Voluntary collection of fallen leaves for sustainable agriculture system.

Miyoshi town in Saitama Prefecture has been registered as a Japanese Agricultural Heritage Site for its farming system of cultivating sweet potatoes and vegetables using fallen leaves manure collected from the neighboring sawtooth oak tree (Quercus acutissima) and Jolcham oak (Quercus serrata). Despite being 50km from central Tokyo and within commuting distance of the metropolitan area, this sustainable farming system is maintained, and it is now aiming to be certified as a World Agricultural Heritage site.

I participated in an event of experiencing sweeping fallen leaves. Fallen leaves collected in winter are slowly fermented in the farmer’s backyard over a period of 2-3 years. Fallen leaves collected by rake are packed into a large bamboo basket, around 1m height, called Hachihonbasami and compacted over and over again.

It would be great if a large number of children could participate, have fun while learning about this wonderful farming method, and pass it on to the next generation. I have been also supporting the town’s activity voluntarily to help with the English translation of documents such as application form.

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