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James Burke

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since Aug 17, 2015
Moved out of the city to a small plot in the countryside of Tokyo to do my own gardening/farming thing.
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Recent posts by James Burke

Just get one of the Hario grinders, there's the Skerton (Pictured above) or the Mini which may be a better grinder but doesn't hold as much ground coffee.

As long as you're not a tiny woman you'll have no problem grinding with them.

If you're a really small woman with no muscles the hand-cranked grinders might be a chore. The resistance is not that bad but people with no muscle at all might get tired halfway through.

It takes me about 1 or 2 minutes to grind 40grams of coffee beans (That's enough for 2-3 cups/600-800ml of strong coffee) but I am a strong 29 year old male.

One little bonus is that the skerton comes with a plastic cap you can screw onto the jar after you've ground the coffee, so you can keep it in the jar overnight without it degrading too much (Or you can bring it to work or whatever). I liked mine so much I bought a grinder specifically for using at my office.
5 years ago
Thanks for the reply.

I guess I should have specified what I want to do with this land in the original post.

I would like to get this land producing for me as quickly as possible. I want to grow a wide variety of vegetables, lots of tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers & chili's, beans, corn etc.

Identifying the plants has proven to be a bit difficult because nobody around the area remembers what was planted there originally, and there is a major information vacuum in Japan about gardening, people just don't seem to know nor care.
From what I can see there are some plants which seem to indicate high nitrogen in the soil in certain spots, but besides that I'm not sure.

Waiting a year to see the natural cycle of things is unfortunately a luxury I don't have, I would like to get this land producing food for my table as quickly as possible, and the land needs to be brought into a relatively presentable state. At the moment it's turning into a jungle and is becoming a nuisance to the surrounding houses due to the wildlife coming from it. Part of the rental agreement I signed is to make sure it doesn't stay like that, permaculture is OK but it can't be a wilderness reserve.

The current state of the land is as shown in the first picture. The second picture was taken many years ago. It does not look like that now. The current plants growing on the land are completely wild and I can only identify a few of them, but they seem to be mostly weeds. That's my big concern. What is the best way to get control of these and get vegetables and herbs growing as quickly as possible?
So, I am about to move into a new place and in the back there's a plot of land around 5000 square feet (40x11 meters, roughly)

The problem is, it has been left for a few years and has become overgrown. You can see in the photos what it looks like now, and what it looked like in the past.

My challenge is that I have only hand tools available, no mowing equipment besides a line-trimmer.

What would be your advice to getting this land back under control and suitable for planting again?

Should I cut everything down and burn it? Or cut it down and leave it on the ground as a mulch over winter? There's not much snow in winter here, if it snows at all.

Should the soil be shoveled up or should I do like Sepp Holzer does and just leave the green manure to rot down over the winter?