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December 27, 2009

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sharon

Inspiring story, Nancy. Hope that you all never give up on the elemental rice growing. I know it's easy for me from the city to say but believe your work has far-reaching effects. One day I'll be pleased to be one of your volunteers. Will make your beautiful pumpkin-pork stew with bay area organics but alas not with the Hachisu rice. Much love to you all and a most happy new year!
Sharon

Nancy Singleton Hachisu

Sharon: I think Tadaaki and I are both feeling our age (over 50 now), so looking forward to the boys stepping up to the plate as well. Plucking the Christmas ducks was an ordeal to say the least (more later). And we hope to see you back on the farm, don't worry, there will always be some sort of work to be done. This year's rice crop was a little short, but enough for a year. The rice ended up with some random wheat seeds mixed in, giving it a unique character. I think that is what I like most about our life. It is constantly changing by the kismet effects of nature and our energies as we work the fields or harvest our vegetables for meals and beyond. This year we had a lot of celery, last year it was cilantro. The food changes with what we have and I love that feeling of flowing with the field. I went back and made some adjustments to the stew recipe as I remembered it was a bit off. But you of all people know that the recipe is just as fluid as our life. Garlic or not, onion instead of leeks, add some beans, whatever. If I remember, I'll bring some rice in February. Nancy

Karen near Portland, OR

Happy Holidays Nancy and thanks for the recipe! In my chilly garage is an old wooden fruit crate (with a faded “Red Rooster” stencil) full of Oregon Sweetmeat squash - your stew is on my menu list this week.

Oregon Sweetmeat is an old variety developed by a Pacific Northwest regional seed company in Portland. The squashes grow to around 10 pounds with sweet, thick, string-less flesh that’s deep orange. What variety are you growing? Would you like to try some seeds?

Best wishes to you and your hard working family for a wonderful 2010.

Rodney Fong

Finally had time to read your rice post. Always inspiring, as I relate again only through films and the sequence of Jet Li's rebirth in the movie "Fearless" that involved a recentering of his life through work on a farm and planting rice in particular. Ironic, as we here in Hawaii have moved quite far from almost any form of agrarian culture. Hardly any commercial farms any more. It was surprising news in the papers today to hear that a small pineapple company is restarting up again. When I was young, there were pineapple fields and sugar cane all over, but no more. Hopefully I will have a vicarious experience through your writings and life.

Rodney

Nancy Singleton Hachisu

Karen: Sorry I dropped the ball on responding. What can I say, mochi tsuki and Japanese New Year were looming. I definitely would love seeds. We grow those round indented-side varieties that are pinky colored or a sage green. Did I explain that well? The problem is that it's sometimes a crap shoot which ones are meltingly delicious in a stew or which ones are deeply flavored enough to hold up to a baked tian. The 2008 Thanksgiving tian lacked flavor, sadly. But that's ok, there were other things on the plate. And home grown is never bad. I loved the image of your chilly garage and the red rooster crate. College apps are in the homestretch as Friday is my final deadline. Off to Food Blogger Camp in Ixtapa.

Rodney: The mainland is madly bringing back small farms and I'm guessing it's not too late for Hawaii as well. Exciting to hear about a small pineapple company. The best pineapple I ever tasted was in Hawaii many, many years ago. But then in Japan, we found a guy growing pineapples on Okinawa and every August we got a box (small and deeply flavored). He died in the ocean (an accident) and we have yet to find as skilled a producer. I used to make pineapple vinegar from the core and skins...oh yes, the pineapples were organic. Unbelievable that such a fruit exists and once I tasted that I could never eat another pineapple from the supermarket again. I'm waiting patiently and hope to remember to try again this August for a box of organic Okinawan pineapples. Maybe they'll be as I remembered.

Nancy

Stephanie - Wasabimon

Well look at that! I'll have to come visit one day - I'm so curious about Japanese organic farming.

Hope you got home ok, dear!

Nancy Singleton Hachisu

Stephanie: I shared a car with Brook and had an unforgettable dinner at Providence in LA with an old college friend. The knowledgeable floor manager...maître d'? was a compactly dapper David Lebovitz (i.e. very funny) who made the night even more memorable. So about the farm...when my friend Sylvan came to visit from Berkeley for the first time, I took him by one of the fields to pick some vegetables and then upon walking into our farm kitchen, he blurted out, "Nancy, you really are a farmer." Well, I'm not really, though I do try. But I guess the little Polo outfits I don while traveling project a different image from the jeans and t-shirts I wear in Japan. See you in SF in February. --Nancy
P.S. if I close my eyes I can still hear the rise and fall of your voice, as you expound with great animation on some subject or another...it was a lot of fun listening. Thanks for voicing your passions.

Jean

Really like the blog, appreciate the share!

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