Sweet Potato Harvest

Roughly a forth of the sweet potato harvest.
Kyle preparing beds for transplants and wheat. Chinese cabbages under row cover in background.



November 21 and 23 participated in a "handmade wood burning stove workshop" (手づくり薪ストーブワークショップ) taught by Takahashi-san, a artisan blacksmith/welder who lives in Fujino.

cut, bend, and weld rebar base

cut and fold metal wrap

fill metal wrap with firebrick

steel shield to interrupt flow of gases and reflect heat

assemble parts, drill and rivet.

total cost of materials for a functional stove with cooking surface on top: $160

On the way to the workshop, met Sawanishi-san, alias "Kosho" and other graduates of Permaculture Center Japan.Straw bales removed and replaced with a traditional Japanese bamboo lattice and earthen plaster.

Received a ticket from Itonaga-sensei to attend 未来ビレッジサミット, an ecovillage conference of sorts, on November 22.


Straw-Clay Block Test Wall

November 18 and 19 was in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, working on a Straw-Clay Block Test Wall using blocks made a month ago.Jinnouchi-san and Noda-san inspecting the test wall.Kyle testing the strength of the blocks. We now have a blog for the light straw clay project: 自然の家づくり職人ネット.Before returning to Fujisawa on the 19, visited Toby at "Square One".



November 16 and 17 was in Iitate village in Fukushima Prefecture meeting with the architect and general contractor of a model home being built with funds from Japan's Ministry of the Environment.The home will feature an ecological design using natural materials, including one wall of straw bale.
After finishing work on the 17, visited Shimpei Murakami (村上真平) who runs an organic farm and macrobiotic restaurant. Murakami-san has worked as agricultural extention agent in Thailand and other parts of southeast Asia. In 2002, I read a book written by Murakami-san entitled, "Lessons from Nature".He recently built a wood fired oven using Allen Scott's oven design.


那須 ストローベイル

October 31 through November 2, participated as a staff member in the Japan Straw Bale Association's annual seminar and workshop in Nasu, Tochigi Prefecture.November 3, collected data from a straw bale building at a dairy farm and milk processing plant also in Nasu run by Amita Corporation.