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Nagano, naturally.

Nagano, naturally. Home grown fresh produce produced without chemicals so you get all the goodness and none of the nast Is your produce organic? Yes! and No. So, are we organic? Yes?

To be certified organic in Japan and use the official term yuki saibai you need to undergo a rigorous and rather expensive application process. We both have 'real' jobs and farm as a rather time consuming hobby so this is not something we have pursued. We do however farm without the use of any chemicals. We prepare our soil with chook manure from our own chooks, leaf mulch made from buried autumn

To be certified organic in Japan and use the official term yuki saibai you need to undergo a rigorous and rather expensive application process. We both have 'real' jobs and farm as a rather time consuming hobby so this is not something we have pursued. We do however farm without the use of any chemicals. We prepare our soil with chook manure from our own chooks, leaf mulch made from buried autumn

We’ve been draining the rice paddy for the last week but the rain has been trying to fill it up again. Due to shallow ag...
23/09/2022

We’ve been draining the rice paddy for the last week but the rain has been trying to fill it up again.

Due to shallow ag water drains and non-rice fields below our field (soba and tomatoes) we go for gradual water release rather than just removing all the bags at once (very high tech system here) but it’s such a long process I get impatient.

When your paddy is draining too slowly and your rice is too heavy. Sighhhhhhhh
23/09/2022

When your paddy is draining too slowly and your rice is too heavy. Sighhhhhhhh

Monkey business time of year again.Twice in the last week people who live in the same city (my address is Matsumoto city...
16/09/2022

Monkey business time of year again.

Twice in the last week people who live in the same city (my address is Matsumoto city thanks to amalgamation) but faaaaaaar closer to the city proper expressed surprise that we get monkeys in our field. Their surprise surprised me as I thought it was common knowledge they were an issue in the fruit growing areas. On the first occasion I was the only person who had never seen a deer around here though. Apparently the east side of the city has the deer and the west the monkeys. There’s a musical in that for sure.

It’s grape season! These are Nagano Purple and they’re so thin skinned you can eat them skin on. Yum! They’re also@so ju...
12/09/2022

It’s grape season! These are Nagano Purple and they’re so thin skinned you can eat them skin on. Yum! They’re [email protected] juicy my kids called them “jelly grapes” when they were little.

In the shop this week. :)

Giraffe or moth?
11/09/2022

Giraffe or moth?

I have an assistant this summer. She’s a hard worker and lovely to be around, great parenting for sure, and due to diffe...
07/09/2022

I have an assistant this summer. She’s a hard worker and lovely to be around, great parenting for sure, and due to different personality types she does the jobs that frustrate me with good grace and humour. Here she’s taking fallen grass out of the rice paddy after I w**d whacked the whole field. This kind of job irks me as a wasteful tidy-to-be-pretty job but mr Nagano, naturally is the rice guy and he thinks it isn’t good to have rotting cut grass in the paddy.

Thank you to the assistant who keeps paddy and home harmonious!

Wet, wet, wet weather. The rhubarb is loving it though! Autumn veggies in and doing well on the right. Only watered them...
07/09/2022

Wet, wet, wet weather. The rhubarb is loving it though!

Autumn veggies in and doing well on the right. Only watered them once. Gotta look on the bright side of soggy weather!

I’m a pretty live and let live kind of person when it comes to bugs but this snail is really taking the Mickey. You can ...
30/08/2022

I’m a pretty live and let live kind of person when it comes to bugs but this snail is really taking the Mickey. You can jussssst see the green speck at the top? That’s the first of the seeds coming up. It seems a bit rude to be a snail this size and already coming for a feed!

Shop update!Butternut, spaghetti squash and rhubarb aplenty in the shop. Weird year and the butternut are ripe early but...
30/08/2022

Shop update!

Butternut, spaghetti squash and rhubarb aplenty in the shop. Weird year and the butternut are ripe early but it is what it is. We’ve taste tested everything and it’s all good. Tough job!
Naganonaturally.com/shop

We’re having a very dry summer. Not great for a rice paddy. Sometimes the water isn’t running because the paddies upstre...
10/08/2022

We’re having a very dry summer. Not great for a rice paddy. Sometimes the water isn’t running because the paddies upstream are using it, sometimes it’s because the ag drain is blocked and sometimes the creek that feeds it is blocked.

Today we thought it was problem 3 so off up the mountain to the creek we went. Mr Nagano, naturally climbed down to the creek bed to check it out and check out the big sieve thing that catches debris while I stayed up on the road as bear lookout. Only half joking as we were the wrong side of the wildlife fence.

