Arrive at the store after 2 hours to pick up vegetables in the morning Yahyakuya “Big vegetables” run by 6 family members

If producers and consumers are connected, urban agriculture will be further developed.

Seiji Ohno, who cutely talks about vegetables with a soft demeanor like a former banker

Large vegetables are found in the area around Okurayama Station on the Tokyu Toyoko Line. We operate three Yahyakuya stores, one in each shopping district that stretches from the station to the east, west and north. Both of them are convenient for shopping, 5 minutes walk from the station. This is a popular restaurant in the local area as you can get vegetables from the morning.

Most of the vegetables arranged in the store are made by farmers in Kanagawa prefecture like Kashihama city and Miura peninsula, and they go out to the fields almost every morning to buy them. Fresh vegetables harvested in the morning will be available in stores in the afternoon, even if they are farmers on the Miura peninsula, after an hour or two if they are farmers in Kashihama city.

Only when there is a model of land in Kashihama, where the producers and consumers are next to each other, can we provide vegetables with the same freshness as the direct sales office. Surprisingly, Yokohama is also an area where agriculture is thriving, and arable land accounts for about 7.5% of the city area (* 1). Kohoku Ward, where Okurayama is located, and the adjacent Midori and Tsuzuki Ward, there are many vegetable fields, rice fields and orchards, and if you drive a little to the suburbs, you can see the lush countryside . For this reason, there are a lot of offices selling directly to farmers and agricultural cooperatives in Yokohama, but most of them are located in inconvenient locations so it is difficult to say that there are fresh vegetables available every day. Although the gap between producer and consumer is close, the distribution is not good … That is also the reason why Mr. Ohno tried to arrest Yahyakuya.

Local production and local consumption, morning harvest of vegetables from Kashihama to the store on the same day

Born and raised in the Ehime district in Shikoku, Mr. Ohno was used to growing vegetables in his grandfather’s own vegetable garden when he was a child. He had some good memories of the time, and he said that he was cherishing his desire to work in agriculture one day.

That’s when I was working at a bank, I decided to start Yahyakuya. While dealing with client farmers, I witnessed challenges of urban agriculture, such as unprofitable small-scale arable land and large inheritance tax.

“Most of the places I work are in Tokyo and Kashihama, but both are peasantry areas, and I continue to cultivate in detail to keep my ancestral lands safe. Do not use pesticides. ” Although I am making vegetables, I only sell them to agricultural cooperatives or distribute them to the neighborhood, because they are carefully made so I really want many people to eat, but the current situation is that they are not distributed. for general consumers. is already.

Fortunately, the consumption area is very close, so I think it would be fun for both the farmer and the consumer if we could deliver the freshly harvested vegetables in the field to the consumers, ”said Mr. Ohno. .. When I told my family about the idea, I got the approval of “I love it! Let’s do it!” And decided to join the Yahyakuya family business together with my family.

Major large vegetable store on the street behind shopping street

When I started the Yahyakuya family business, I was able to connect with a farmer on the Miura peninsula by connecting with my wife’s friend Hitomi, and I was able to create two purchase routes, one in Kashihama City and one in Miura. In 2012, we bought vegetables directly from each farm and started selling vegetables by car. Mr. Ohno, who was still an office worker, joined backstage, and it was his wife Hitomi and his oldest daughter Rie who started selling vegetables in the parking lot where they rented two blocks.

“It was a training course to set up a shop with an entrance into the vegetable business, such as how to purchase it, how to distinguish between good and bad vegetables, how to keep fresh, etc.”

Sensing a response from the direct sales of vegetables, the first floor of my house was renovated and the first shop opened the following year. Taking this opportunity, my oldest son, Atsushi, got into the work. Now that the number of stores has increased, the second daughter, Yukie and the second son, Takashi, have joined and the whole family is in a large vegetable business.

Miura makers have become closer to consumers and have changed their mindset

Currently, the number of stores has increased, we are buying from farmers in neighboring provinces for a stable supply, but we pay special attention to local production and consumption of large vegetables on the spot. . The collection center is for vegetables produced in the province. The branches and leaves have spread from the farmer traders when starting a business, and we are currently dealing with 6 farms in Kashihama City and 7 farms in Miura.

“First of all, we looked at the field and asked about farming methods,… and we identified it as a vegetable that we could provide our customers with peace of mind, so we made a relationship with The producer in Miura, we buy the vegetables from the area called Bishamon. However, Bishamon district is located on a hill overlooking the sea at the southernmost tip of the Miura peninsula, warm, sunny, good soil, where it grows a variety of healthy vegetables, able to withstand the sea breeze from the sea. . “

Miura’s producers are all full-time farmers and their business partners are mostly agricultural cooperatives. However, it is said that sales channels have expanded since we started a large vegetable business, and we had a chance to know what consumers were looking for, and we replaced change your awareness as a producer.

