresh air, exercise and good company? We will provide food and wine, plus accommodation if you wish to stay for more than a day. Call Ikuko on 07803 927912 for more information.|
|12/02/2010||Small but significant. First sales of 2010 today - 42 salad bags for a local box scheme, harvested early this morning from a range of crops planted in October 2009 that have survived sub-zero temperatures during the winter. English rocket has grown particularly well, as have mibuna, mizuna and wasabina. Lettuce sown in February 2009, harvested then allowed to self-seed, has now produced a large number of young plants without any human intervention.||
|01/02/2010||Back from another expedition to Japan we were able to visit a couple of farms where hand-operated rice and wheat harvesting equipment is still used. A serrated-edge kuma (like a small sickle) is used to cut the cereal which is then tied in sheafs and left to dry. A foot-operated thresher and hand-operated winnower leave grains ready for eating or further processing. Nothing unusual in this, except in farm supply stores in Japan all this equipment is still available! Made of metal, a modern manual thresher retails at £280 and the winnower £160.||
| The 2009
season is now finished, with over 200mm of rain in November turning our
into a lake! We found a good use for bracken as an insulating blanket
for daikon (heavy frost otherwise destroys the exposed part of the
root) and have enough produce growing to supply the family over winter,
including parsnips and celeriac
(our first year growing these).
We recently planted some black raspberries (Rubus
occidentalis) in attrocious conditions at our Cooksbridge
site and have soramame growing
ready for next year. Our autumn planting of gobo
failed due to the wet conditions and a number of other crops were lost
to pests but in general this has been a very successful year.
The Japanese Vegetable Box has been very popular and we greatly enjoy harvesting and packing this, knowing it will arrive just a few hours later with a family who will benefit from it's nutrition. Despite long hours doing the deliveries (London is a 5 to 7 hour return journey) we are keen to expand this in 2010 to more families in more locations. Given good growing conditions next spring, we would expect to resume deliveries in April or early May 2010.
|05/12/2009||Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 we will be at the Cliffe High Street Lewes Farmer's Market for the first time ever in December. We will have hot miso soup made from our own Sussex-grown soya beans, some vegetable crisps, otsukemono, daikon, gobo, naga-negi, shungiku and bags of seasonal salad.|
advantage of strong winds
and 2 days without rain recently, we harvested seeds from nira.
nira benefits from being divided every few years and to meet demand we
will further increase our stocks by sowing the harvested seed (although
the existing plants are also self-seeding).
Our direct-sown batch of azuki-beans have also
finally ripened, some two months after we harvested the previous batch,
and as with nira
we will be saving this seed for sowing in 2010.
Our season is nearly at an end. London deliveries next Monday and Tuesday will probably be our last, as with Brighton on Thursday. If we have any produce left to harvest, we will do a final 'Christmas Special' vegetable box delivery on the 9th.
|07/11/2009||Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 we will be at the Cliffe High Street Lewes Farmer's Market. For our last market of 2009 we will have daikon, gobo, kabocha, komatsuna, shungiku, tatsoi, otsukemono, beetroot, carrots, Swiss chard and bags of seasonal salad. As a special winter-warmer we will also have hot roast daikon or daikon miso-soup to take away!|
|The first gobo was harvested last Friday, requiring the digging of a 1-metre deep trench. This is by far the most labour-intensive crop to harvest, but yields are poor this year due to the dry summer. Naga-negi has grown very well and this morning we enjoyed it's delicious sweet fragrance as we trimmed the roots after harvest for some 40 vegetable boxes destined for London. One naga-negi plant, trimmed, can weigh up to 400g. Today was the last harvest of shishitou peppers and nasu, but we have had no frosts so far....|
|03/10/2009||Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 we will be at the Cliffe High Street Lewes Farmer's Market. On sale will be daikon - including karami and some highly decorative pink and green varieties, edamame (freshly harvested on the stem, and some cooked ready to eat), kabocha, kabu, komatsuna, mizuna, shungiku, tatsoi and wasabina, together with bags of ready-to-eat seasonal salad. Also on sale will be some otsukemono - Japanese style pickled daikon, prepared from our own harvests. We may have the first gobo of the season and as usual will have some 'English cottage garden' cut flowers.|
|02/10/2009||Biggest ever UK organically-grown daikon? Before dawn this morning we harvested our best to date, weighing 1.83 kg and measuring 34cm x 8.5cm. Sown outside on 20th July, this had taken 74 days to reach maturity and was a good straight shape. We hope it's taste and freshness will be appreciated by customers at Nobu London.|
|Daikon and edamame harvests continue, and the first tatsoi, komatsuna and kabocha were harvested recently. Some red azuki beans were harvested today - the first time we have been successful with this crop - and the tasty alpine strawberries continue to distract and delay us whilst harvesting the adjacent nasu and shishitou peppers. Shiso is now flowering and the season for leaves will end within the next fortnight, but we have good supplies of shungiku, and soon gobo, to take us up to the end of the year.|
|19/09/2009||At Spitalfields Market the Japan Mitsuri will be a big attraction from 10.00 to 20.00. We'll have some fresh edamame on the stem and some young daikon pulled from the ground at dawn, together with a selection of other vegetables including nigauri (goya). Please contact us if you would like to pick up a special order from our stand.|
|05/09/2009||Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 we will be at the Cliffe High Street Lewes Farmer's Market. Daikon, edamame (freshly harvested on the stem, and some cooked ready to eat), kabu, karashina, kyuuri, mizuna, shiso, shungiku, wasabina, beetroot, carrots, chard, melon and wild rocket will be on sale, together with bags of ready-to-eat seasonal salad. Also on sale will be some otsukemono - Japanese style pickled kyuuri and daikon, prepared from our own harvests. We should have the first kabocha of the season and as usual will have some 'English cottage garden' cut flowers.|
....crisp & juicy
|First nigauri harvest! Cut at 24cm long and 5cm girth to ensure not too much bitterness, the success of these plants has come as a suprise. Growing in an unheated polytunnel we have a number of other fruits almost ready to harvest among the 20 plants growing.|
|01/09/2009||This Tuesday we have a new vegetable box delivery to Hackney E8 and Canary Wharf.|
|20/08/2009||We now have some
excellent crops of
edamame, kyuuri and shishitou pepper being harvested. Also daikon
have reached full size, with an average weight of over 900 grams for 17
daikon delivered today and a record of 1.7kg set on the 19th for
a 10cm diameter monster! Yields on edamame are good, with 30 to 60 pods
per stem. Coming very soon will be kabocha, again
excellent crop this year thanks to some self-seeded phacelia and
buckwheat attracting pollinators.
|19/08/2009||Finally able to meet
demand, on Wednesday 19th August we have a resumption of supply to Japan Centre in
Piccadilly, London, and a vegetable-box drop for Finchley.
