The Kinezuka family business has won the 44th Award for Japan Agriculture, Bridging Food Division. Held by NHK and national Japan Agriculture organization, they competed with farmers and agricultural groups from across Japan.
From the time my father first started farming tea without pesticides 39 years ago, we have held tea picking events and events for consumers and students from across Japan. And now, the younger generation continues this not only with green tea but also making black tea, rice planting and harvesting in the rice paddies, miso making events, participating in organic farmers markets, accepting farm work volunteers, doing tea field tours for both japanese and foreign visitors. This diversified [effort to bridge people with food creation] was recognized by this award.
There is a mountain of issues we must deal with as mountain based farms, including an aging population, abandoned fields, etc. but we have been supported as we gather people, benefiting from the great energy that is created when we see your eyes dazzle as you experience nature. I feel from this that farming not only about making food, but about creating a spirit that helps people live rich lives. We’re only halfway there though. If farm villages have more vitality then society will change. I want to continue the work of bridging people and nature.
And finally, this award was possible because of all of you who supported us in our production efforts and cheered us on. Thank you very much!!!