Archive for October, 2010

At our parent company in Japan, our employees have been busy bees preparing for the upcoming barley harvest.  The rainy summer season has ended , and the weather is starting to turn.  These past few weeks, the weather has been around 77 F (25 C) during the day, dropping to 59 F (15 C) in the early morning.  This is our signal that we should prepare the fields for another busy harvest season.

Farmers preparing to add organic fertilizer to freshly prepared fields

Through our 40 years of farming in Japan, we have learned that the most fruitful time to grow our barley is in the fall, winter, and early spring.  Though it seems counterintuitive to grow when it is cold and snowy, the barley is of better quality and more nutrient dense than the stuff that grows in hot climates.  Think of the lush tropical rain forests in Hawaii:  the plants grow fast and large, but they aren’t very nutrient dense.  Rather, they are filled with water and fiber, to support the heavy, fast growing leaves.  For Green Magma, slow growth in the fall and winter is key: the barley absorbs more nutrients and maintains its deep, rich green color.

Our head farmer, Mr. Kimura:

“Barley seeds do not sprout when the temperature is too high in the soil.  The optimum seeding period begins in the middle of September when the soil temperature goes down.”

Since we are an organic operation, the most important task at hand these past few weeks has been clearing the fields from weeds.  This involves repeatedly plowing up the fields to prevent the seeds of weeds from growing into any part of the fields.

After the fields are properly weeded, the farmers mix fully-ripened organic fertilizers (composts) into the freshly prepared fields.  Then they start planting seeds and prepare for the growth of young barley grass.  Since we cannot completely avoid weeds in the fields, the farmers continue to carefully remove by hand the weeds as the barley grows.  Without using any pesticides or herbicides, this is the toughest work in field management but very important to grow quality young barley grass.

Farmers adding organic fertilizer

Farmers preparing the rows for the barley seeds


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