experiential adventures learning about sustainability, balance and love.

Recent happenings at Mori no ie!

I’ve been wwoof’ing at Mori no ie for almost 2 weeks now. So many people have come and gone and I’ve learned soo much in just a short amount of time. My biggest project here so far has been the construction of… what do you know?! A NEW RICE FIELD! hehe. Me and another wwoof’er, Toshi, finished this in only 2 days time. I have to give some credit to the ground for being nice and soft though. Mori no ie already had a small rice field and we doubled it in size!
The first step was to cut all the grass down to the roots.
Me cutting grass - Photo by Masa Morimoto.
-Photo by Masa Morimoto

After that we just had to dig the channels, build the aze [dam walls], and level everything. It begins:
The tanbo construction begins!

These 2 days seemed more like a Japanese lesson than hard work. Toshi has taken english for 6 years in University so he was great at translating. He taught me “Watashi wa horu no wo owarimasu!” [“I am finished digging!”] among many other things. Owarimasu!:
Tanbo is finished after only 2 days! Me and Toshi run this.

Then It was time to celebrate! This is a traditional Japanese post-construction dance:
Traditional Japanese tanbo jump. haha.
-Photo taken with my camera by Masa Morimoto.

and a bonus photo with Masa, taken by me:
LET'S ENJOY TANBO! #2
I love jumping photos, haha.

After finishing construction of the tanbo [rice field] Masa wanted to fill it with water to check for and low spots or leaks around the edges. From my experience so far Japanese towns have amazing irrigation systems everywhere. All Masa has to do to bring water from the mountains flowing onto his property is to walk across teh street and open a little gate. Step 1 – THE LITTLE GATE OF LIFE!:
Rice water, step 1. Gate in irrigation channel.
You can barely see it it’s so small! but trust me, it is there, in all it’s life giving goodness. OK, enough about the little gate, STEP 2 – THE NEXT STEP!:
Rice water, step 2. Under the street and into Mori no ie.
Water crosses under the road and now freely flows onto the property. STEP 3 – THE FISH LIKE THIS ONE!:
Rice water, step 3. flowing into the fish pond.
Water flows into the fish pond. The little gate of life has not been opened for a while, so you can see sediment flowing into the pond. There is always a trickle of water flowing into the pond to keep the water clean and fresh. Only the best organic mountain water for the fish at Mori no ie. OK, back to the rice… STEP 4 – OWARIMASU!:
Rice water, step 4, final. Into the tanbo!
Now the rice field’s thirst is finally quenched. Thanks little gate! and now for the result:
The rice feild is alive! IT'S ALIVE!
Ahhhh. I can not express how satisfying this was. To see a job like this from start to finish so quickly. Gratifying. Now Mori no ie will be able to grow twice as much rice! I love agricultural systems! I hope I can help construct projects like this for every wwoof host I visit. “Leaving my foot prints” as a friend of mine said. Footprints that grow food, mmm.

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