“In order to meet consumer demand, the number of cultivated products has increased significantly, when we started business five years ago, in winter we had cabbage and radish, watermelon and melon. summer, but now broccoli. Many vegetables are made, such as potash flowers, a variety of leafy vegetables. “

The person in charge of purchasing is Takashi, the second son. I studied agriculture at a vocational school run by my family’s Yahyakuya.

In addition, Takashi, in charge of purchasing, feels that productivity in the area has improved due to a strengthened relationship between farmers.

“The district regularly meets the district to cooperate in coping with off-season weather and take timely measures, thanks to efforts such as changing the planting season, prolonged rains in 2017. The damage is minor, and it looks like we were able to ensure production at almost normal levels.

We can buy without price fluctuations, so we haven’t even noticed a spike in vegetable prices this winter for a while. “

Takashi is said to have entered Kanagawa Agriculture Academy after graduating from high school and spent two years learning agriculture from the basics. Currently, as the person in charge of purchasing large vegetables, I go to the fields almost every morning. How useful is the knowledge learned at the agricultural school for Yahyakuya’s work?

“I think sharing a lot of knowledge related to agriculture with my family is a great advantage, I understand more deeply the difficulties of farming, now I can get closer to my family. manufacturer’s want, such as the weather. In the wake of the impact of defects, we have begun to reconsider purchasing practices based on a manufacturer’s location, such as the change in purchasing prices in anticipation of reduced output. “

As a result, producers’ confidence increases, seemingly prioritizing buying good goods.

Easy-to-understand display of vegetable freshness from a consumer’s point of view

Rie, the oldest daughter, is in charge of POP production with bright and energetic characters.

It is difficult for consumers in general to distinguish the freshness of vegetables. Hence, for large vegetables, we came up with a POP monitor so that we could see the freshness of the vegetables at a glance.

For example, vegetables harvested that morning are clearly “picked this morning” and vegetables harvested the next day or the next day are “picked”. The price setting is also clear, if the “picked” vegetable price is 100 yen, the “newly picked” vegetable price is 80 yen, or about 80%.

“Because basically we do it in the morning, the next day and next day’s vegetable prices are low but still fresh enough to compare with the freshness of“ freshly picked vegetables ”that are arranged in general supermarket stores. “

Also, “I want to eat leaves, but which one would you recommend today?” “Your komatsuna △△ in the area is very sweet and delicious. Tomorrow, spring cabbage from Miura will come.” It’s a common sight for large vegetables to serve customers while exchanging words like a traditional Yahyakuya.

The difference from conventional Yahyakuya is, “Since we buy directly from farmers, not from the market, we can explain the farmer’s condition and the field, the situation at the time of harvest, etc. Trust in the value of vegetables Mr. Ohno said that buying a product leads to customer trust.

A vegetable restaurant opened by Yahyakuya to convey the charm of the vegetables

In the fall of 2017, five years after the start of the major vegetable store, a “Big Vegetable Rice” vegetable restaurant was opened on the shopping street. It seems that the plan to open a restaurant using clean vegetables was planned from the start.

“There are kebabs opened by the butcher shop and the sushi shop opened by the fish shop, but I have not often heard of the vegetable restaurant opened by Yahyakuya. If there are many shops that tell you how to eat delicious vegetables, what? That will help the development of agriculture. I also think it will be connected, of course, it is also purported to eliminate food loss vegetables. “

Atsushi, who handles various tasks from purchasing to number of stores, cooking to customer service

Atsushi, the eldest son who loves to cook, acts as the center of serving a large vegetable meal for the family. Along with the delicious and mildly flavored veggies, local wines like Japanese sake and shochu are also popular, and the 8-seat shop at the counter quickly fills up. Not only male clients come home from work but many female clients also come alone or accompanying couples for a healthy impression, and most of them are regular customers of Yahyakuya.

The provision of the Yahyakuya in-store vegetables as a dish helps to effectively convey the deliciousness of the vegetables and at the same time provides the opportunity to understand the market’s needs through chat at the counter.

Fresh vegetables from the morning in Kanagawa reach local consumers. Through the livelihoods of Yahyakuya and vegetable restaurants, you can feel the possibilities of urban agriculture expanding in its efforts to create great vegetables that connect producers and consumers.