Turns out there’s just not a lot of water around. Guess that’s problem 4!

First picture is the view of my “kitchen garden” from the access road between the neighboring apple farm and the second ...
31/07/2022

First picture is the view of my “kitchen garden” from the access road between the neighboring apple farm and the second pic is the view of the apple farm from my field. Years and years ago I planted a packet of sunflower seeds as a barrier for the apple sprayer overspray. There’s actually a shed and access road out there but I wanted to be extra careful. The sunflowers liked this area and now every year we have a veritable forest of them out there. I love their happy faces and I no longer worry about overspray but shade!

Challenge accepted- massive rolling thunder and dark dark clouds and I have close to 100 kilos of potatoes out there in ...
28/07/2022

Challenge accepted- massive rolling thunder and dark dark clouds and I have close to 100 kilos of potatoes out there in the field! It’s just me, it’s hard to walk in the sand and I don’t know how long I have. Time to hussle!
Mission accomplished- sweaty, dusty mess and the clouds were rolling over me and the first drops falling but all packed away safely. Phew!!!

My 4yo student told me she liked frogs.I said me too!She said what types? I said the little green ones mostly but recent...
27/07/2022

My 4yo student told me she liked frogs.
I said me too!
She said what types? I said the little green ones mostly but recently the really fast ones with the stripe on their back.
She tilted her head and rattled off some frog species name and I shrugged and apologized that I don’t know the names.
She said she’s never seen a striped frog just the (species name) and the (species name) ones.
I said this one is a different shape and really fast.
She asked me to bring one to class next week.
I said I’m not that fast but I’ll try and get a picture.
That was last Thursday. I have seen the striped frogs every day since but have a camera roll of blurred green background and grassy patches that frogs disappeared from.
I was getting a bit worried I wouldn’t be able to bring the goods tomorrow when I looked down from cutting grass with the incredibly noisy brushcutter and right there not moving was my frog! Grabbed the phone out if my pocket, got the shot, and tomorrow I’ll not disappoint a four year old and probably even find out the name of my frog!

The reward. After two days of maintenance cutting all the grass (small forest) around the ag drain and the entire field ...
27/07/2022

The reward. After two days of maintenance cutting all the grass (small forest) around the ag drain and the entire field I have a 1 yen piece sized blister on my hand and I fell asleep the moment I sat down to sit for the coffee maker. Quite a shock as I’m not a baller but luckily I woke up again before I missed half the day!

But last night we had rain (finally!) and this morning the water was flowing down the drain and into the paddy. Yeah!! And we have lots of pond w**d too which is good at shading out the other w**ds so double yeah!

Mr Nagano naturally is the fuel guy around here. He makes sure the gasoline, diesel and 2-stroke supplies are always not...
26/07/2022

Mr Nagano naturally is the fuel guy around here. He makes sure the gasoline, diesel and 2-stroke supplies are always not a worry. He also is the person who boils any kind of noodles. Both these jobs require patience, forethought and timing. I’m more of a near-enough-is-good enough person.

So, when I used a LOT of fuel yesterday cutting through all that overgrown brush and knew I had the same task ahead of me today I realised I would need to mix fuel but it was 5 minutes before he had to leave for work.

Mr Nagano, naturally carefully explained the process to me. Then he hesitated and said the engine would run a bit rough but it wasn’t essential to get the mix perfect.

It’s 100ml oil to 5L fuel. I assured him I could manage. But you don’t really like recipes….. True. But I CAN follow one if I HAVE to.

I sent him the first picture to prove I was capable.

The second picture of all the labeled cans? I’ll own that one. He set up a system of labeled, numbered cans for me to use in order, return empties to an assigned shelf, and let him know when I’m on can five of six so he can refill them. Until the system was implemented there *may* have been a small issue of randomly dumped cans and not reliable fuel supply.

We all have our strengths right?

Before and after, before and after.This isn’t my field. Am I a super generous kind-hearted neighbour? Nope. The after pi...
25/07/2022

Before and after, before and after.

This isn’t my field. Am I a super generous kind-hearted neighbour?

Nope.

The after pictures show the irrigation drain. That’s where water is supposed to run from the river to our paddy.

Supposed to.

Everyone is responsible for the uphill side of their paddies around here. I don’t know why but that’s the rule. But this field isn’t in production and the poor guy has a massive long section of the ag drain as it goes two sides of his field to get to us.

