Reading the NY Times yesterday, it seems the world has gone crazy for recession gardening and cheap D.I.Y. answers to bankrupt ideologies (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Thank goodness! I for one am highly excited about what the collapse of our particular brand of capitalism will bring about, a renewed love for building, making, and creating perhaps? A move to a truly sustainable lifestyle in the country? Western micro-farming? On the other hand, all this renewed ‘green excitement’ may just be hot air. How far is everyone willing to take their so called ‘eco lifestyle’?
Someone who is taking the flow on effects of their lifestyle seriously is David Duval Smith. David is a New Zealander who has lived in Japan for a long time and half of garden design group Namaike. He used to work for some serious design agencies in Tokyo and then, just over a year ago, turned his back on corporate city life and started a farm just out of Tokyo in Kamakura. He is growing a small crop of edible herbs and vegetables, and is also working on putting in a pond for ducks to generate his own little ecology. Stimulated by the permaculture movement and thinking seriously about how we create and consume energy, he has built up a micro farm inspired by people like Masanobu Fukuoka. Tokyo’s greatest vegan chef, Yoyo-san, took the Argentinian research group Mejunje to the farm as part of their research residency here. Darryl Wee, a writer here in Tokyo also came, and I tagged along to take photos and find out about city weeds. I know Tokyo is the great city of contrasts, but returning home via Shinjuku station seemed immoral after spending the afternoon with so much green.