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A December Without Snow

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  1. The last raspberry. With the no snow, we were able to enjoy a handful of fresh berries each day well into December. Tomorrow we cut them down.
  2. susuki growing in the river. I feel an urge to go and "harvest" it, but I have no idea what I would do with it.
  3. The old man next door who loves to burn burn burn. He especially loves burning things that are toxic. (That is our persimmon tree on the left).
  4. Persimmon left for the crows.
  5. Our neighbor stops in for tea, dried persimmons, and a chat next to the fire.

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We are having a very snow-free December here in Hokkaido so far too. My husband who works two and a half hours further north says it's white over there. Apparently the snow starts this weekend. It's raining right now though....

I'm hoping the snow stays off the roads until after your trip to the hospital to welcome your new baby girl into the world.

No snow up at yours either? Wow. I was imagining you with bucketloads of the stuff....

I'm interested in why you cut your raspberries back- for better production or to tidy them up or??? I have always just left mine to just be....

Hi there.

I started reading your blog a few days ago. I'm really enjoying it.

Like the look of your 'hoshigaki'. Must be great to eat home-grown. As a city dweller I can't wait till the store I like to buy them from starts selling them again.

All the best to you and yours.


Where do you live? Maybe we can send you some. Of course, ours are not the high-quality soft, white, sugary type you usually ind in the stores. Ours are just dried like a raisin.

I've been following your blog for a while..it is refreshing to read and dream of the time when I can live more naturally. The persimmons caught my eye and I have to ask how do you make yeast with them. How do you use them after you make it? I study Chinese medicine and am learning that persimmons are good for the skin for those with acne or excema. More often its just used for hiccups. I always appreciate the opportunity to learn more. Best regards to you and your family

I'm another of your new readers, and I love this blog. I don't really read other peoples' blogs, but this one is different. Also, I love to read about rural Japan - I only know the urban one. I'm fascinated by this country, and have studied the language the last 4 years.
Please tell me which part of Japan you live in?

Wow, not sure where the sudden burst of activity in my comment section came from, but it was a nice surprise.

The forecast calls for snow all week next week. Happy about that!

Mom, even if it snows, its not on the road. They are crazy about plowing here, but if you are worried, you can keep up with our weather with this link. Its usually pretty accurate right down to the hour. When it says it will stop raining at 9am, it does, without fail

Heather, we are cutting them back because "thats what you are supposed to do" (and our neighbor gets a strange tick when looking at them so long) Also, they are quite overgrown already, and we have no doubt about them overgrowing again next year, but don't want them to take over the blackberries and rhubarb.

Yoshinao, Tomoe is in charge of that. I will ask her how much of her secrets I can reveal and get back to you. I didn't know about the skin or hiccups (do you lather yourself up with a squishy kaki? or do you eat it)

Oh yeah, Heather, I think I mentioned it, but the chickens LOVE the squishy soft persimmons. If any of your neighbors have old ones (most of our neighbors hate the soft kaki) collect them and just put it in a pile in your coop, sit back and watch the fun.

Joanna, I am blushing. For reading about country life, I also recommend Heather's blog. Not as many photos, but the stories are always more fun. (Its like reading Dilbert - always nodding and saying "Aint it the truth")

Anyway, I live in the north of Nagano, right on the border with Nigata. Here is an old post with a google earth shot, and here is the location on Google maps.
View Kevins House in a larger map, and , since some people ask, this is what we do.

The raspberry picture is post card pefect. You sure do have the "nack" for photo taking. You can make a fortune at it!

Kevin, the first 3 pics are absolutely beautiful. Beautiful.

Oooh! You could maybe send me some 'hoshigaki'!?!

I live in Kyoto City.

If you are up to sending some in the new year that would be great (-I'm away till Jan 8th).

Of course if there's anything you need from 'the big little smoke' that is Kyoto I'd be happy to get it for you.


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