Over the last 10 or so years different members of his family have been pretty good about keeping it semi-tamed and to be honest it’s better to have slightly unkempt neighbours than the alternative (we have that too- amateur greenskeeper neighbour means another of our fields looks messy by comparison in only a week!)

A few years back the neighbour told us we could cut it any time we wanted. How very kind! Joke. It was actually really nice of him as boarders can be quite tricky and plenty of people are too toeing around being careful not to step over the invisible line.

This is actually our backup water source as we have another access point at the other end of the paddy and we don’t really need it. But this year the water situation is a bit dire with almost no water flow and I decided to maximize what there is by cleaning out the area around this drain and use it too.

Phew. It was a three hour job!

And the worst bit? It’s made our boarder look scruffy and tomorrow I get to do another three hours fixing that.

Before during after after. We have been working on setting up more plastic free permanent beds. This really works with o...
24/07/2022

Before during after after.

We have been working on setting up more plastic free permanent beds. This really works with our ideals of trying to have a closed system sustainable field.

But, like most things, it turns out it’s not as easy as it looks. Permanent beds take regular upkeep on w**d suppression and adding additional mulch layers as the old ones break down and become soil.

It’s a job that just never seemed to float to the top of the to do list and it was embarrassingly bad so today was the day.

Ripped out all the w**ds, hauled the new straw from the wheat harvest in as a fresh layer of mulch, collected all the w**d and hauled them home then round the back and finally to the chooks. Closed system in action!

Me: oooh this makes a good post harvest photo of the potatoes. I’ll just grab my phone.Mr nagano, naturally: oh! She for...
10/07/2022

Me: oooh this makes a good post harvest photo of the potatoes. I’ll just grab my phone.

Mr nagano, naturally: oh! She forgot to load the wheelbarrow. I’ll get that.

😂😂😂

Half way through the kita Akari harvest for this year. Cautiously optimistic heading into a taste test tonight.
10/07/2022

Half way through the kita Akari harvest for this year. Cautiously optimistic heading into a taste test tonight.

A tale of a wheat harvest. Sigh. It’s been a very busy period in off farm life which left us with half a day to harvest ...
06/07/2022

A tale of a wheat harvest. Sigh. It’s been a very busy period in off farm life which left us with half a day to harvest the wheat before the weather broke.

No problem that’s doable.

Is that thunder I hear?

Nah. Keep working.

You watching those clouds?

Yeah. No problem. They’re way over there.

Did the wind suddenly turn cold just now?

You’re imagining things.

That is definitely big heavy raindrops.

It’ll pass. Keep going.

And it did. Not even enough rain to wet the parched ground so we kept going.

Then it bucketed down.

Darn it. Not good.

We need this rain desperately but just not for another hour. Just an hour!

Can’t leave the wheat on the ground. It’s all rain wet but harvest dry.

Decided to run it through the thresher anyway (sorry thresher).

One hour hiatus as had to drive in and pick the kid up from school. Timing!

The three of us finished in the dark with headlamps and the wet wheat was left to dry in the no longer living at home kid’s bedroom. She always complained it was the hottest room in the house. Wasn’t great as a place to sleep but perfect for drying grain!

Sigh. It’s never easy but it’s never boring!

We do deep water as our main w**d suppression tool in the paddy but this is the back up. I LOVE this tool. It has a stra...
06/07/2022

We do deep water as our main w**d suppression tool in the paddy but this is the back up. I LOVE this tool. It has a straight edge, a serrated edge and the edge of not-playing-anymore spikes. You can see the w**ds floating at the top of the picture and as a bonus just walking around out there stirs up mud and muddy water inhibits sunlight which is also a w**d suppressant. It’s a win win win situation!

Not enough rain and August temperatures in June but I’m trying to take the time to appreciate the moments. The clouds la...
01/07/2022

Not enough rain and August temperatures in June but I’m trying to take the time to appreciate the moments.

The clouds last night were amazing and I took a deep breath and just appreciated it.

During that moment of stillness I was attacked by buyo (black fly) and now have super hot and itchy ankles.

Sigh. That seems about right for this season.

Nagano, naturally is attempting to get high tech. This may be a link to the latest newsletter. No guarantees!We're baaaa...
23/06/2022
We're baaaack! This time with rhubarb.

Nagano, naturally is attempting to get high tech. This may be a link to the latest newsletter. No guarantees!

We're baaaack! This time with rhubarb. -

It has been a very slow start to the season in Nagano. We had an unusually cool spring that was also drier than usual which set back planting and spring harvests by three weeks to a month for most crops. Then the rainy season start was announced 17 days earlier than usual and it promptly stopped rai...

