うまいくだもの園 WWOOFer Visitors Experience
I came across Narazaki-san’s website and decided I wanted to bring a few friends to visit and work there during our graduate school’s spring vacation. I have had a lot of previous experience working as a farm volunteer, have generally enjoyed it and wanted to introduce my friends to the work, environment and lifestyle of Japanese farmers. Experienced as I was, nothing could prepare me for the hospitality and deep engagement we received from Narazaki-san and his family. We stayed only a few days and though I honestly wonder how much useful work we were able to contribute in that time, we had an amazing experience, being treated to excellent traditional Japanese and Western-style food, having some of their local produce (if you have anything about Umai Kudamono-en you know they grow a variety of delicious fruit, of varieties rarely experienced by those who never make it out of the cities) and visiting local onsen.
Narazaki-san himself is a very philosophically inclined individual. We discussed many topics in Japanese and as I expressed my interest in agriculture and fruit-growing specifically, he tried really hard to explain some of the intricacies of his work, though sometimes I struggled to keep up because of my less-than-perfect knowledge of the language. It was an interesting mix of farming experience, agricultural know-how, environmental theory, and macro-scale philosophical concepts that were all closely intertwined into a single paradigm. It is rare to find people who have such a holistic understanding – and relationship – with their environment. I learned, besides other things, that trees like people have feelings and that a farmer must make sure to balance his needs with that of the tree, rather than putting himself in the center. A lot of what Narazaki-san says might be dismissed as too conceptual or philosophical until one appreciates the results he and his staff have achieved, and allows the point that technological solutions alone cannot be responsible for such success to sink it.
I wholeheartedly recommend visiting Narazaki-san’s fields for anyone seriously interested in agriculture or fruit growing, and while the family and staff will warmly receive any visitor, those with a passing knowledge of Japanese will come away with a much deeper, fulfilling experience and an expanded awareness of the natural flow of life that courses through our environment.
家庭での過ごしについても話さないといけません。奈良崎さんの奥さんは本当に懐かしくてありがたい雰囲気を作って下さいました。日本の滞在の間にそんなに 美味しい料理を食べることがありませんでした。 誠にありがとうございます！