We are also seeking a new collection point in the City
(EC1 / EC2 /
EC3) - please contact
us if you would be interested in a Japanese vegetable box in
|01/08/2009||Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 we will be at the Cliffe High Street Lewes Farmer's Market. Harvesting from 1 a.m., we will have daikon, edamame, kabu, karashina, nasu (baby aubergine), nira, shishitou peppers, shiso and shungiku on sale, together with bags of ready-to-eat seasonal salad. We will also have some 'English cottage garden' cut flowers, and maybe a few mulberries!|
Wasp on Daikon
|Wasps have a purpose! Some years after cursing the common wasp as swarms disrupted every picnic on Cap Ferrat, we have for the first time witnessed one beneficial action of these creatures. Whilst the altogether different parasitic wasps (aphelinids, braconids, figitidae and trichogrammas) are well-known beneficial insects the English wasp Vespula vulgaris is rarely mentioned. Lifting horticultural fleece off batches of daikon earlier this week to put a stop to the beginnings of whitefly attack, we witnessed large numbers of the common wasp amongst the hundreds of ladybirds and other beneficials. The wasps are attracted by, and feed on, the sweet sticky secretion of whitefly as well as possibly eating the whitefly themselves. This sticky whitefly secretion would otherwise turn to mould, affecting the marketability of our crop.|
|24/07/2009||We are now harvesting the first edamame, nasu and shishitou peppers of 2009. Call us if you'd like some!|
|17/07/2009||First kyuuri! Only 3cm long at this stage so it will be another couple of weeks before harvest. Also noted today were flower buds on nigauri ('bitter melon' or 'balsam pear') and some good shishitou peppers forming. The first female kabocha flower bud was noted, amongst hundreds of males, and we have several melon fruit forming on our trial plants.||
|Another mad rush harvesting this morning but a great privilege to make the first delivery for a 4th collection point for the Japanese vegetable box scheme, in Finchley N3. We are very disappointed however not to have a better supply of daikon - the crop this year is as nutritious and tasty as ever but has been attacked by the bacterium Streptomyces scabies, leaving surface scars on the root. Some top quality nasu are almost ready to harvest and we should have some edamame available in the next few weeks.|
|11/07/2009||Natsu Matsuri in West Acton! This Japanese summer festival will be held on Saturday from 11.30 to 16.00 and is a golden opportunity for you to meet us, learn about our box scheme and choose from a range of organically-grown Japanese vegetables harvested earlier this same morning. The festival will take place at Maeda Gakuen Acton Yochienon in the Queens Drive playing field (W3 0HT) and some 50 to 60 stalls will be present. There will be a small entrance fee at the gate, with proceedings being donated to the Great Ormond Children’s Hospital.|
|04/07/2009||Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 we will be at the Cliffe High Street Lewes Farmer's Market. Mizuna, shungiku, karashina, kabu, nira, shiso and daikon will be on sale, together with bags of ready-to-eat seasonal salad. We will also have some 'English cottage garden' cut flowers.|
|17/06/2009||A new vegetable box drop-off point - London SW20 - starts today, adding to our existing Dulwich and Isleworth locations. Please contact us if you would like to take part.|
|First daikon harvested today, but as with other root crops they do not grow as well in the clay soil at Isfield as they do in the lighter Lewes soil. We expect a major improvement once we start growing on the sandy soils at Cooksbridge next year. Apart from daikon, currently being harvested are kabu, karashina, numerous varieties of English lettuce, mizuna, nira, English red radishes, wild rocket, sansho, shiso, shungiku, sorrel, wasabina and a range of English herbs. Edible flowers of borage, clover, elderflower, lovage, mallow, myrrh, ox-eye daisy, rocket, sage and shungiku are in season. Edamame, kabocha, kyuuri, nasu and shishitou continue to be plantedand we are attempting a small number of nigauri this year under cover.|
|06/06/2009||Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 we will be at the Cliffe High Street Lewes Farmer's Market. Mizuna, shungiku, karashina, kabu, nira and the first shiso of the season will be on sale, together with bags of ready-to-eat seasonal salad and wild rocket. We will also have some unusual fresh cut flowers.|
|28/05/2009||Slow Food and Japanese Street Festival in Bartholemew Square, Brighton, from Thursday 28th to Sunday 31st. More details here. We will be selling edamame plants and a wide range of Japanese and English produce, together with our ever-popular mixed salad bags.|
|17/05/2009||New East Brighton Market - the launch has now been postponed until the 3rd Sunday of the following month, June 21st! Still expected to run from 10.00 to 15.00 at the Brighton Steiner School, Roedean Road, Brighton, BN2 5RA.|
|14/05/2009||Three mulberries. The only successful mulberry trees from seed this year have been the Russian mulberry Morus alba tatarica. Planting by seed assures deeper roots with greater capacity to find water and nutrients. Our other young trees are flowering and already forming fruit. Apart from the delicious fruit, without adding any preservatives the juice can be kept fresh under cold storage for three months. Leaves of the white mulberry make an excellent fodder crop and also a tea that lowers blood pressure.||
|08/05/2009||London deliveries will resume on Fridays and we are also launching a Japanese vegetable box scheme. Please contact us if you would like to take part.|
|04/05/2009||Last week I was struck by the passion for wild foraged food and intense flavours displayed by two very different chefs, both experts and highly successful in their field. On Tuesday Ross Pavey of Moonrakers in Alfriston visited us to collect an order, and spent some time expounding the virtues of a number of traditional but often forgotten English herbs and wild produce. Later in the same week, Sylvain le Gleud, executive chef at the new Soseki restaurant in the City of London, visited us and impressed me with his encyclopedic knowledge of lovage, angelica, wild rocket and the art and science of producing the best flavours to excite the palate without hiding the fresh ingredients. It seems 'foraging' has made fashionable again the superb flavours found only when produce is grown by nature.||Samples|
|02/05/2009||First market of the season! Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 We will be at the Cliffe High Street, Lewes, Farmer's Market. Gobo, kabu, mizuna, nira, shungiku, wasabina, yomogi and mixed salad bags will be on sale. Some English produce will also be available - myrrh, lovage, angelica, salad burnet and chicory.|
|We are not big fans of growing in artificial environments like polytunnels, partly because the flavour of most crops suffers significantly (in general it is much milder). However, as a business we have to compete with other growers and provide what our customers demand. Wasabina and daikon leaves, pictured left, in our polytunnel are now being harvested for our 'seasonal salad' where milder flavours are often preferred.|
| Self-management. The
picture to the left
shows red clover (perennial) and phacelia (self-seeded) already forming
ground cover on 6th April this year, yet we have done nothing since
sowing the seeds in May 2008. These green manures are multi-purpose:
they reduce nutrient leaching during the heavy rains of winter and
early spring, but they also suppress weeds, lift nutrients up from
deeper in the soil,
fix nitrogen (red clover only) from the atmosphere as the weather warms
up and when flowering they attract numerous beneficial insects to help
fight crop pests.
