Two weeks after the harvest in Maioka Park, UC students and their Meigaku hosts threshed and winnowed the kernels from the stalks using human- powered machines that date from the mid-20th century. Working in the warm fall sunlight, the team produced approximately 20 kg of rice. This is combined with the yields from other paddies to be shared by all members of the park’s agricultural communities.
The variety grown in Maika is suitable for mochi, a highly glutinous paste made from pounded steamed rice. On December 1st, UC students along with Meigaku graduates and their families gathered to celebrate the harvest season by eating freshly made mochi. Other foods made with fresh produce from the park’s dry fields completed the meal.
The Maioka Park system offers Yokohama residents a unique urban venue to grow and enjoy organically raised vegetables. Given its close proximity to the university, it is also a one-of-a-kind open-air classroom in which students are able to enhance their academic studies of Japanese culture with hands on experiences of traditional farm life and methods.