I spent 10 days with the Nishimura family, Midori, Gen & Ray, helping on their organic farm. They also run an English school so luckily communication wasn't a problem. However Midori did give me a Japanese Verb Conjugation sheet and some exercises to work on. Shame I was too busy digging holes to dedicate more time to it!
The farm is in an idyllic rural location, nestled between tree covered mountains. The family were extremely kind and warm so it was easy to feel at home here. We worked for about 3 hours in the morning, then stop for lunch (we all chipped in in the kitchen), then 3 hours in the afternoon followed by dinner. The weather was very changeable; we had sweltery hot and humid days followed by torrential day-long down pours. The heavy rain made the clayey soil very hard to work in so after just a few hours of planting seedlings I was quickly exhausted. The tasks I helped with include, digging potatoes, planting black bean seedlings (a local speciality), picking caterpillars off the cabbages and feeding them to the chickens much to their delight, walking the dog (ah bliss, some quiet time!), making bread in
their home mad bread oven, chatting to the english students after their class, and other odds and sods. It was a really fun experience and one I'd highly recommend.
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