Ashitaba grown from saved seed was transplanted today to a woodland edge site. Mizuna, shungiku, sorrel and wasabina are now being harvested. Finally we have a mystery seedling which is either the Japanese persimmon (kaki) or a ginkgo nut.
|25/03/2009||Harvesting now: angelica, fennel, lovage, myrrh, naga-negi and yomogi. Emerging from winter sleep: ashitaba, fuki, tara-no-me, sansho and udo. Self-seeded: ashitaba, gobo, land cress and orache. No sign of mitsuba yet. In flower: naga-negi, primroses and violets. Fertility-building green manures on our East Chiltington site, sown earlier this month, have now germinated and are at the seed-leaf stage.|
|21/03/2009||First supply of 2009. A mix of 13 different seasonal salad leaves to Circa Events for a wedding at Southover Grange in Lewes. All except one of these leaves were grown outdoors by nature, being perennial or self-seeded. Edible flowers in season were primroses and violets.|
|14/03/2009||Brighton and Hove Japanese Club - 10th Anniversary Open Day. Saturday from 12 to 4 p.m. Free admission. Featuring a Japanese cafe, yo-yo fishing, tea ceremony, dancing, aikido, wadaiko, Japanese massage, manga portraits, jumble sale and much else of interest. We will not have a stall at this event, but it is a rare opportunity to 'visit Japan' for an afternoon and to learn more about what is happening locally.|
|28/02/2009||More fruit! Blackberry 'Kotata' and 'Chester' were planted on our trials plot in Lewes today, as were three varieties of white currant. Thirty raspberry canes ('Malling Admiral', 'Himbo Top' and 'Glen Prosen') will be planted in the next few days.|
|Survivors! Angelica, corn salad, fennel, hyssop, mizuna, parsley, rosemary, rue, sage, salad burnet and thyme all show signs of life and others such as ashitaba have self-sown. Temperatures during the winter dropped to minus 9 Celsius. The first new seeds of 2009 were sown under cover on 1st February and we are aiming for an early start to the season this year. Later in the season we will be trying to grow nigauri (bitter melon), an outdoor sweet melon and a new variety of wild strawberry. We will be expanding our range of cut flowers and have several new varieties of Japanese vegetables and herbs available.||
|01/12/2008|| This is now
of our season,
although we still have shungiku and daikon available to special order.
Given good growing conditions next spring, we would expect to resume
deliveries in April or early May 2009.
Next year will be a challenging one as we endeavour both to maximise productivity at Isfield and put in place the infrastructure at our new Cooksbridge site, where we hope to carry out some innovative research in addition to growing a wider range of crops. More ashitaba (Angelica keiskei) have been sown in the last few days, from more than 500 harvested seeds. We will make a second attempt early next year to grow Pyrus, Saskatoon, Sea Buckthorn, Caragana arborescens and two Mulberry species.
|5/11/2008|| Still some bees around,
attracted to a second flush of flowers on phacelia
to the yellow flowers of shungiku and the white and pink flowers of
daikon. Crimson clover and clary sage continue to flower too.
Kabocha were all harvested before the first frosts but we still have some in storage to supply until the end of the year. Nira is now shutting down for the winter but land cress, wild rocket, turkish rocket and radicchio continue to give a good supply of healthy green leaves. Our main Japanese crops at this time of year are daikon, shungiku, mizuna and komatsuna.
|04/10/2008||Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 we will be at the Cliffe High Street, Lewes, Farmer's Market. Ever-popular edamame and kabocha (sweet winter squash) will be on sale, also shiso, daikon, shungiku, kabu, mizuna, land cress, lettuce, beetroot, carrots and bags of ready-to-eat seasonal salad.|
| Excellent yields on edamame
this year, with many plants having 50 to 65 pods per stem. We now have
substantial quantities of these
available. Kabocha has not yielded so well, with
only 2 to 3 fruits per plant this year - possible due to the very
exposed location and some high winds at
flowering time. The first shishitou peppers were
harvested recently as was the first gobo.
Until struck down with Phytophthora infestans (blight), we were harvesting some delicious tomatoes and somehow nature was able to create a yellow tomato with a pefect hook attached (see picture)! As the hawthorns glow red and leaves start to fall, we look forward to learning more about the natural world in which we work in order to be better prepared next year.
Tomato for hanging?
|02/08/2008||Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 we will be at the Cliffe High Street, Lewes, Farmer's Market. Edamame and kyuuri (Japanese cucumber) will make their first market appearance this year. Also on sale will be daikon, shungiku, kabu, tatsoi, lettuce and Swiss chard, together with bags of ready-to-eat seasonal salad.|
|30/07/2008||First Edamame harvest of 2008! Twenty stems were despatched, along with other vegetables to Japan Centre in Piccadilly, London.|
|20/07/2008||Sunday 18.00 to 21.00 we will be at Pelham House in St. Andrews Lane, Lewes for 'A Celebration of Local Food and Drink'. This is an opportunity for local producers and makers, caterers and food retailers, restaurateurs and publicans, to meet in a convivial atmosphere. Members of the public are very welcome to attend and admission is free. There will be a bar, BBQ and cooked food available to purchase. We will have samples and explanations of what we do and how we work.|
Delivery by Train
| Small deliveries to London are now being
done by train - despite the absence of guards vans.
