Author: alvin


Japan Weeks 3 & 4: Daily Schedule +Azuki Bean Project

The work The responsibilities of the new farm differ extensively. Production & harvest was the focus of the first farm; at the second farm I’d get the chance to learn about the work preceding seed sowing. My Daily Schedule  05:40 Wake-up call 06:00 Meet in the kitchen. Have a cup of tea 06:30 Walk the […]


Japan Week 3: New Farm, New Beginnings

My 12 days at T-san’s farm ended as quickly as it started. I went in anticipating only the physical demands of the work, but without expectations and with uncertainty about what I could offer in return during the cultural exchange. I came out of this first segment with greater empathy for farmers; with greater appreciation […]


Japan Week 2: Frogs, Frogs, Frogs

There’s an abundance of life at the farm. Above ground co-existed tomato worms, frogs, spiders, dragonflies, gnats, and countless tiny insects not immediately visible to the naked eye. Birds, maybe finches, would also pass through the field too and occasionally sit on the cucumber trellises. In neighboring rice paddies, herons patiently hunted. Higher up, the […]

Japan Week 2: Daily Schedule

6:00 Rise & Shine I Wake up to the sounds of doors sliding open and truck doors slamming. This is the time that deliveries are made to the grocery stores that sell T-san’s products. I don’t take part in this, but you can call me an unintentional cheerleader of sorts. It’s also not a big […]

Rice Paddies in Evening

Japan Week 1: New Surroundings, New Work, & Credit

Field work. Market prep. Field work. Market prep. Cut some weeds. Package cucumbers. Prune tomato vines. Wash & trim green onions. Field work in the AM. Packaging in the PM. This was my daily regiment near Fukuchiyama city in Kyoto prefecture. I landed in a village, cradled by mountains, where rice paddies outnumbered people by […]

Japan 2017: Takeoff

  Movies about self-discovery inevitably seem to include a trite allusion to “how did I end up in this situation?”. I never gave it much thought. It always seemed intentional — a device meant to manipulate the audience’s expectations. And then it happened to me. And the feeling hasn’t dismissed yet. At the tailend of […]


I’ve finally gotten around to fixing my site and updating a soon-to-be dated blog. Enjoy!