Farming must be Embedded in our DNA
On Saturday, I went out farming. I have a taxi driver whose services I frequently use. I just text or call him and he comes to pick me up from wherever I am, and takes me home without asking for any directions.
The other day, the driver mentioned his experience on a farm saying; "It might be embedded in my DNA that I really enjoy touching soil and farming." The concept attracted me for some reason and I instantly replied; "Well, I think I am the kind of person who could enjoy farming too" although I had never done any serious farming before.
There lives a couple in Ogawa, Saitama Prefecture, who used to have a regular office job, but have been farming for the past decade. They put emphasis on growing organic vegetables; not using pesticides nor fertilizer. This style of farming demands pure human labor, not in a sophisticated way but in a primitive way such as picking weeds manually.
Being outside for a day, farming hard, made me realize how little we could do in the many hours we had spent. However, most of the processes were necessary and inevitable. We helped prepare a spring onion field and a cucumber rack, each of them taking over two hours just to maintain. We helped harvest zucchini and radish, which was much faster and easier compared to all the time I presume they had spent to growing it.
Our labor was compensated with some fresh vegetables harvested there. Per hour wage 0 but no worries. We did not work for money. However, the compensation was the sense of fulfillment after working for a full day in the sun. Yes, I thought farming was somehow embedded in my DNA too. The vegetables were delicious, especially because I knew that there had been no synthetic materials used.
During dinner, after taking bath at an onsen, I came across the idea of using their harvest as a company benefit. I have asked to deliver 10,000yen worth of vegetables every week, and we will give them away for free to the members who want them. This way, members would know what the seasonal vegetables were and appreciate their genuine taste. Don't you think it's a wonderful idea?