Since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a nationwide state of emergency on April 16 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, people have been looking for ways to keep fresh produce on the table without making extra trips to the supermarket. From individual farmers to cooperatives, here are six ways to bring sustenance to your doorstep.
Base Side Farm
Atsue Durrant and her husband, Cameron, grow year-round on their farm near the Yokota Air Base, offering an assortment of greens (including kale) along with popcorn (yes, it’s actually a variety of corn), leeks and other vegetables throughout the season. Customers can visit the farm to pick their own produce, order single varieties or purchase a mixed box.
Single-variety boxes range from ¥1,300 to ¥3,000 while variety boxes cost about ¥2,000 to ¥4,000 depending on the season. Payment via credit card or bank transfer. English and Japanese spoken. Visit bit.ly/basesidefarm-fb or contact the farm directly at email@example.com.
An organic farm in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, Sho Farm prides itself on being plastic free from seed to delivery. You can order its Zero Waste Vegetable Box, which comes with a selection of the 100 different kinds of vegetables grown on the farm, to arrive weekly or bi-weekly on Wednesday, Friday or Saturday. The box also comes with suggested recipes. This year, Sho Farm is also planning to add sets of four, six or 10 eggs for an additional charge of ¥80 each.
Small and large vegetable boxes cost ¥2,000 or ¥3,000, respectively. Additional shipping costs vary. Payment by bank transfer. Delivery begins May 2020. Visit sho-farm.sunnyday.jp for more information; you can contact the farm directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Online grocer Bugrass Farmers brings together fruits and vegetables grown on natural and organic farms all over Japan. Juice, eggs, rice, miso and more are also available. Orders can be made via the website for a set box of vegetables or other items. Note that since the vegetable boxes are popular, it’s best to purchase well in advance for specific delivery dates.
A small vegetable box is ¥2,200 while a medium is ¥3,200. Payment is via credit card or, for a small additional fee, via au Wallet, Docomo or Y!mobile. For more information, visit www.bugrassfarmers.jp (Japanese only).
Farmers Market @UNU
A creative response to its COVID-19-related closure on March 28, the folks over at Farmers Market @UNU put together a list of growers and producers ready to deliver everything from fresh fruit to vegetables and baked goods. If you have a vendor at the Farmers Market @UNU you particularly like, it’s worth perusing this list to see if you can still get your favorite food from your favorite farmer.
Prices and payment methods vary from vendor to vendor. Visit bit.ly/neverendingmarket-unu for more information. Listings are in English and Japanese, however some vendors may only speak Japanese.
With a focus on growers and producers in Kanagawa Prefecture, Yamayuri Co-op’s catalog of more than 500 different products reflects the wide variety of items produced by the prefecture. Weekly updates to the online and print catalog include fish, meat, eggs and wine, as well as vegetables and fruit from organic and natural farms. A boon for cash-strapped families, Yamayuri waives delivery charges for those with children under 2 years old. Do note, however, that Yamayuri only delivers to areas within Kanagawa Prefecture.
Membership costs ¥5,000 with a ¥1,000 annual renewal fee. Produce costs vary. Payment via bank transfer. For more information, visit www.yamayuri.jp (Japanese-only website; staff speak some English).
This well-known delivery service’s trucks can be seen zipping along city streets far and wide. Offering a wide selection of organic and low-pesticide fruits, vegetables, tofu, seafood, home goods and more, Radish Boya makes it easy to shop from home for almost everything.
Annual memberships are ¥1,100 after tax. Produce costs vary. Payment by credit card or bank transfer. For more information, visit www.radishbo-ya.co.jp/shop (Japanese only).