Delicious rice is made even in Hamamatsu.
In Japan where rice cultivation is popular, the Tohoku and Hokuriku regions are well-known as areas typically producing rice, but delicious rice is also made in Hamamatsu, in western Shizuoka. From JR Hamamatsu Station in the center of the city, you can find green, rural landscapes 20 minutes away by train in Yuto. Every year the Regional Development Project Labyrinth Yuto (a citizens' group in Yuto) organizes "hands-on rice planting" and "hands-on rice harvesting." Through agricultural experiences like rice planting and harvesting, people can connect directly with nature, and understand the fun of cultivating and producing food.
Rice Cultivation's Process
Hands-on Rice Planting (May)
People receive carefully grown seedlings from farmers. These seedlings are carried barefoot into the paddy fields. The mud is still somewhat cool, and has a fresh texture.
Even walking through the paddy fields is difficult; people use what the farmers teach them about planting rice.
Traditionally planting is done by hand, but now rice transplanters have become mainstream.
After the rice planting is done, children do their best to capture frogs and bugs in the paddy field's irrigation channel. They don't mind even if their underwear gets soaked with mud.
At the very end, everyone tries rice balls that were made using rice from last year's harvest.
Hands-on Rice Harvesting (Oct)
When it comes time to harvest, the paddy field's surface glistens with a golden color. Fully grown ears of rice droop at the heavy-looking ends.
Traditionally, sickles are used to harvest the rice plants.
"Harvested rice will become a meal for everyone to enjoy, so don't step on any of it because it's important!"
When harvesting rice, adults and children both learn the importance of food firsthand during this important time.
Combines (highly efficient harvesters that simultaneously cut and thresh while in motion) are popular nowadays for harvesting rice.
After the harvesting is done, children run around chasing frogs and grasshoppers in the paddy field that still smells like straw.
After harvesting, there's a barbecue in the paddy field, and people can play using straws made from straw to make soap bubbles, and just relax during this fun time.
|The rice harvested today is KamoKamoFarm's "Yaramaika" brand of rice.|
You can check the Regional Development Project Labyrinth Yuto's planned activities, events, etc. here