Whilst the rail fare is roughly the same as fuel + congestion charge,
it saves us some time and keeps our carbon footprint down.
Crop news: edamame pods are swelling rapidly and will soon be ready for harvest; kyuuri are growing rapidly and the first harvest will be this very week; various salad leaves including lettuce and chicory are available but shiso has had a poor start due to a poor seed sowing medium (too much clay!). Daikon are available and kabocha are growing rapidly - we should have an excellent harvest of kabocha from August through to December.
|05/07/2008||Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 we will be at the Cliffe High Street, Lewes, Farmer's Market. Daikon, mizuna, shungiku, karashina, tatsoi, nira, mitsuba, yomogi, wild rocket, lettuce and Swiss chard will be on sale, together with bags of ready-to-eat seasonal salad.|
|07/06/2008||Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 we will be at the Cliffe High Street, Lewes, Farmer's Market. Mizuna, mitsuba, karashina, nira, yomogi, soramame, daikon pods and wild rocket will be on sale, together with bags of ready-to-eat seasonal salad. We will also have some unusual fresh cut flowers.|
| New micro-environments including some woodland
and wetland will
be available to us later this year after
agreement was reached today
on the purchase of a further 27 acres of land adjacent to our
Cooksbridge site, giving us a total of 60 acres at this location. This
will allow us to grow a greater range of crops
in their natural
habitats and give us all the choice we need for the future.
Warabi was harvested from our Isfield site recently and we have several more harvests to come! The taste is a little like asparagus.
|21/04/2008||Myoga shoots are appearing above ground at our Lewes site. Nira is starting new growth and we are dividing older plants whilst moving them to Isfield. The first new season seeds have now germinated at Isfield - daikon, shungiku, phacelia and clary sage - and we have transplanted the young ashitaba seedlings grown from 2007 harvested seed. Like many growers at this time of year we are working until dusk every day (8.20 this week) to ensure seed is sown in time for the harvests our customers expect. The days are immensely enjoyable, with cuckoos, geese, a woodpecker and a few rabbits keeping us company and warm sunshine with spectacular sunsets if we're lucky.|
|19/03/2008|| First supply of 2008.
This was purely to test out a new pipeline into London, set up by
Caroline Bennett at Moshi-Moshi
to combine supplies from the south
coast - fish from Hastings and Eastbourne was transported in the same
specially adapted refrigerated van and a number of London restaurants
will take supplies using the same twice-weekly delivery system.
| Our first precision
seeder was finally
and ordered today - the AP-1 from Agritecno Yazaki in Japan.
Sophisticated, but it burns no fuel and we expect to order another
seeder in a few weeks.
The vast majority of this year's seed has now arrived but we are still trying to bring in a cold-tolerant sweet-potato variety for trials. The first seeds of 2008 were sown today - 57 Yuzu seeds, some already germinating after only being outside the fruit for a week. 7 yuzu seedlings have survived from 72 sown in February 2007.
Finally, the young Sea Buckthorn are now sending out new leaves and we expect to transplant these to open ground early this year. Sea Buckthorn is an Actinorhizal plant that hosts a nitrogen-fixing Frankia strain of bacteria. It's not only legumes that fix nitrogen...
|12/02/2008|| Naked Oats seed
arrived! This will be our first year growing oats and we are still
trying to locate a supplier for spelt wheat. Our
main vegetable and
herb seed orders are only now being completed so we expect a later than
usual start to the season this year. Our salad range will be even
greater than last year with many new flavours, colours and textures not
to mention the additional nutritional boost!
|24/01/2008|| Fuki plants
have no leaves at this
time of year but four flower buds - a substantial increase on last
year. Established ashitaba
plants continue to send out new leaves throughout the winter and even
those that flowered last year are starting new growth. Yomogi
has fresh new leaves at the base of last year's flower stems and mitsuba
is also starting new growth during the current mild weather. Daikon
readily survives the winter and some batches are starting new leaf
growth but frost damages that part of the root above the ground, making
it difficult to market.
|20/01/2008|| => Ashitaba
emerging, from seed
our flowering plants last year.
=> The black rock hens are now laying eggs but we have increasing doubts about the impact of hens on the slug population.
=> The year is starting with many uncertainties for us, as we no longer have the use of our land at Ringmer and have yet to find a replacement. We seek any plot of between half and twenty acres to rent or buy and any rental agreement need only be for one or two years, as we have our Cooksbridge land coming on stream late 2009. We would be happy to share land with a local community group. Please contact us if you can help. Assuming we find land in the next few weeks, we expect to resume sales of fresh produce in April or May.
Lewes Farmers Market
| As our 2007 season draws to a close
we continue to prepare for the longer term and in the last few weeks
have sown seed of Pyrus
(a potential rootstock), Saskatoon (rumoured to be better than a
blueberry!), Crataegus tanacetifolia (a type of hawthorn - food,
pollinator and windbreak), Siberian Pea Tree (lentil) and more Sea
Buckthorn (food, windbreak and possible rabbit fence).
Early morning harvesting recently has required us to use 3 layers of fleece put down the previous afternoon to ensure leaves are protected from sub-zero temperatures. Whilst the growing plant will survive these temperatures and guard it's leaves against damage, if harvested whilst frozen the leaves are not 'repaired' and become unsaleable as they thaw. We currently have mizuna, daikon and tatsoi available and only the last two of these are happy in the cold of winter.
|04/11/2007||Four 'Black Rock' hens have been enlisted to join the battle against slugs. Our existing 'Light Sussex' breed (see 14th February entry) have not been as efficient as we had hoped so we are doubling the numbers and trying a different breed. The 'Black Rock' does at least have the bonus of laying well right through the winter. We now have two mobile hen-houses to shift on to fallow land as it becomes available between harvests and plantings.|
|03/11/2007||Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 we will be at the Cliffe High Street, Lewes, Farmer's Market. On sale will be the first harvest of komatsuna, a wide range of daikon (most colours except blue and yellow!), kabu, karashina, shiso, shungiku, mizuna, tatsoi, wasabina, wild rocket, land cress, orange swiss chard and bags of ready-to-eat seasonal salad. We have some naga-imo at £18 per kg if you care to order in advance.|
|31/10/2007|| Another yam was sacrificed today
for a special order.
