A Farming day at the Murayama Farm in Sakurajima, Kagoshima

A Farming day at the Murayama Farm in Sakurajima, Kagoshima

On April 10th, I woke up at 6 in the morning and after a fast coffee, I hurried up to join my friends Honoka and Aoi at the Kishaba station. 

I answered Honoka’s (Kagoshima University’s oceanology department) invitation to join Aoi (Kagoshima University’s farming department) on a farming day in Sakurajima. 

Always eager to discover new aspects of Kagoshima and convinced that a day using my hands and energy in the service of nature could only be good to me, I accepted the invitation, without knowing what to expect. 

On the ferry to Sakurajima, I met Aya-san, a very friendly woman who frequently helps at the farm. Then, the four of us joined another friendly helper, Miyazaki-san, who took us to the place. 

The Murayama family does not only own an organic farm where they cultivate the ‘s world biggest radish, the Sakurajima daikon or Shimadekon in dialect, and the world’s smallest tangerine (sakurajima komikan), but they also own a café : Shirahama. Facing the sea, and surrounded by the calm of the countryside, your heart automatically feels at peace there.

With a will to show the blessings of the Sakurajima, Murayama’s wife Akie and their daughter Tomomi, served a delicious and healthy homemade daily cuisine made with the organic veggies from the farm. 

After a delicious and nutritious breakfast including some yaki mochi, I put on my farmer gloves and boots and was ready to defeat the daikons. The Sakurajima daikon is actually the biggest type of radish, entering the Guinness World Record book for a specimen of  31 kilograms and 119 centimetres of diametra. 

The morning task consisted of digging up the daikons. Even though this activity requires quite a physical strength, it’s fun to try to guess the size and shape of the daikons before digging them up. It’s also as many tasks when farming a teamwork and a bonding experience. 

For lunch, me and my friends were invited again at the Shirahama Café and got the chance to savour a delicious and tasty beautiful meal.  

After a well deserved break, we were ready again for our afternoon work. 

Because of my strong pollen allergies, I was not able to remain in the field and was asked another mission : cleaning the radishes. 

What a satisfying task to see the vegetable getting clean, looking good and ready to be eaten. I realised that there is something nurturing in cultivating the earth. 

At the end of the day, we were all very happy and proud of ourselves. We were tired, but tired with a satisfaction for connecting with nature and using our bodies and muscles efficiently. For me, It was a very humbling and meaningful experience that highly recommend to anybody who feels like having a smartphone, city life, detox.

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