June, July & August – A Year in Ogose Tear Garden, Japan


Mr. Ogose Haruo, the owner of the tea plantation, told me about the work he does at the Tea garden throughout the year.

After The First Tea Harvest

Around June, right after the first tea is harvested, we do a process called ” Otoshi ( cutting down )”. We cut off the branches of the tea tree that have grown too large or are not growing well. The growth of tea trees slows down when they are taller than waist height. When the trees are taller than waist height, they are cut down to about knee height. This work is done in about 10 to 20 percent of the tea field area.

In June and July, the buds of the second tea leaves appear. At my farm, we do not harvest the second tea buds, but cut them down to make compost for the fields. Since I started cutting down the second tea buds and making natural compost on the ground of the tea farm with them, I have found that the insects and microorganisms in the soil become more active and the soil becomes fluffy and nutrient rich.

I believe that we have been able to discover these things because of the natural farming method, and that we have been able to achieve these effects. In normal cultivation methods, fertilizer is spread on the soil, so it may be difficult to see these differences. I discovered it 6-7 years ago (about 2015).

Before then, we were also harvesting the second tea, but other tea farmers were also busy and it was sometimes difficult to secure a processing plant.

Summer is the season for weeding.

From June to August, the summer grass grows rapidly in the tea fields. Since I do not use herbicides in my fields, I do the mowing and weeding by hand. I use a weed whacker around the tea fields and between the rows. Weeding near the tea trees is done by hand.

When we use the mower, we cut the grass at a height of 5 cm to 10 cm, not just above the ground. This is to leave the shorter grasses uncut, which are useful for maintaining the tea plantation environment. It is interesting to note that as the larger and taller weeds are cut every year, the shorter and more useful weeds seem to gain strength. And throughout the field, the weeds don’t seem to grow above a certain height anymore.

In July and August, We just keep weeding.

Let's spread the wonderfulness of tea and make the world a better place😉
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