TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Theme Event for Kanto Region, Team A: Alumni Tackle the Roots of Food Waste and Unlock the Power of the Yatsugashira Potato in Hino City, Tokyo
On November 17, 2019, the Theme Event for Kanto Region, Team A took place in the city of Hino in western Tokyo. Led by Regional Mentor Kenji Negi and Regional Leader Shunsuke Watando, a total of ten TOMODACHI program alumni and friends gathered at Ishizaka Farm House.
Ishizaka Farm House is a local family-owned farm that offers various experiential farming programs throughout the year to students, families, and the elderly, sharing lessons such as the best seasons to harvest and eat different vegetables and fruits, in an effort to raise awareness about food sustainability and agricultural living.
Blessed by great weather, the participants kicked off the day by harvesting various kinds of fresh vegetables from the farm, ranging from the rare Yatsugashira potato, usually only seen during New Year’s festivities in Japan, to the more common daikon radish and carrot. Together, the group then used the freshly harvested ingredients to prepare their own lunches: delicious rice and miso soup!
Throughout the day, as participants harvested and cooked the farm’s produce, and enjoyed a tasty lunch, the hosts at Ishizaka Farm House reminded the group about the importance of taking care to reduce food waste each and every day.
The event concluded with a presentation by the hosts that detailed their work in the community, and a lively discussion on how we as a society can be more mindful of the idea of sustainable living.
Yui Yasuda, participant and alumna of the TOMODACHI-Uniqlo Fellowship, commented, “By experiencing farm living first-hand, you can develop an interest in food and its origins, leading to an increased awareness of not only food waste, but also climate change, overall wellness, and community engagement, which are all issues that need inter-generational attention and engagement.”
This event was held as a part of the TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework, the TOMODACHI Generation Alumni Leadership Program supported by Prudential.