Friday, October 28, 2005

Other Agriculture • その他の農業

I have recently mentioned rice and apples in this blog and commented how they are the most visible agricultural products in Inakadate. That is most certainly true. Between the two of them, they take up more than half the land in the village. But they are by no means the only crops that people grow. Looking around, farmers and gardeners in Inakadate produce a huge variety of crops. A lot of it is professional farming with fields or orchards producing all of the same one crop.

Looking at village statistics, the third largest crop by area after rice and apples is beans. That is particularly obvious in the area right near the village hall. These days, the beans have lost their leaves and are simply brown stalks with pods hanging on them. I expect they will pick them soon and think they mainly use them for tofu. There is also a sizeable area growing edamame as well.
村の統計を参考にすると、米とりんごの次に多く作られている物は豆です。村役場の 近辺ではそれは特に明白に見ることができます。最近、豆の葉っぱが落ちていて、莢(さや)が付いている茶色い茎だけになっているからです。もうそろそろ収穫するでしょうが、その後豆腐に使われるでしょう。かなりの面積に枝豆のような豆が植えられた畑もあるようです。

Following beans, the next major crop by area is "grapes", followed by "fruiting vegetables" (tomatoes, eggplant), "other leafy vegetables (Napa cabbage, lettuce, asparagus). By this time you are getting down to less that 1% of the land in the village, but just because the area is small doesn't mean the impact is less. Grapes and strawberries are famous products of Inakadate, but they really take up only a little bit of land.

But there is also a large number of family gardens growing a little of everything. Everyone has a garden where they grow enough vegetables for the family. As I mentioned before a couple of weeks ago, most every piece of land in the village is used. Since few people in Japan grow grass in their yards, they land is often filled with vegetables. I won't even try to list all the things I have seen growing in vegetable gardens.
しかし、プロの農家だけではありません。多くの家族はバラエティ豊かな畑を 持っていて、自分たちが食べる分ぐらいの物を作っています。数週間前に書きましたが、この村の土地の全ては大変上手に使われています。そして、日本の庭では芝生を生やしている人が少なく、そのスペースには野菜を作る人がたくさんいます。あまりにも多いですから、この村の畑で栽培している物をリストアップし ないことにします。

Vegetables are interesting to be sure, but I have found the fruit trees in Inakadate to be quite amazing in number and variety. In addition to the obvious apples, have seen persimmons, plums, peaches, nectarines, pears, Asian pears and chestnuts. For the most part, these aren't orchards of 20, 10 or even two trees. In most cases they are simply the trees in people's yards. Where in America, people would plant a birch, a maple or an oak for shade in their yards, it seems that people here in Inakadate plant a fruit tree. Of course they get the shade too, but then in the fall, they get an extra bonus of fruit as well.
野菜も面白いですが、それより田舎館村で育てられている果樹の数と種類も大変興味深く見ています。りんごは当然ですが、柿、その他に梅、桃、ネクタリーン、梨、洋梨や栗の木もあります。このように見ている木は、20 本また10本 などの果樹園ではなく、多くの場合には、これらの木は民家の庭にある普通の木です。アメリカでは、庭には日陰を求めて、白樺か楓か柏を植えるけれども、この田舎館では何かの果樹を植えているようです。もちろん、果樹からも日陰を得られますが、秋になったら、果物というボーナスももらえる感じで す。

The variety visible to me as I ride by on my bicycle is quite amazing, but there is still yet more that I haven't even seen. Yes I can recognize daikon or carrots by their leaves, but there are other numerous root vegetables that I just ride by and wonder, 'what's that?' There are also many things growing in greenhouses in Inakadate that I can't see from my bicycle.

I've said it before, but Inakadate really is a bountiful place.

I don´t know how to thank you for all the pictures and information about Inakadate. It´s really great. I had a japanese girlfriend named Hiroko but I never got the chance to visit her in Japan. Thank you, you can´t imagine how much this helped me.
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