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

Mainly strawberries in small quantity and variety

Focus on improving the environment inside the house

We asked Mr. Hirohisa Kato of Kato Farm, who runs a strawberry farm in Nerima-ku, Tokyo, about the managerial aspect of strawberry growing.

Kato Farm started growing strawberries in 2015. Until now, we have advocated “small quantity, many varieties” and cultivate some varieties such as turnips, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, white cabbage. , sweet potatoes, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants can not fit.

Although I think it is interesting to make so many varieties, the problem is not being able to improve efficiency when considering management. What makes me feel has been since a Gunma farmer came to see the fields of Kato Farm. “Potatoes, I’m still digging by hand.” If you are a big farmer, the job is mechanized as much as possible. However, in small and numerous varieties, it is difficult to spend money preparing different machines for all varieties. “No matter how hand-made you do, it doesn’t mean consumers buy because they do it by hand.”

Why do I choose strawberries

It thrives in winter

I chose strawberries because I think it is better to narrow the variety for the effect. A variation from small quantity and variety. Currently, strawberries account for more than 90% of production. Why do you choose strawberries as the main?

“When I think about making it in a limited area, my choices are strawberries or tomatoes. I can clearly see whether strawberries or tomatoes are” delicious “or” watery. “Even the same Variety also tastes completely different depending on the producer.I think who makes the vegetable is more important than the variety I think it’s strawberries that can be branded even on a small website. Agricultural land in Tokyo is likely to decrease, but not increase. There is a need to think of a way to work effectively in a small space. “

As the strawberry season begins, the desire for efficiency becomes even stronger. “The strawberry season lasts until May and we clean up in June. To grow crops in the summer season, preparation starts from spring, but March and April are the busiest time for strawberries. You can not do it. Planting a variety of varieties becomes a half-feeling. “Besides strawberries, it is narrowed down to several crops like olives, a rare plant in Tokyo.

What’s different from the vegetables I’ve made so far is that the strawberries are event vegetables. Everyone lined up simultaneously for Christmas and Hinamatsuri, but after that day, the fact that there was a line was like a lie. Unlike the broccoli and cabbage that we have been in business so far, it seems difficult to calculate shipment numbers for the first and second year.

It’s been 3 seasons since I planted strawberries. Mr. Kato feels that word of mouth about direct selling has spread and that recognition has grown when opening stores in Marche and elsewhere. Now that the efficiency has been improved, the investment capital has not been recovered, so although it cannot be said that the business is successful, the sales itself is a positive number.

What are the benefits of agriculture in Tokyo?

Mr. Kato, who has been in agriculture for eight years

Mr. Kato, who has been farming for eight years, says one of the unique characteristics of Nerima is that it is produced by the consumer. Neighbors could easily go to sell directly and an Italian restaurant in the vicinity could come to harvest olives.

“Nerima Ward may have the image of Tokyo countryside, but I want those living in Tokyo to be satisfied that it’s a city where you can eat delicious food while in Tokyo.”

Self-sufficiency of food in Tokyo is said to be 1%, lowest in Japan, and arable land is decreasing in Nerima Ward. Mr. Kato also mentioned the “issue of 2022” in which the designation of green production areas was canceled, and it is said that the reduction of arable land in the future is inevitable unless the management is satisfied. Does agriculture in Tokyo have any merit?

“There are no land and there are people, there are good people all around, I know the sixth branch, but I am thinking of doing it all myself. No. For example, jam is made at a welfare facility.” The advantage is nearby instead of having an on-site processing plant. It’s a commendable point of Tokyo that you can easily cooperate.

It has been 8 years since Mr. Kato started farming and 3 years since he started growing strawberries. We can see that while aiming to improve management, it also contributes to increasing the value of the whole region.

Strawberries from Kato Farm are sold directly from 11am daily. Please check the sales status on the website or Twitter.

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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