In my recent post on Fujino Club, I mentioned my visit to Permaculture Center Japan (PCCJ) in Fujino, Kanagawa. Here is a walkthrough of my experience there. It would not have happened without the help of the people at Fujino Club, who helped organise this trip, and I would like to acknowledge them for their kindness.
This is part two of a three part series on Fujino, Kanagawa, with a focus on WWOOFing and permaculture. WWOOF stands for WorldWide Opportunity on Organic Farms).
PCCJ Founder Mr Kiyokazu Shidara found some time amid his busy schedule to give a few of us a tour of their permaculture demonstration site. He elaborated that it has been designed as a self sufficient site, and in summer, it is possible to live there.
Here is Mr Shidara, explaining the design of the plot of land from a vantage point. He walks around with a toolbelt, and the ‘kama’ – a popular Japanese hand tool for weeding, was visibly sticking out at the side.
He shared that his site wasn’t as productive as usual, partially to do with the exploding frog population in their garden, which is a very good thing. After finding many tadpoles in their usual rice paddy “field”, they decided to leave it alone and grew rice in a separate spot. He added that permaculture is not about producing high yield but having a healthy ecosystem.
While the toilet on site is a flush toilet, it uses harvested rainwater for flushing. From what I recall, he said there is a septic tank where pee and poo mingles with microorganisms that will break it down, and it is then discharged into the soil. There is a gentle downhill slope, and I noticed a couple of swales near the toilet.
The door features a branch for a handle, and the windows have a nice artistic touch.
This poly pipe above is a low tech tap. When you lower it, water flows out.
The structure below is a house for sleeping in, and beside it, a sheltered area with a rocket stove, and a pizza oven.
Near the deck, there is a campfire area.
The property had several varieties of tomatoes. Other plants I noticed included eggplant, cucumber, cat tails, spring onions or onions. At a herb spiral, I noticed herbs and comfrey, and around the property, there is a persimmon tree, and mulberry tree.
Mr Shidara showed us his part greenhouse, part shed. It is located beside the chicken coop. Outside the coop is a chicken run area with fruit trees.
To find out more about PCCJ, visit their website (make sure to turn on Google Translate if you can’t read Japanese), and if you wish to visit or WWOOF with them, drop them a message on their contact form.
I’d love to see it in Spring and Summer. I hope to WWOOF with them in 2017!
Look out for my next post on places to WWOOF in this part of Japan, the final installment in this series about WWOOFing and permaculture in Fujino.