There are many veggie cafés and restaurants in Jiyugaoka, and the newly opened grocery store “Shizensaibai no Nakamatachi” which means “Friends of natural farming” has become a hot topic in Jiyugaoka that many people are talking about!
This grocery store sells a great variety of naturally farmed products, and also sells luxury smoothies which use a very generous portion of vegetables and fruits.
Depending on the season, the smoothies may contain the famous “Miracle Apple (This apple is grown without using any pesticide)”?!
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Safely sourced grocery shop in our neighborhood!
On the July 28th 2017, the store was opened in Jiyugaoka and sells natural faming products such as vegetables, fruits, rice, etc from across Japan.
This store sells farming products from farms which are supervised by Mr. Kimura Akinori, who had succeeded in growing pesticide-free apples with his own natural cultivation methods.
It has been said that apples cannot be produced without pesticides. You might have heard about his success story as it was made into a film called the “Miracle Apple”.
Above center is Mr. Kimura Akinori. He came to visit the new store while taking time from his busy schedule.
The store has a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, rice, and processed food products such as miso, and all the products are delivered directly from natural farming producers.
The store was originally situated within a building in Togoshi-ginza. But when this building needed renovation, the store decided to move to Jiyugaoka.
“Friends of natural farming” is supported by a network of people who “want to promote safely sourced high quality products” and who engage in natural farming and producing natural farming products based on their original standard which was proposed by Akinori Kimura.
It is their wish that more people become aware of natural farming products and that more people are able to access them in their daily life.
Therefore they have an internet store as well as the actual store where customers can visit.
At the store, all of the shelves are filled with naturally farmed vegetables! When the store was opened, many customers came and most of the shelves emptied very quickly.
There are various different kinds of pumpkins, including spaghetti squash and butternut squash.
You can find some vegetables which you don’t normally see in a supermarket and the line-ups vary depending on the season.
What is natural farming!?
Do you know the difference between natural farming and organic farming?
Q.What is natural farming?
Natural farming is a cultivation method which uses the natural strength of farmland to grow crops without using pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
Q.What is the difference between natural farming and organic farming?
Organic farming uses organic matter such as compost or manure instead of pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
On the other hand, natural farming does not even employ compost or manure.
Natural farming reproduces the natural environments of woodlands and forests where the farmland has various micro-organisms that can co-exist,
and this soil will bring out the natural strength of crops and help them to grow naturally.
Natural farming products give you the real taste. You get full flavors, as they should be sweetness, sourness, richness, etc plenty of real flavors.
You might be fascinated finding that the same variety of natural farming products can taste totally differently depending on where they are farmed.
One may say that each vegetable has its own personality.
The store manager Mr. Ito says “When you eat natural farm products, you can taste the development and history of our products and are absorbing the personalities of our products”.
The above tag says “conversion period”
At Friends of natural farming, the process when a farmland is being converted into a natural farmland (pesticides and chemical fertilizers become detoxfied) is called the “conversion period”.
It is necessary to have this period of time to get the land ready for natural farming. The store sells products from this conversion period in support of initiatives for farmers.
Curious about smoothies which contain the Miracle Apple?! Must-try products.
You can taste smoothies which use plenty of vegetables and fruits naturally farmed with the utmost care.
One particular smoothie contains the famous “Miracle Apple”! It also contains the sweet summer orange juice Amanatsu, cucumbers and tomatoes.
What amazed me was the price. With all of these ingredients, it is only 500 yen!
It doesn’t taste like the commercialized and excessively sweet smoothies, but has a light sweetness and sourness as if you are tasting actual vegetables and fruits.
The smoothies are not blended too much therefore you can enjoy the different textures of the ingredients such as crushed ice combined with the different textures of the natural ingredients.
As you drink it, you feel your body absorbing the nutrition as the taste spreads through your body and senses. It will give you a satisfied and healthy feeling!
(Please be aware that depending on the season and the stock availability, the ingredients of the smoothies may change without advanced notice.)
A variety of natural farming products. Must-try products!
There are a wide variety of natural farming products such as curry roux, tea leaves, rice noodles, pasta etc. Here are some of the must-try products recommended at the store!
From the range of naturally farmed rice varieties, the must try products are “Sasashigure” and its evolved type “Sasanishiki”.
“Sasashigure” was a traditional rice type in Japan before the introduction of pesticide, therefore it was selected as suitable for natural farming and has become popular in recent years.
As it was once unavailable, it is now called “phantom rice”.
“Sasanishiki” was created as a quality improvement of “Sasashigure” rice.
“Sasanishiki” was quite popular and was sold in many supermarkets 30 years ago, but now it is under the spotlight worldwide as one of the best choices for natural farming.
A rice milling service is available at the Friends of natural farming as well!
Various Miso pastes are available from different parts of Japan. At the store I bought the above “Miracle Miso”.
It is made by the Marumi Kouji Home Store in Okayama prefecture.
The Miso is made from indigenous rice type Asahi-mai which does not pollinate artificially, and during the process of fermentation the rice is kept in a special wooden barrel made from cedar trees of Yoshino, Nara prefecture.
The miso has a very high anti-oxidative effect which protects your body from reactive oxygen. It is safely sourced, tasty and healthy. There is no reason not to try it!
The above is the “Miracle Apple Macrobiotic Granola” made in collaboration with one of the famous macrobiotic restaurants “Chaya”.
The granola is gluten free, as the wheat is substituted by rice flower. And it contains dried “Miracle Apples”. This product is selling fast!
It hasn’t been long since the store was opened, but there are already many regular customers.
By having this store in the neighborhood, customers who shop in the area now have a wider range of foods to choose from and as Friends of natural farming becomes more popular it will make customers more aware of the benefits of eating healthy produce.
And maybe it will trigger a change in society and hopefully then natural farming products will become more available and easier to access.
We will be delivering more articles to keep you up to date on healthy and useful topics, so please share with your friends!
*The information contained in the article is as of the date when we interviewed and subject to change. We strongly recommend that you make an inquiry to the store prior to your visit.
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