ARCHIVE

Following the Farmers of Northern Japan, After the Quake

Filmmaker Junko Kajino grew up on a farm in Japan and, although she now lives in Chicago, she’s remained interested in the organic farming community back home. In the weeks since the nuclear disaster at Fukushima Dai-ichi, Kajino has kept a close eye on the organic rice and vegetable growers in the area and she noticed certain themes in the messages appearing on blogs and social media sites. “They focused on how to reduce radiation, how to cultivate their contaminated land, and what they can grow in their polluted soil,” she recalls.

Despite the severe damage to their land and the heightened concern about ongoing radiation, Kajino says, the farmers were not complaining. Instead, she says, they’ve  started talking about what to plant. “This was the hope I saw in the last several months and I need to document that.” Read more

Finding a Model in Japan’s Young Farmer Corps

We Americans can be notoriously self-centered when it comes to, well, everything. In the environmental and food-justice movements, voices from Europe or Africa struggle to be included in the American discussion. But as a young country, we would do well to learn from other countries who never stopped plowing, harvesting, and eating in a sustainable way.

Recently I joined 200 other young people to participate in a pilot agriculture-experience program in Japan. Read more