This is a brainstorm for a Permaculture Experience
program with Japan in mind. The tasks are oriented around traditional Japanese techniques that continue to have tremendous value as sustainable
crafts, practices, and arts. While most of the tasks are possible outside of Japan, some are based on Japanese social structures and might be uncommon in other locales.
is wonderful it is designed around Wheaton Labs
, which is a very specific locale with very specific resources, climate, challenges, and needs.
This document is provided for English speakers, if something is not clear it should
be explained or translated.
Fields of Experience
style rice paddy management (Ref: One Straw Revolution
- broadcast sow rice
- harvest and dry rice by hand
- thresh rice by hand
- broadcast sow barley in the same field for winter
- harvest barley by hand
- thresh barley by hand
- plant for pickles - daikon, chinese cabbage, turnip, takana mustard
- plant for fresh and other use - whatever you like
- grow shiitake on a log
- grow soy for tofu/soy sauce/natto etc (or an alternative bean that will serve the same purpose)
- Make and apply 10 liters of bokashi fertilizer (only local
inputs) (Ref: Bokashi Composting
- Make and apply 50 liters of compost
(only local inputs)
- plant fruit trees
by seed (persimmon, mulberry, two varieties of citrus, ume, plum/peach/apricot, fig, etc)
- plant nut trees by seed (chestnut, walnut)
- plant vining fruit by seed and show how it will be trellised (grape, kiwi, chayote, etc)
- graft proven varieties onto good rootstock
- plant nitrogen fixers (bayberry, wisteria?, etc)
- grow your own tea bush
- grow your own paper mulberry
Make a koi pond
Demonstrate harmony with crows
Create or designate bird habitat, photograph three different birds visiting
Create or designate lizard habitat, photograph a lizard nearby
Forage, Fish, Trap
forage sansai (knotweed, fiddleheads, etc),
forage bamboo shoots,
forage nuts or acorns,
forage and process kudzu (Ref: Kudzu as food
catch lobster, prawns, or shrimp
gather shellfish (mussels, clams, oysters, etc)
collect sea salt
trap wild boar
weave a bamboo basket - (Offsite Ref: many types
make a bamboo retaining wall or garden border,
Use bamboo tops for bean trellises
make a bamboo trellis
carve bamboo eating and serving utensils
Japanese forests have almost all been entirely logged in the past. Most were reforested with over 90% cedar and cypress. If nothing else this made pollen allergies hell for a lot of the population. It also contributed to erosion and landslide problems. Let's use the wood
that is available, but reforest with a more diverse range of species.
Fell/thin a cedar stand,
Peel the logs,
Use the logs,
Sow anything that isn't cedar or cypress,
Split logs into lumber,
Using roundwood for building
cut or shape a stone for a project
make a drystack wall,
Use stones for foundations
Japanese paper is excellent in many ways. It has characteristics of cloth as well as paper. Extremely thin Japanese paper is used in restoration of artifacts. It is also relatively accessible as a DIY craft.
harvest and process ramie,
harvest and process banana (Ref: Japanese Bananas
harvest and process nettles
(Ref: Nettle along
harvest and process silk (Ref: Sericulture, Moriculture and the wild ones
harvest paper mulberry
Process mulberry for washi paper
Make washi paper
Make and use kakishibu (Ref: Kakishibu
- Persimmon Tannin Liquid)
Japanese tools are famous for their laminated steel. Care and sharpening is different than with western tools.
sharpen a single bevel flat blade
sharpen a double bevel flat blade
sharpen a round bevel tool (gouge etc)
sharpen a curved blade (kama, etc)
acquire an old tool,
restore an old tool - franken planes!
set up a Japanese plane to take shavings so thin they are translucent
Food Preservation and Preparation
Traditional Japanese cuisine is often considered one of the healthiest diets in the world. It is diverse, low on mammal protein, high on food from the sea including seaweeds like kelp. Much of Japan can grow food year-round meaning there is less focus on things like canning and more focus on fresh seasonal food. Food preservation methods are mostly drying and fermentation.
dry daikon, sweet potatoes, and other vegetables
dry fish, shrimp, or squid
pick and dry tea leaves
make green tea powder (maccha)
make hoshigaki (dried persimmons) (Ref: What can I do with persimmons?
make hoshiimo (dried sweet potatoes)
make umeboshi (pickled plums) (Ref: Ume boshi with wild plums
make three types of tsukemono (nukazuke, shiozuke, suzuke)
capture wild koji and make something from it
make soy sauce
make natto using straw
steam rice properly
prepare sushi (any type: nigiri, maki, chirashi, etc)
cook a nabe (hotpot)
cook dashimaki-tamago (rolled omelette)
Japanese homes were traditionally extremely flexible in terms of space. Nearly everything was removable or repairable.
repair (or replace) shoji,
repair (or replace) fusuma,
repair or adjust amado,
flip or repair (or replace) tatami,
Burn cedar boards for building (Ref1: Is charring effective?
Use yakisugi as a siding
These badges are about meeting people
in your community who are engaged in traditions that stretch back hundreds or thousands of years. Keeping such a network helps understand the local economy, resources, as well as how those crafts are done. You can gain knowledge about where to source materials, the costs involved, the market, and build a great network.
Register to sell
goods at your local market,
Meet a local blacksmith or metalworker and take a selfie together
Meet a local basketweaver and take a selfie together
Meet a local organic market gardener and take a selfie together
Meet a local (sashimono) woodworker or wood carver and take a selfie together
Meet a local house carpenter and take a selfie together
Meet a local potter and take a selfie together
Meet a local stone cutter, mason, or stone carver and take a selfie together
Meet a local forester or woodsperson and take a selfie together
Locate the oldest person in your locality and take a selfie together having tea
Attend jichikai meetings,
Host an event and publish it in your local newsletter
Below is my original post:
The first thing that comes to mind for me is Bayberry over Black Locust
as a nitrogen fixing tree. But apparently Black Locust is also present here.
Other things are the foraging vegetable list would probably include a lot more herbaceous material like butterbur, fiddleheads, knotweed, etc.
Food prep would focus on traditional methodology - nukazuke, umeboshi, himono. I wonder how much modern understanding of nutrient loss from sun-drying and better techniques for solar
dehydration could be applied to improve the systems.
Natural building would probably focus more on humidity management than heating (for most of Japan), so shikkui would be a major point, also building design with cross-breezes.
Other common skills that might want a place are - ishizumi (rock stacking or wall building), managing a rice paddy.
Japanese tools are quite specialized and somewhat different from many of their western counterparts, but most of that doesn't make much distinction in the PEP
What else would differ?