My friendly neighbours Noriko-san & Tokio-san own their own farm called ‘Ringotei’. ‘Ringo’ means apple in Japanese. Now you might have already guessed that their main business is the apple business – correct! Overall they have 1,000 apple trees growing 20 different types of apples. Next to selling their tasty apples they also make apple juice, apple cidre and apple chips. They just recently added honey, made from apple blossoms giving it a sweet and juicy taste, to their assortment.
However, the apple season only really starts in September, even though they also have an early specie that may be harvested in August. So currently, during the summer months, they also grow tomatoes & sweet corn, along with some broccoli, plums, radish, pumpkin, potatoes and hanamame (flower beans).
This year, the sweet corn harvest began on the 28th of July, 3 days later than in the previous year. Last Tuesday morning at 6am Aya and I helped with their corn harvest. In the middle of the field, surrounded by the tall corn plants, Tokio-san cuts off the sweet corn from its stalk in one smooth motion. He uses a very sharp knife and he kept telling us to handle it with care to not swing it too far and hit our knees. Tokio-san then throws the corn behind him into a blue laundry basket that he carries on his back.
We shortly helped with the harvest and later with the packaging. Tokio-san sorts the corn according to size and they are then placed into plastic bags with ringotei’s logo – ready to be bought and eaten!
We got to taste the fresh corn that we had just harvested – still raw but the kernels were so milky and sweet – oishii! Nonetheless, the sweet corn also tastes delicious when shortly boiled in water. Noriko-san recommends that to make it even easier, just pop the peeled sweet corn into the microwave for 5min. Corn quickly loses its sweetness after being harvested so you should eat it soon after picking/buying.
Ringotei sells its products directly at the farm and at the local Katashinaya. Yet, they also pack up their harvest and send it to their customers throughout Japan.
Katashina FUNtashina! –
where you can cut your own sweetcorn and pick your own apples & tomatoes to enjoy the sun-ripened products of nature as fresh as possible!