Farm Kato where you can eat strawberries from Tokyo. Direct sales will also be held this year

The direct-selling strawberries are popular in Nerima

Mr. Hirohisa Kato, farm manager

I visited Kato Farm after hearing rumors that there is a popular direct-selling strawberry in Nerima Ward, Tokyo. Farm Kato is located in a residential area, about a 15-minute walk from Ishigami Koen Station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line. In the strawberry harvest season, we sell directly from morning to day. Even during the interview tour, I visited Kato Farm to buy strawberries, from seemingly ordinary people to people who came to investigate from afar.

We spoke with the farm manager, Hirohisa Kato, at Strawberry Vinyl House.

It was in 2011 that Mr. Kato, an office worker, inherited the family’s farming business. It was said that his father was sick. From there, I learned agriculture and tried again and again, by 2015 I started growing strawberries.

There are two types of strawberries currently on sale. They are “Akihime” and “Red Hoppe”. Because it is not a large-scale farm with about 9,000 seedlings, it is not sold in the market but only sold directly in the field and is only available in Marche in Tokyo like Nerima Night Marche.

To create a delicious strawberry

Newly picked strawberries

On the day of my visit, I instructed the farm staff to “pick fruit”. It is one of the missions to bring the deliciousness to strawberries.

“Tokyo is sunny even in winter and doesn’t have a lot of snow. Photosynthesis is important not only for strawberries, but also for vegetables. No matter how much fertilizer you apply, photosynthesis,” he said. also can’t be beat. In that sense, plants grown in Tokyo are easy to grow. ” It can be said that the farmer’s job is to create the environment, although it cannot control the sunlight, regulate temperature, humidity, water flow … the number of mulberry flowers is also limited. The fruit picking work that I am doing is picking and pruning flowers, the rest tastes good. Some say it’s a waste, but we’re special about it. “

When you eat freshly picked strawberries, you will be amazed at their strong, sweet and sour taste. In general, people immediately think of sweetness when it comes to the taste of strawberries, but Mr. Kato said, “Sweetness and sugar content are very important to the deliciousness of strawberries, but the taste and richness are also. very important. Recently, the sweetness is also the sweetness of vegetables. Tend to ask for something, but I want to politely convey that deliciousness is not limited to sweetness. “

“The longer the strawberry is and the more delicious it is harvested, I think it will be delicious if harvested on the 50th day since flowering, and if left for about 30 days, it will be watery, and not delicious. I feel that 60 days will produce more delicious strawberries, so the longer it is better, but the time of harvest is determined by the average cumulative temperature per day, for example Akihime has a cumulative total of 600 degrees . The time of harvest will come, in Tokyo at this time the average temperature is about 12 degrees, if simple calculation, about 50 more days to harvest (600 degrees ÷ 12 degrees). In spring, when the temperature is up to 15 to 20 degrees C, harvest 30 to 40 days, when it gets warmer the yield increases, but the time of harvest is shorter and the taste is lighter. I try to keep the temperature down as much as I can. “

Aim for the brand rather than the quantity

Great and popular as gifts

Strawberries that sell out almost every day. Want to increase the shipment, you can heat your house and harvest more and more. However, Kato Farm is not thinking about improving profits by quantity. “At this point, we value flavor over quantity. We want to improve flavor. For example, it’s delicious in winter, but flavor is still an issue in early spring. Must be the correct answer, the amount transported or the small quantity depends on the taste, only management varies depending on the farmer. “

In addition to the rich flavor, another characteristic of Kato Farm strawberries is their large seeds. At the Kato farm a lot of people buy strawberries as gifts and we are told that they are very large. It seems that you are often surprised by the destination. The opponent was said to be a local bakery. Instead of the standard cake for souvenirs, we recommend choosing the large strawberry variety.

Do you choose to compete by quantity or choose brands with small quantity, focusing on deliciousness and added value? Kato Farm chose the latter, and by the third year its recognition grew. In the second half, I also asked about the management aspect of the strawberry plantation.

Address: 3-7 Miharadai, Nerima-ku, Tokyo
Twitter: https://twitter.com/IchigofarmTokyo (You can check the daily sales status of strawberries)

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