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Thatch Roofing and More

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The main reason I don't blog much recently is that I only have small windows to write, and so much has happened in between writing that I can't figure out what to focus on. I guess this time though, the obvious story to highlight is the re-thatching of a traditional roof that we were lucky enough to be involved with.

Even as I write that, though, I feel that it was just as great having guests from Tokyo help us to shovel sh*t on our rice field - a task that would have taken me a week if I did it alone!

So, in the interest of fairness, this is what has happened since I last wrote...

  • We had twenty volunteers come to help fix the thatch roof on a local house/museum. Tomoe did most of the hard work - coordinating schedules and accommodations. I only really joined in for the fun part - working on the roof. There is a lot to write about in terms of the process and techniques, but I am fairly certain that I will not find time to write about it, because...
  • We checked out the state of the mizubasho plants in the mountains (thanks to our neighbor for picking up a few hitchhikers, saving a long up-hill bike ride.)
  • Tomoe hurt her back a few weeks ago, and she is out of commission in terms of working on the fields this spring. That means that I finally get to take charge! Yeah!
  • Some of the volunteers stayed behind to help us work on our rice field. With their help we finished what would have been a seven day job in just a day.
  • I broke out the scythe and finished weeding the aze (the edge of the rice field) in just four hours - a job that took many days for two of us without the scythe.
  • Climbed to the top of Mt. Nonomi, where there is still a half-meter of snow.
  • The chickens came! We now have six clucky little beasts that we can not keep our eyes off of. We still have to make the fence so that they can roam freely out of the basement where we keep them at night, but for now they seem happy.
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Paul, if you are reading this, the customers that left us yesterday are both designers, and big fans of TAB and could not have made it around Tokyo without it! What's more, the instant I met them I thought he was French just because he looked so much like you! (yes I am a prejudiced redneck who thinks that anyone with fashionable glasses is French!)

Anyway, I also have a few photos. I think it is obvious which ones are from the re-thatch project.

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