Newly planted rice is sprouting from the flooded fields on Colors of the Seasons Farm, 45 miles from the crippled Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant and 25 miles outside the evacuation zone. 26-year-old Masanori Yoshida left his job as a cook at an Italian restaurant in Tokyo three years ago to work his family's land with his wife, parents, and grandmother. The Yoshidas have farmed this land for nine generations-200 years. They grow natural crops including 'firefly rice,' so named because the insects, driven near extinction by chemical pesticides and fertilizer, have proliferated as farmers return to the traditional methods practiced by their ancestors. The Yoshidas' farm is one many organic farms in Tohoku, the earthquake and tsunami-ravaged region of northern Japan that supplies much of the rice and vegetables to Tokyo and across the country. Some of the farmers have already been forced to abandon their land, their livestock, and their homes to the threat of radioactive fallout. ... Written by
Ed M. Koziarski
Organic farmers facing the Japanese nuclear crisis.