Taishoboseki cotton farm 2020
- December 26, 2020Report
It’s been six years since we last grow cotton. The area of this farming field is about 80 tsubo, which is accounted for 259.2 square kilometers. We can visit there by driving within almost 10 minutes from our plant in Hannan city. There are many cultivation-abandonment-grounds here and there. It is natural to assume that this is due to an aging society particularly in farmers. The annual rental fee of this area is 3000yen. We were permitted to use this area on condition that we do never grow weeds.
After Golden week, four national holidays, from the last week of April up to the first week of May, we planted seeds. What we used for fertilizer were bird droppings and cattle manure compost.
At the end of May, we invited our clients there and started thinning out. It was the beginning of those buds’ growing. We were on the right track until that time. How come we could have expected a tremendous challenge was facing us? Our bad news was the tsuyu rain season, the rainy season in Japan, was quite long this year.
In June, we faced the crisis of fields’ flooding due to heavy rain. Despite the rainstorm, we managed to clear multiple paths through a path between rice fields. The reason for this work was to let flooded water out. Next, we worked on the intervention for the storm. In July, the terrible storm almost uprooted trees.
As if we built a cemetery instead of the fields with a bunch of poles.
When either broken or fallen trees started to wither, we could not help worrying about whether we can grow organic cotton for real. In order not to dismiss any subtle changes, we went to the field before work in the morning. Those roots got stronger and were able to withstand strong wind. When we were relieved to see the dramatic growth before the O-bon holiday, which is Japanese a traditional holiday, new enemies appeared immediately.
Those pests are called “leaf rollers”. Because leaf rollers bundle up in plants and eat up inside of them, plants have become unable to photosynthesize. Eventually, this lets plants wither.
Every morning, we exterminated pests under the burning sun. The throughout extermination led to the fulfillment. Some yellow and pink flowers bloomed. The fields got full of gorgeous green more than we had expected a few months ago.
In September, cotton balls popped.
In October, we invited our customers to our field and organized a special event.
Guests experienced ginning process by using picked cotton by themselves. Also, they toured the throughout process of spinning thread.
Looking at delighted and mesmerized families picking up cotton, we cannot help smiling. They look so happy to touch cotton.
In December, we cleared up the field and completed this year’s cotton farming.
We had plenty of time to face up to farming tirelessly because we had no chance to go on a business trip compared to the past.
Even a professional farmer, who is our neighbor, has experienced such a long rain and rainstorm that we Taishoboseki had to go through once in a blue moon. That caused other problems one after another. A Rainstorm blew mulch seats for agriculture away. Moreover, many trees fell, in turn, and withered. Many leaves were eaten up and became full of holes.
We missed days that we visited the home center. It was continuing process of trial and error. That moment made us realize how hard organic cotton growers made continual efforts to grow organic cotton without using pesticides and herbicides.
Now, we want to make use of the profound experience that helped us to acquire handy skills of organic farming such as the width of Une, which is the ridge, spacing of stocks, and method of erecting splints. In addition, we finally felt a sense of accomplishment.
What are we going to do next?
There is much more to come
By Kazuto Akamatsu, Sales Div. chief