September – 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.

It’s A Lively, Fun Season.

During this season, we do a process called ” Susogari ( hemming ) “. As the tea grows and the branches spread out, the distance between the neighboring trees gets smaller. So we cut the branches of the trees to increase the distance between the trees.

On level ground, the distance between trees should be about 25 cm. When the slope is steep or the tea trees are tall, the distance between the trees is increased to about 30 cm.

The branches of a tea tree are very strong and hard. When we were tending to the tea trees on a rainy day, our raincoats would be scratched and torn to shreds by the branches. Even with double leggings wrapped around my feet, they are covered with scratches.

During the months of August and September, special attention should be paid to pit vipers and hornets. Hornets build their nests in tea trees in July and August.

In the natural farming method, earthworms and various insects become abundant in the ground. This is where the wild boars come to eat them and dig up the ground. This is a unique scene in a natural farming field where no pesticides or chemical fertilizers are used.

From summer to autumn, many kinds of insects come to the tea fields. Grasshoppers, mantises, ladybugs, bees, spiders, etc. The fields are very lively and fun.

I think that when the natural ecosystem is functioning well, even if there is a big outbreak of a certain insect, there will be many more insects that will eat it. Therefore, I feel that things will go well if we let the natural cycle take its course without spraying pesticides.

A Field That Makes You Feel Energized When You Go There

When I am doing natural farming, I feel as if I am working with the earth in the richness of nature. We do not try to control life forcibly by human power alone.

I harvest tea leaves when they sprout in a natural flow. In general tea cultivation, the idea might be to manage the tea trees to sprout in order to harvest them.

In nature farming, we believe that if we let tea trees grow naturally and healthily, tea buds will grow in the natural course of events. I harvest the tea trees as if I were saying to them, “I’ll take the extra leaves. I don’t want to cause stress to the tea tree or myself. I work in a way that feels good for both of me and the tea trees.

I can feel the life force in the field where some grass is growing. It’s a mysterious field where you feel energized when you go there.

In nature farming, tea buds start to appear when there is no more frost. In general farming, a special fertilizer called ” Medashi-hi ( bud-starting fertilizer ) ” is sometimes applied to the tea trees to make them sprout earlier.

This is because if you can harvest the tea as early as possible, you can sell it for as much as possible.

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