Two large and one small tuber had formed, with a fourth long shriveled
tuber being the remains of the previous year's growth. After trimming
and washing the saleable tuber weighed 482 grams. A few days ago the
first crop of tubercles were harvested and planted, although whether
these are big enough to form new naga-imo plants will not be known
until next April. We intend to try other methods of propagating this
Ashitaba seeds were harvested and sown today - some brown and ripe, some still green. Not all the flowers formed seed.
|17/10/2007||Today we exchanged contracts on 33 acres of the best soil within 50 miles of Lewes. Only 3.5 miles north-east of Lewes, we expect to start planting on this land in 2009.|
|15/10/2007||First yam harvested. One Nebari-imo (Dioscorea japonica) was dug up. Stickier and less-crisp than Naga-imo, we sliced this thinly and ate raw. Just like in Japan! You can see the latest pictures here.|
|06/10/2007||Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 we will be at the Cliffe High Street, Lewes, Farmer's Market. On sale will be daikon - including a special firey-hot daikon, a red daikon that is pink(!) and some green icicle daikon - kabu, karashina, shiso, shungiku, tatsoi, togarashi (Japanese not-so-hot pepper!), shishitou pepper, umakarana (like wasabina), edamame, wild rocket, land cress, orange swiss chard and bags of ready-to-eat seasonal salad. We may even have a seasonal quince or two to give away.|
|01/09/2007||Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 we will be at the Cliffe High Street, Lewes, Farmer's Market. Daikon, edamame, kabu, land cress, mitsuba, mizuna, nira, shiso, shungiku, togarashi (Japanese not-so-hot pepper!), wasabina, wild rocket, yomogi and bags of ready-to-eat seasonal salad will be on sale.|
|18/08/2007||A second big kabocha harvest from our land at Ringmer, despite two months of neglect. This year we have a new traditional Japanese variety, 'Kogiku of Kanda' (see picture). Also from Ringmer, some over-sized kyuuri which have grown despite waist-high weeds and the absence of any supporting poles. The first myoga has been harvested but, like the edamame, this has suffered from this year's cool temperatures and lack of sunshine. Buds are few and rather thin - it is unlikely that we will have any available for commercial sale.|
|Shungiku continues to be devastated by disease, now officially identified by Defra labs as Bremia lactucae. Our grateful thanks to Rollo Pyper for his help with this. Edamame root nodulation has occurred for the first time this year, thanks to the introduction of Bradyrhizobium japonicum to the soil. Whilst this has helped growth, it has not made up for the lack of sunshine and warmth. This year we are growing 15 different varieties of daikon, the strongest-tasting of which is now available ('Karami 199') and both black and red-skinned varieties will be available in a few more weeks.|
|Please note that our London deliveries to Japan Centre are now on Fridays not Thursdays, and fresh seasonal produce should be available from 2 p.m. on that day.|
|04/08/2007||Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 we will be at the Cliffe High Street, Lewes, Farmer's Market. Daikon, edamame, kabu, mitsuba, mizuna, nira, shiso, shungiku, tatsoi, wasabina, wild rocket, yomogi and bags of ready-to-eat seasonal salad will be on sale. There will also be a cooking demonstration!|
|28/07/2007||The good news: kyuuri have been available for a couple of weeks now, daikon, kabu, mizuna, karashina and wasabina are all growing well and suffering from fewer pests thanks to the cooler weather. The bad news: cool weather and a lack of sunshine this season has meant that edamame yields are very low. Other news: nasu is flowering, as are some ashitaba plants, and we have some peppers forming on the togarashi (nanban) plants. Our hens are very happy feeding on hakusai, tatsoi and a range of other material that we can often only speculate on, however the wet weather has meant that slugs and snails are multiplying faster than our hens can find and eat them.|
|19/07/2007||First London delivery of 2007. We plan weekly trips every Thursday - harvesting from 00.30, fresh produce should be available in London from 12 noon at the Japan Centre in Piccadilly.|
|16/07/2007||A third delivery vehicle is now in our possession! With a Euro-IV compliant engine, CO2 emissions of 214 g/km and 36 miles to the gallon this is the best we could find for London deliveries and to combat the charging structure of the forthcoming Low Emission Zone.|
|09/07/2007||A big thank you to Chie who travelled down from London to help with harvesting and the market, and to Ayumi from Lewes, for helping make Saturday's market a success. The first sunshine and warmth for a long time added to the atmosphere and we hope all who came to the market had an enjoyable day. The new and popular (althougth un-announced) salad leaf was wasabi-na - vivid green, ornate, crisp and juicy with a light taste of wasabi. This seed was brought back for us by a visitor to Japan and we will be growing more!|
|07/07/2007||Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 we will be at the Cliffe High Street, Lewes, Farmer's Market. Mizuna, shungiku, kabu, daikon, baby daikon, shiso, karashina, tatsoi, nira, mitsuba, yomogi, wild rocket, chicory and bags of ready-to-eat mixed salad will be on sale. We may also have some hakusai for the first time since 2005.|
|17/06/2007||Sunday 18.30 to 21.00 we will be at the All Saints Centre in Friars Walk, Lewes. This is billed as 'A Summer Celebration of Local Food and Drink' and is an opportunity for producers and makers, caterers and food retailers, restaurateurs and publicans, to meet in a convivial atmosphere. There will be a bar, BBQ and cooked food available to purchase and all members of the public are welcome - there is no entry charge. We will have samples and explanations of what we do and how we work.|
|02/06/2007||Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 we will be at the Cliffe High Street, Lewes, Farmer's Market. Mizuna, shungiku, kabu, baby daikon, red asian mustard, tatsoi, nira, mitsuba, yomogi, wild rocket, land cress, chicory, lovage and bags of ready-to-eat mixed salad will be on sale. We should also have some gobou in limited quantities.|
|21/05/2007||Sansho succumbs to SID! One plant has suffered Sudden Inexplicable Death - leaves turned yellow-green and wilted. Remaining plants are fine (see previous entry). Our Nasu (Japanese eggplant), Togarashi and Shishitoo Peppers are now outside in a test of survival in the English climate and nearly 2,000 edamame are in the ground. Fuki continues to suprise, with one leaf now measuring 45 x 55cm. Finally tara-no-me has vandal-proof anti-climb paint - a clear gel surrounding the emerging shoots and stem (click on the accompanying picture to enlarge).|
|Current produce availability: we can now supply mizuna, shungiku, baby daikon, red asian mustard, tatsoi, nira and very limited quantities of sansho, yomogi and ashitaba. Various English speciality leaves are available.|
|12/05/2007||Rain at last. Sansho is growing well. We now have 17 young seedlings in open ground and a couple of these are sending out vigorous side-branches. Fuki has multiplied three-fold. The plants turned black and vanished briefly in March but then suprised us by re-appearing in mid-April. Naga-imo and jinenjo continue to emerge from the ground with some shoots already 60cm long.|
|05/05/2007||First market of the season! Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 We will be at the Cliffe High Street, Lewes, Farmer's Market. Ashitaba, mitsuba, nira, shungiku, yomogi and mixed salad bags will be on sale. Some English produce will also be available - wild rocket, myrrh, lovage, angelica and chicory.|
|01/05/2007||We anticipate being able to make weekly deliveries into south and central London this year, probably from June. As soon as we have everything in place we will make a further announcement.|
|16/04/2007|| Yuzu - the real ones - started
emerging on 9th April,
63 days after sowing. We now have 7 seedlings, the most advanced of
which is shown
here. Never again will we confuse a sunflower with yuzu....