Patience is a virtue!This is a tray of butternut seeds I planted April 7th.I kind of gave up on them and just shrugged t...
13/05/2022

Patience is a virtue!

This is a tray of butternut seeds I planted April 7th.

I kind of gave up on them and just shrugged that the germination rate must have been low but never got around to dumping the soil and cleaning out the trays and look at that!

Im not great at patience so will take this as a lesson.

住所

Azusagawa
Matsumoto-shi, Nagano
390-1702

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Nagano, naturally. is in a new post on organic, natural farmers to support in Japan

Thanks for all your hard work you do Heather!
Week 9 Summaries, podcasts, and videos are now up on the InboundAmbassador website. http://www.inboundambassador.com/week-9-summaries-of-ssl/

Thank you all for sharing your insights and expertise with us:

SSL 42 : Kyle Holzhueter of Permaculture Center Kamimomi パーマカルチャーセンター上籾

SSL 43: Shunsuke Iwasaki architect of the gorgeous 'Falling Sun' home Shunsuke Iwasaki

SSL 44: Lowell Sheppard of the challenging Pacific Solo sailing project Lowell Sheppard Navigate22 Pacific Solo

SSL 45: Kowen Katsufumi Wang of Kayu Package 木製パッケージ Kayu Package 木製パッケージ

SSL 46: Self-sufficient organic farming to hard-to-find organic veggies via Nagano, naturally. organic farm - Heather Fukase Nagano, naturally.

SSL 47: Extraordinary gardeners Florence Smith and Blaise give us a 1-year round-up of growing a garden from nothing.

http://www.inboundambassador.com/week-9-summaries-of-ssl/

Amazing 😍 zucchini, rhubarb, herbs, garlic from Heather - sooo delicious! Nagano, naturally.

Excited to make crumble and stunning 💓 zucchini dishes



Thanks so much 😘

https://t.co/5xSmZ4TUx0
Join us this morning 9am (June 26) Friday for as we talk with Nagano, naturally. Heather about natural farming life - challenges, successes, favorite views and Ozzie slang! Can't wait to talk with our first female farmer in the series

Join us by watching it live on Inbound Ambassador FB page or on the YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/jarmanwalsh/
I'd like to say 'thank you' for the apples again! They have been eaten as is, given to neighbors, stewed with cinnamon and other spices (no sugar) and been devoured that way by lots of happy people, been baked into an apple upside-down cake and been gobbled up even faster, held by a two year old who sniffed deeply and declared with a huge smile "RINGO!". Today a final few might just get turned into apple, oat, cinnamon cookies. The little red jewels of autumn just keep giving here
Schau, schau, schau! Wer den Küchengarten kennt, weiß, dass ich letztes Jahr ein Experiment begonnen habe, und zwar einen Bereich von ca. 25 qm als wilder Bereich entwickeln lassen. Salat, Radieschen, Vogerlsalat, rote und gelbe Bete, Petersilie, Grünkohl, Blattsenf und Rucola dürfen hier Samen bilden und sich selbst aussäen. Und siehe da: Sie kommen! Und jenseits von meiner Freude dienen sie als wichtige Zeigepflanzen. Sie toben sich aus und ich lerne von ihnen: wann sie natürlich keimen, in welcher Gesellschaft sie gedeihen, ob sie sich auf Hackschnitzel wohl fühlen (scheinbar!) und vieles mehr.

Danke an Heather Fukase at Nagano, naturally. für die Inspiration! Es ist so schön von einander zu lernen!❤👩‍🌾🌱

Thanks for the wonderful apples! My kids are loving them!
Hi Nagano Naturally, I wanted to order beets and kale but can't find them in the store.... do you still have some? thank you !
Hey! Nagano Naturally, I've got a question???! I got it from you! How do I cook it?! (I'm guessing it's a squash of some sort. What do you recommend?)
Rhubarb and pear crumble for dessert! Thanks for your hard work Heather 🙂
Our sautéed kale is ready to eat ;-)
x

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まるちゃん農園 アルプス農場 ワタナベカリー店 カレー粉・チャイ売ってマス みやもとファーム 三郷サラダ市 嬉しい信濃の品 『ウレシナ』 信州ぷ組 天恵の美酒  大信州酒造株式会社 EH酒造株式会社 ティンカーベル 丸中精肉店 飛騨高山プリン 安曇野かわい 小岩嶽農場 信州発そばぶるまい