Issei and Yuuko met at an organic farming course. But Yuuko jokes it wasn’t until a few years later when Issei was showing her his newly bought land (the current Infinity Farm) that she started falling for him.
The farm consists of two plots of land a few kilometres apart. One holding a semi self-built house, seedling greenhouse, a kitchen garden and a potato field. The other is in a small valley surrounded by woods, with wildflowers growing amongst varying planted vegetables. A large mulberry tree rests in the centre, making it one very beautiful farm.
The farm uses no chemical pesticides, only a mix of garlic and chilli to deter pests as well as some manual labour of finger squashing. Some caterpillars were attacking the newly planted seedlings at night, so Issei woke up at midnight to go and protect them, squashing a few hungry caterpillars in the process. If you ever wondered why organic is more expensive there is the answer!
Issei and Yuuko use Kawaguchi style farming techniques which is another method slightly more achievable than Fukuoka’s (Masanobu Fukuoka, father of natural farming). They use natural design and the farm looks better for it.
Their home is a charming small house of Japanese cedar. Traditional carpenters helped them with the initial build whilst another traditional carpenter friend has been helping them with additions. It has been a slow but also an interesting learning process for them both.
Before ‘Infinity Farm’, Issei was a salary man working in construction management in Tokyo. When asked about why he chose farming, he mentions a Japanese word for farmers- Hyakusho. It translates to something like the ‘one hundred surname’. This was because older farmers were known for doing one hundred different things, farming, building, repairing clothes etc. Issei explains, that there is a lot of joy in making and while farming is difficult he is happy in the making and doing of one hundred things.