Myoga starteded emerging yesterday, 2 weeks earlier than in 2006 probably due to the absence of mulch.
Nasu (a Japanese aubergine) and Shishito peppers have germinated and will be trialled this year.
On the non-Japanese front we have some lentils and sea buckthorn (possible rabbit fence!) emerging happily.
|03/04/2007||We are pleased to note that ashitaba, sansho, tara-no-me, udo and yomogi have all survived their first winter. Whilst it will take another few years for some of these to provide a substantial harvest, prospects are good. On the down-side, it looks increasingly likely that our 'yuzu seedling' noted earlier may in fact be a common sunflower! Seedbeds are being prepared at our Ringmer site, where we expect to increase our area of kabocha and edamame this year. Hens are laying eggs but a large fox hole has appeared nearby so their future is uncertain.|
|26/02/2007||A yuzu seedling has emerged - one of 72 sown on 5th February. Yuzu (Citrus junos) is one of the few cold-hardy citrus and may grow in southern England.|
|14/02/2007||Four 'Light Sussex' 16-week old hens have been brought in to become new residents of our trials plot. We will experiment with their ability to eradicate slugs and other pests, by moving their run every few weeks between sections of fallow land and crop debris. We chose hens instead of Khaki Campbell ducks because we would not have been able to offer ducks the access to water that they need.|
|14/01/2007|| One fuki plant
has a large flower
First ashitaba harvest. Unusually mild weather has meant that angelica and ashitaba continue to send up new leaves and we still have mizuna and shungiku growing in the open!
|22/11/2006||Today is our last delivery of 2006. Given good growing conditions next spring, we would expect to resume deliveries in mid April or early May 2007. We are still desperately seeking land in the Lewes area, to rent or purchase, from 1 to 100 acres. Please get in touch if you can help.|
|04/11/2006||Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 we will be at the Cliffe High Street, Lewes, Farmer's Market.|
|01/11/2006||First harvest of Black Edamame and Black-Eyed Edamame. We tasted these today and are absolutely stunned at the sweetness!|
|28/10/2006||Saturday 10.00 to 15.00 we will be at George Street, Hove, Farmer's Market. Kabocha, daikon, shungiku, nira, shiso, tatsoi, ninjin, kabu, mizuna, hourensou, komatsuna, land cress and mixed salad bags should be on sale but please order in advance to be sure to get a particular item.|
|25/10/2006||Eighteen months ago we thought 4 a.m. was an early start. Now, for the weekly London delivery, harvest starts a few minutes after mid-night, so that fresh produce can be at a London restaurant by noon. Harvesting before dawn means that produce has a higher level of moisture and so has a longer shelf-life - most of our salad crops will keep well under refridgeration for up to 7 days (although taste and nutritional value are always best immediately after harvesting).|
|11/10/2006||Black-eyed edamame, from Ogawa, may produce a crop. Pods are up to 7cm long and starting to swell. Likewise black edamame (from Mr Tanaka at Ogawa-machi market) pods are almost as big and we may well have produce to sell in a couple of weeks.|
|09/10/2006||For the 3rd month in a row we sold out at the Lewes market, although thankfully we had some stock until 12.30 this time. A day that broke all records and a big thank you to Martyn and Natasha from Devon, and to Ikuyo from Tokyo for getting up before dawn and helping to run the stall.|
|07/10/2006||Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 we will be at the Cliffe High Street, Lewes, Farmer's Market. A new crop of tatsoi will be available, some sweet and superb-tasting ninjin (Japanese carrots), well-formed and colourful bright red kabu (these keep their colour even after cooking), white kabu, the first of the autumn hourensou, a limited supply of kabocha, also daikon, mizuna, kyuuri, nira, shiso, shungiku, komatsuna, wild rocket, land cress and mixed salad bags.|
|23/09/2006||Saturday 10.00 to 15.00 we will be at George Street, Hove, Farmer's Market. Myoga, daikon, red kabu, mizuna, nira, shiso, shungiku, ninjin, wild rocket and mixed salad bags will be on sale.|
|14/09/2006||To date we have harvested 27 myoga buds and have a further 20 on the plants. We consider this a highly satisfactory yield given the dry summer and the fact that the plants are only in their second year.|
|04/09/2006||First safflower (benibana) harvested. We will be sending this to a laboratory for analysis.|
|02/09/2006||Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 we will be at the Cliffe High Street, Lewes, Farmer's Market. A very limited supply of the first myoga ever to be grown and harvested in the UK, will be on sale. Also edamame, bright red kabu, daikon, mizuna, kyuuri, nira, shiso, shungiku, ninjin, wild rocket, mixed salad bags and possibly kabocha will be on sale.|
|26/08/2006||At last, we have some flowers on our daizu crops (including the black-eyed and black soybean), and on tonburi ('land caviar'). Too early to say if we will have a harvest, as the days shorten and temperatures cool....|
|26/08/2006||Saturday 10.00 to 15.00 we will be at George Street, Hove, Farmer's Market. Edamame, kabocha, daikon, mizuna, nira, shiso, shungiku, ninjin and mixed salad bags will be on sale.|
|22/08/2006||First myoga harvest! A milder ginger than the root species, two Japanese ladies tasting this first bud - sliced and eaten raw - were astounded at the superb flavour and rated it tastier, and slightly stronger, than that generally available in Japan.|
