Grow, Grapes, Grow!

Fukushima is famous for the fruit that is grown here. Riding my bike, I came across this little grape vineyard. It’s in Fukushima City, and once you leave Fukushima City you’ll see more like this.

Note that each bundle of grapes is in its own bag.  Japanese farmers take excellent care raising fruit.

Regular fruit at my local Japanese supermarket (I’m not talking about gourmet fruit like square-shaped watermelons or white strawberries) that I personally buy is always in great shape.  American fruit can also be delicious, but it’s MUCH more iffy. You have to look and smell and touch in the U.S. because you might find mold or nasty fruit for sale.  I rarely come across less than perfect fruit at my local store in Japan. (If it is going bad, they’ll put it in a special mark-down bin.) The reason for the perfectness of the fruit is because of the special care that farmers give the fruit.

You may think I am exaggerating, but I’m not.  Husband’s father is a farmer (still working) and while he does not do fruit, his vegetables are his little babies.  They receive lots of love and care.

The down side to perpetually high quality fruit is that the fruit here is expensive, compared to the U.S.   (Not it’s not forty-five dollars for a single strawberry. In season, I can afford the fruit, but it’s just rather pricey, in my opinion. In season, a small pack of strawberries will probably be AROUND three U.S. dollars. That’s only in season, mind you, when the supply is abundant.  And the price is very approximate. I think in season in the United States, strawberries might cost three dollars but the package will be much, much larger.)

Also, Japan does not have immigrant labor to help with the harvesting, so this increases the prices of the fruit and vegetables.  My FIL does the labor himself, with a little help from his cat.

If people are hired to help out, they will be other Japanese people. (And I think that farmers also swap help with one another.)

Very lovely.

In Japan, autumn is a season of wonderful food, or so they say.  Am I making you hungry? Am I making you want to come to Japan?  Am I making you want to dress up as a giant grape for Halloween?   Never mind.

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