Thank you for your interest in Midori Farm!
We are a volunteer, non-profit organization based in Kyoto and Kutsuki, Shiga. Our mission is to revive farmland and rural areas through organic farming and educational events. We are striving to bring back the traditional food system to restore the health and environment of Japan. With all the crises we face worldwide, Midori Farm provides opportunities for people to get involved locally and bring about real changes.
The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) reports that the number of farms is decreasing each year, losing over 30% in the last 10 years. Those numbers will continue to drop as 65% of the population of farmers are aged 65 years and older. Furthermore, Japan rates very low on the scale of sustainability; we import over 60% of our caloric intake. In response to this, Midori Farm is taking over fallow fields and turning them into productive, organic farms. We’re introducing modern methods of sustainable agriculture alongside the tried and true techniques that the resident farmers have used for generations.
Every year there are a number of new, young Japanese farmers, but that number is insufficient to handle all the fallow fields. Midori Farm provides opportunities for people to try organic farming as well as work regularly on a farm. Also, through events and volunteer programs, people from anywhere can come to the mountains of Kutsuki, experience the beautiful nature, and visit the farm. Furthermore, with our Teikei (Community Support Agriculture) System and events in Kyoto city, Kyoto-ites can interact and connect with the countryside that surrounds them.
Farming is difficult work, especially to get started, and in the first few years farmers often find the hardships too great to bear. Midori Farm is creating resources and infrastructure for new and existing organic farmers to support them in times of hardship. Materials commonly used in organic farming abroad, such as compost, heirloom seeds and organic alternatives to chemicals are hard to find here in Japan. By combining Midori Farm’s international background with the abundant opportunities here, we can add a new dynamic to organic agriculture in Japan.
News Reports have been filled with the effects of climate change. We face a very real crisis right now, but many of us are overwhelmed or unsure how we can help. Midori Farm provides a way for people to get involved and make a difference in their community. Your interest and support can help us make a positive change on the food system, health, and environment in Japan.
As organic farms strictly avoid pesticides and chemicals to control weeds and fertilize, there is a lot more labour involved. For this reason, volunteers are crucial to our work. Here are some ways you can get involved with Midori Farm.
Curious about organic farming but have never stepped on a farm before ? Have kids that you want to spend some time walking among the plants with? Come up to the farm for a tour and to leisurely enjoy the nature and interact with our veggies! Tours normally run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays but must be booked in advance.
Individuals in Kyoto for long or short periods of time are welcome to come and help at the farm. Please be ready to work! If you are interested in a more leisurely day, doing a farm tour might be a better option for you. Otherwise you are welcome to join other volunteers on the farm helping with tasks such as weeding, basic infrastructure construction (eg. fence or trellis), compost fun, and much more! Please contact us for more information.
We like to hold events at the farm and in the surrounding nature, but we are constantly challenged by how to bring people from Kyoto up into the mountains. If you have a car and might be available to attend an event and offer a ride to others, please let us know! It’s a wonder to be in the beautiful countryside and giving others this gift with transportation is very rewarding!
Midori Farm has recently become an NPO! We’ve got a lot of dreams to make Kyoto and Shiga a more sustainable and healthy place to live. Interested in helping us with some of these projects?
Individuals traveling may volunteer with us in exchange for accommodation and food. We organize this mainly through Service Volontaire International and Workaway. We prefer volunteers to contact us through one of these organizations, and we kindly request you at least read one of these profiles before contacting us for international volunteering positions.
Do you have some skills or ideas that you think you can contribute ? If you are interested in doing something with us that we haven’t discussed here, please contact us!
Thanks for your interest in our veggies! Presently the main way to buy our produce is through our Teikei system, however we sometimes also sell at market and events.
The Teikei system is very similar to Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) approaches. One of the main principles is for consumers and farmers to be equally invested in their food, the farm and thus the environment.
Teikei members purchase baskets of vegetables ahead of time that will be available throughout the farming season. The vegetables will vary depending on the season and farming conditions. If a large typhoon hits, the basket might be a bit smaller than usual, however when crops flourish, members will also benefit from this bounty.
Members can benefit by receiving high quality vegetables and contributing to a local, sustainable and ethical form of agriculture. Teikei members also pay a lower per basket price than non-members.