|07/08/2006||Despite having 50% more produce than the previous month, we still sold out early at Lewes Farmer's Market. So again, an apology to those who arrived after 12.00 on Saturday - tatsoi (over 40 sold!) and edamame were the novelties this time but the mixed salad bags continue to be our most popular item. A big thank you to Martyn and Natasha from Devon for helping with harvest and with running the stall, and also for teaching us a few things.....|
|05/08/2006||Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 we will be at the Cliffe High Street, Lewes, Farmer's Market. Daikon, mizuna, kyuuri, nira, shiso, shungiku, ninjin, komatsuna and mixed salad bags will be on sale. Possibly also the first edamame of the season.|
|31/07/2006||MYOGA FLOWER BUDS! On several plants - pictures to follow. It now looks likely that we will have a small harvest this year and will attempt to increase our plant stock in 2007.|
|22/07/2006||Saturday 10.00 to 15.00 we will be at George Street, Hove, Farmer's Market. Daikon, mizuna, nira, shiso, shungiku, ninjin and mixed salad bags will be on sale.|
|14/07/2006||First kyuuri harvested! A little over-ripe at 29cm and 510g but truly sweet and delicious! Many more are on the way and this looks like being a successful variety for growing without protection. We should have some stock for Hove and Lewes farmer's markets.|
|03/07/2006||Sorry to those who arrived after 11.00 on Saturday - we sold out of all stock, with demand much higher than we have ever experienced. A big thank you to Saara from Finland and Yoko from Japan for helping with harvest from 3 a.m and with running the stall.|
|01/07/2006||Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 We will be at the Cliffe High Street, Lewes, Farmer's Market. Among produce on sale will be daikon, mitsuba, mizuna, nira, shiso, shungiku and - if ordered in advance - yomogi! Wild rocket, lettuce and mixed salad bags will also be available for the less-adventurous.|
|24/06/2006||Saturday 10.00 to 15.00 we will be at George Street, Hove, Farmer's Market. Daikon, mitsuba, mizuna, nira, shiso, shungiku and mixed salad bags will be on sale.|
|10/06/2006||Saturday 10th June we will be at the Local Produce Festival / Farmers Food Market in Hollingdean, Brighton, from 10.00 to 13.30. This event is being held in the grounds of Hertford Infant School, Hertford Road. We hope to have the first of this season's daikon on sale, mizuna, shungiku, mitsuba, nira and maybe even a leaf or two of red shiso.....|
|01/06/2006||Hokkaido Fuki has emerged! Greatly appreciated by slugs so it is too early to say whether this could generate a crop.|
|27/05/2006||Saturday 10.00 to 15.00 we will be at George Street, Hove, Farmer's Market. Nira, mitsuba, naga-negi, gobo (last of the season) and kabu will be on sale.|
|24/05/2006||Two sansho seeds have germinated outside! These were sown on the 26th September 2005.|
|15/05/2006||Regular twice-weekly (Tuesday and Friday) deliveries resume this week.|
|12/05/2006||Yams in Sussex! Following the full moon, several naga-imo, nebari-imo and jinenjo have emerged from tubercles bought back from Japan.|
|06/05/2006||Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 We will be at the Cliffe High Street, Lewes, Farmer's Market. Gobo, hourensou, naga-negi, shungiku, mitsuba, mizuna and nira will be on sale. Some English herbs such as lovage, lemon-balm, angelica and mint. Ready-to-eat mixed salads will also be available.|
|30/04/2006||Myoga shoots have appeared, having successfully survived the winter!|
|21/04/2006|| Hourensou, gobo, naga-negi and mitsuba are still the
only crops available.
We expect to have mizuna and shungiku in the next 2 to 3 weeks.
Major website update. Some pages may remain rather skeletal for a few months until we have the required material.
|21/03/2006|| Cold weather has meant a late start to the growing
season. First farmer's market is likely to be May,
in Lewes, and normal deliveries should start late April or early May.
NEW CROPS: benibana (safflower) - we have reached agreement to conduct trials on two varieties from the USA and are trying to source two more varieties from India.
|07/02/2006|| Crop plans for 2006 are now complete. We are trebling
our land under cultivation compared to 2005
but unfortunately have lost a further 7 acres on which we planned to
NEW CROPS: azuki bean, soba, ninjin, tatsoi and tonburi are added to the list of trials for 2006 and we expect to be able to supply these later this year.
|21/12/2005||Tubercles of naga-imo, yamato-imo and jinenjo planted. We now have a 3-year wait before the first harvest....|
|12/12/2005|| Back from a 6-week agricultural study tour of Japan we
are again open for business.
We now have the following crops available in limited quantities: kabocha, red kabu, hourensou, mitsuba, gobo and baby daikon.
NEW CROPS: fuki and dokudami have been planted for trials. Sato-imo, yama-imo, udo, goma, ashitaba and a very sweet daizu bean have been brought back from Japan and will also be trialed in 2006. We thank Mr Suga-san in Kamisato-machi and Mr Kaneko-san in Ogawa-machi for their help. More details to follow.
|29/10/2005||Deliveries and markets are suspended. Next supply date is Friday December 9th.|
|22/10/2005||Tripped over another hedgehog in the dark whilst harvesting this morning.... yesterday spotted a hedgehog hiding amongst leaves between rows of mitsuba.|
|22/10/2005||Saturday 10.00 to 15.00 We will be at George Street, Hove, Farmer's Market.|
|15/10/2005|| Saturday 10.00 to 16.00 We will be at Ship Street
(Friend's Meeting House), Brighton - Fair Trade and Farmer's Market.
