Yoshimura Organic Farm / よしむら農園
Part 12 of the series: Satoyama Concept in Fukui
While in Fukui Prefecture last summer as part of the Satoyama Forum, we met local farmer Yoshihiko Yoshimura. After retiring from conventional farming, Mr. Yoshimura became interested in organic farming methods. Together with his wife Haruko, he established Yoshimura Organic Farm (よしむら農園) with the aims of promoting healthy eating, nature conservation, and sustainable organic agriculture in their community of Wakasa.
The Yoshimuras specialise in the Aigamo Method of rice growing. This method was originally developed in 1989 by Takao Furuno in Fukuoka Prefecture. Instead of using pesticides and herbicides, this method uses aigamo ducks to eat insects and weeds. Aigamo ducks are a crossbreed of wild and domestic duck species. Aigamo ducklings are released into the paddy a couple weeks after rice seedlings have been planted. In addition to eliminating the need for pulling weeds by hand, the ducklings’ droppings fertilize the rice paddy and their movements in the paddy increase the oxygen content of the soil.
For more detailed information about duck farming, visit the Yoshimura Organic Farm website (JP only) or read FARMING RICE WITH DUCKS: Organic Growing Method Spreads Across Asia (October 22, 2002).
In addition to Aigamo rice, the Yoshimura’s have an organic ume (plum) orchard and sell homemade Ume Jam. As I mentioned in when writing about Plum Ice Cream Cakes last month, Fukui is famous for its local variety of plum, which is characterised by its thick flesh and small pit. The Yoshimura’s also sell a lovely Spring Gift Basket (春ちゃんセット) that features an assortment of products including:
Aigamo Rice (Yoshimura Organic Koshikari)
Milky Queen (Low Amylose Rice)
Black Rice Flour
Red Rice Flour
Bunch of Dried Flowers
The baskets range in price from 1,000円 to 1,500円 depending on the availability of products. All products are grown and processed by the Yoshimuras on their farm.
To learn more about Yoshimura Organic Farm (よしむら農園), check out their website:
Yoshihiko and Haruko Yoshimura
34-28 Aida, Wakasa-chō, Mikatakaminaka-gun, Fukui-ken
2015 Cathy Munroe Hotes