I kept meaning to write about my stay with Kazuko, but things would come up or I didn't have the time to really dive into my writing about the experience. And now, almost two weeks after leaving her place I fear I won't be able to share, with all you fabulous readers, the thoughts and great things I did with her, as time and new adventures make other past thoughts hideaway. But here goes.
I stayed with a lady named Kazuko for a week on her WWOOF farm. Kazuko is no ordinary lady though, she is a very loving, caring and intelligent woman and you just pick up on this from first introductions with her. She also has cerebral palsy.
Kazuko-san may be slightly physically impaired, but her vast array of knowledge on nearly every subject I was interested in (and oh so much more) was beyond amazing. I got to experience a wide array of farming (such as picking veggies, weeding, harvesting bamboo, plowing fields, spreading compost.. and more) as well as spending some time in the kitchen (making various forms of miso soups, nukatsuke, making udon from scratch, different bamboo creations, sushi, sauces, tamago, and more!!!
There was always someone around Kazuko-san, whether one of her hospice workers or one of the numerous students who came by to volunteer there time to help her. Sometimes up to 5 students would be there. Other times it was just me and Wanda (the other wwoofer staying here. I should mention that on my first night Peggy, another wwoofer was also with us) to cook, entertain and care for Kazuko-san.
I'm putting below some pictures of my stay but one thing I didn't get a picture of was the bamboo forest behind her house. If you walked down this little almost hidden dirt path behind Kazuko-san's house, a drop in elevation of maybe 10ft, you'd all of a sudden be in thi mini bamboo forest. You were far enough away from the house that you couldn't see it. You just saw bamboo around you. On one side there is a brook flowing past and on another a small little waterfall that also led into the brook. From here we'd pull out some of the baby bamboo and this is what we'd use to cook with. To me, it was a zen like paradise spot.
Though I was only with her for a week, I was greatly saddened to leave when I did as I really loved staying here and learning (as well as just being in the company of) Kazuko-san.
These two kids' mom is a friend of Kazuko-san. they helped a bit in the field as well. The truck behind them I got to drive. left handed stick is surprisingly easy to get used to. Reversing however, is not.
On my last night we made this delicious sweet rice dish with egg and radish greens. notice under the left of the rice on the brown plate is nukatsuke I helped make. Also the sake in the back is wasabi sake from the Daio farms trip.