Mr. Ogoshi, or the way I refer to him as The O.G, is Daisen’s top-notch farmer. O.G has specialized in growing three main produces shiitake mushroom, sweet tomatoes, and eggplants. He runs his farm now for four solid years.
On a cool foggy day, I went to chill out with the O.G farmer and see what his business is all about. He has two separate farms, about a few minutes drive away from each other. The first farm we visited, was his most efficient and lucrative sector of business. We arrived in a field with two Nissen Huts perched on the right hand corner of the entrance. We walked towards the mouth of the beast and pulled apart the immensely heavy duty doors. What infernal creatures are he hiding in this sequestered chamber?
Shiitake Mushrooms. Lot’s of it.
And they were certainly budding, with several bunches protruding out of their mycopia blocks in the dark. His farm has a repetitive cycle of 8 shelves, each producing Shiitakke every week. So yes, it is a pretty hefty work twisting fungi on a daily basis, but O.G says it is totally worth it.
Out of his harvest, the better looking shrooms are segregated and shipped off to Tokyo. The not so appealing ones are packed and sealed with a comical logo and sold around the Tottori prefecture. The pretty ones can be sold 3x more than their uglier counterparts. The partition is solely based on valor and the symmetry of their cap.
Mr. OG passed me a plastic bag and told me to go ahead and pick some for myself, and indeed I took the delight in doing so!
Next, we traversed through towards the next farm. Upon arrival, he was enthusiastic to show me his new plot of land. Blueberry bushes clustered into two rows were gleaming with dew as the sun parted away the rain clouds. A dubious maroon fence enclosed the blueberry bushes. A blue “beach” sign board with a woman sunbathing under a sun-umbrella was out of its elements as it hung on one portion of the fence. Despite the arbitrary situation of this setup, the blueberries was surely delicious.
Munching on the blues, we walked to a green house nearby. Mr. O.G zipped open the entrance and allowed me in.
A huge row of plants with very wide leaves were being grown inside here. I asked what that was. “Okra” he said. In between the okra also grew large, elongated eggplants. He literally grew them side by side and within the same plot, and they are entangled into each other since they can grow extremely long.
In the adjacent row something else was growing.
Tomatoes! Lot’s of it. Juicy, crispy and sweet. Love visiting farms, picking and eating our way through the yard. I’m sure you might be wondering, “well what about insecticides?” I did too. I looked up to see a yellow tape stretching across the green house. Uh-oh.. this can’t be good.
What is that? I asked with my finger about to touch it. “Stop! Don’t do it!” he said. So I asked if it was poisonous, and if it will kill me? No, he said. It is a tape with pheromones used in pest management as a way to disrupt courtship localization and copulation. The color yellow also helps lure these particular pests into sexual doom.
“Do you use any pesticides in your farm?” I asked
“Not much at all”, he claims. “I use very little compared to most other farmers. Besides this tape, I use a tiny bit of chemicals in the sprinkling water. It is a must, but really very little. I try to be as organic as I can, that is my motto. But, farming is difficult on a commercial scale without some chemicals. Of course, I choose healthy chemicals, not poison, but ones that are good for the plants and environment. My farming strategy is quite natural, I use natural fertilizers or nothing at all.”
“And what about the mushrooms?” I asked
“Ah, those guys need nothing at all. Just water, wood chips and a dark place. Mushrooms are easy, not like tomatoes”.
Another good point to advocate about mushroom, and why more people should try to incorporate these amicable distant cousins of our species is that they can be almost as nutritious as plants if we want them to be. That is, in selective farming and eating. They are easy to grow, require so little resources and chemicals, and do great wonders to our world and our health.
Thank you Mr. O.G for educating us about your farm! I really enjoyed the walk ‘n’ taste discourse, and the many interesting things I learned!