American food writer/gardener, Nancy Singleton Hachisu, at Japan’s “Farming Frontier 2012”
Author of ‘Japanese Farm Food’, Nancy Singleton Hachisu moved from California to Japan in 1988, with the intention to stay for a year, learn Japanese, and return to the United States. Instead, she fell in love with a farmer, the culture, and the food, and has made the country her home. Nancy has taught cooking classes for nearly 20 years, and also runs a children’s English immersion program that prepares home-cooked meals with local ingredients.
Japan Ministry of Agriculture “Farming Frontier 2012” – December 1 and 2, 2012, in Tokyo
Excerpt from Nancy’s book:
I realized it wasn’t enough just to cook for them, so a few years ago, we started a kitchen garden. Now even the little ones have jumped into the fray. In the morning, when I call out, “Who wants to help cook?” I get about ten miniature assistants climbing up on the stools around the table anxious to help peel potatoes or smash organic canned tomatoes.
A lot of people (my husband included) thought I was even crazier to start a school garden. But you know, there is something so basic and so elemental about growing food. And this is something every child should learn. WHen you grow it, it just tastes better.
About “Farming Frontier 2012”
Japan’s agriculture has been facing various challenges, such as declining income, a serious shortage of core farmers, and the aging of the farming population. Affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011, the situation has become increasingly severe. It is a crucial task for Japan to rebuild agriculture, the core industry in local economies including the affected areas, and to transform it into a growth industry. To this end, reconstructing the value of Japanese food and agricultural products is an urgent need.
Under such circumstances, the Government of Japan laid down the Basic Policy for the Revitalization of Japan’s Food, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries in October last year, and expressed the idea of holding a “Festival for Food, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries” with a wide range of participants, including consumers, industry, and governments, from Japan and abroad.” As the final phase of this festival that has been carried out throughout this year, an event titled “Farming Frontier 2012” will be held on December 1 and 2.
This event will offer delicious Japanese food and agricultural products, including those produced in the affected areas, to Japanese and foreign consumers who will come to the event, and at the same time, it will provide the visitors with the opportunity to see the producers’ efforts made, and Japanese advanced technologies applied, to produce such delicious products as well as the cutting-edge farming operations achieved using such technologies. In addition, other events are also planned, such as a cooking session where overseas star chefs will create dishes mainly using foodstuffs produced in the affected areas. Through this event, we aim to exhibit the attractiveness of Japanese food and agricultural products to people at home and abroad.