Nira, kabu, shungiku, shiso, mizuna, mitsuba, naga-negi, daikon, gobo and kabocha will be on sale.
Ready-to-eat mixed salads (160g @ £1.60) will also be available.
|08/10/2005|| Saturday 12.00 to 14.00 in the foyer of the
Cornerstone Community Centre by St John's Church, Church Rd., Hove.
Pre-ordered vegetables including kabocha available for collection and a selection for sale on the spot. This will be the last day of the edamame season!
|01/10/2005|| Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 We will be at the Cliffe High
Street, Lewes, Farmer's Market.
Nira, kabu, shungiku, shiso, mitsuba, daikon, gobo, kabocha and edamame will be on sale.
Ready-to-eat mixed salads will also be available.
|26/09/2005||Sansho seeds fresh from the tree arrived today from Akita prefecture in Japan and have been sown as if newly fallen.|
|24/09/2005|| Saturday 10.00 to 15.00 We will be at George Street,
Hove, Farmer's Market.
Nira, kabu, shungiku, shiso, mizuna, mitsuba, naga-negi, daikon, gobo and edamame will be on sale.
Ready-to-eat mixed salads will also be available.
|18/09/2005||The first kabocha have been harvested: 1 HK (1.926kg), 1 DB (2.700kg) and 1 KK (2.704kg). All three will cure for seven days to improve sweetness, after which they could be sold. This crop is the sole exception to our policy of harvesting produce only on the day of sale for freshness.|
|17/09/2005||The first shiso flower buds - on red shiso sown May 8th.|
|17/09/2005|| Saturday 10.00 to 16.00 We will be at Ship Street
(Friend's Meeting House), Brighton - Fair Trade and Farmer's Market.
Nira, kabu, shungiku, shiso, mizuna, mitsuba, naga-negi, daikon, gobo and edamame will be on sale and possibly kabocha too.
Ready-to-eat mixed salads will also be available.
|10/09/2005|| Saturday 12.00 to 14.00 in the foyer of the
Cornerstone Community Centre by St John's Church, Church Rd., Hove.
Pre-ordered vegetables available for collection and a selection for sale on the spot.
|04/09/2005|| Mixed Salad Bags - what was in them?
These sold out very quickly yesterday and you may be curious to know exactly what the flavours were. Each bag contained baby kabu root, kabu leaves, shungiku, mitsuba, aka-jiso, ao-jiso, wild rocket, nasturtium and flowers of daikon, nira, shungiku and nasturtium.
|03/09/2005|| Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 We will be at the Cliffe High
Street, Lewes, Farmer's Market.
Nira, kabu, shungiku, shiso, mitsuba, naga-negi, daikon, edamame and gobo will be on sale together with some exciting mixed salad bags.
|27/08/2005|| Saturday 10.00 to 15.00 We will be at George Street,
Hove, Farmer's Market.
Nira, kabu, shungiku, shiso, mizuna, mitsuba, naga-negi, daikon, edamame and gobo will be on sale.
|20/08/2005|| Saturday 10.00 to 16.00 We will be at Ship Street
(Friend's Meeting House), Brighton - Fair Trade and Farmer's Market.
Nira, kabu, shungiku, shiso, mizuna, mitsuba, naga-negi, young daikon and edamame will be on sale, possibly gobo too.
Available in mixed salad bags or separately.
|18/08/2005||First edamame harvest. This is 'RH' yielding approximately 20 pods per plant.|
|06/08/2005|| Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 We will be at the Cliffe High
Street, Lewes, Farmer's Market.
=> Thankyou to Natasha (down from London) and Yuko (who flew in from Japan) for invaluable assistance with harvest at 5 a.m. and with sales throughout the morning.
=> First hakusai harvest. Also harvested one gobo but the batch is not yet ready as the root should be longer.
|03/08/2005||The first male kabocha flower has opened (clearly males are busier than females) and hand fertilisation was performed. Unfortunately some females with low stamina had given up waiting and closed.|
|31/07/2005||Kabocha flowering but we have 5 females ready and waiting with no males ready!|
|26/07/2005||Autumn and Winter Produce: we expect to be able to offer gobo, daikon, white kabu, red kabu(!), mitsuba, mizuna, shungiku and hourensou (similar to spinach). Some naga-negi may be ready.|
|26/07/2005||An Appology: due to a combination of sudden high demand and some bad planning on our part, we regret that no more daikon will be available until August 24th (+/- a week).|
|23/07/2005||Saturday 10.00 to 15.00 We will be at George Street, Hove - new Farmer's Market.|
|16/07/2005|| Saturday 12.00 to 13.30 in the foyer of the
Cornerstone Community Centre by St John's Church, Church Rd., Hove.
Again, pre-ordered vegetables available for collection and a selection for sale on the spot.
|02/07/2005|| Saturday 12.00 to 13.00 in the foyer of the
Cornerstone Community Centre by St John's Church, Church Rd., Hove.
Here we will have pre-ordered vegetables available for collection and a limited selection for sale on the spot.
|21/06/2005||First Shiso harvest.|
|19/06/2005||Sunday Market - behind Safeway/Morrisons in Lewes: 08.00 to 13.00 come and buy our produce!|
|09/06/2005||First Mitsuba harvest.|
|06/06/2005|| Kabu ready for harvest - excellent appearance and
excellent flavour when eaten raw.
Mizuna second (protected) crop ready for harvest. Excellent appearance but mild flavour.
Lesson: an un-protected crop affected by pests may have poor appearance but will generally have the best flavour!
|02/06/2005||New faster delivery vehicle (Ridgeback Cyclone) acquired.|
|24/05/2005|| Shungiku harvest has started - excellent appearance
Mizuna available at a discount due to poor appearance (attacked by Phyllotreta). Excellent flavour!
|15/05/2005||First myoga shoots have appeared above ground.|
|25/04/2005||Myoga rhizome has arrived fresh from quarantine in Japan.|
|09/04/2005||Nira, Naga-Negi, Hakusai and Gobo have now germinated outside.|
|01/04/2005||Daikon germinating outside.|
|28/03/2005||Shungiku and Mitzuna germinating outside.|
|03/12/2004||Namayasai LLP founded and officially incorporated.|