Start of the Winter Doldrums

I know the winter is here, even though it might not be so on a calendar, when the brisk Sado wind can be felt wafting through the hallways in my drafty house.   Seriously, just because you designed the house some 40+ years ago is no excuse for leaving so many cracks in the structure.

Along with the winter wind comes a significant drop in Important Farming Work(tm) to be done around here.  Rice has be harvested, bagged, and mostly sold.  There is not much else to do but wait.  Or, not.

One thing I noticed when I first started working with Nabe is that the Naya, or storage house where we keep a lot of our equipment, is a mess.  And one of the things I like to do when I start feeling like I have nothing to do is organize.  So for about a week we went through the Naya playing the “if you haven’t used this in 20 years, you can toss it” game.  Yeah, 20 years.  Usually the game is “if you haven’t used this in 1 year, you can toss it” when you’re cleaning at your house or apartment.  But the Naya, I swear, hadn’t been touched in at least 20 years.  I mean, we found Nabe’s old high school ID buried under some nails and rope!  I wish I had a picture of that.  Unfortunately, I do not.  Nor do I have “before” picture, only an “after” one:

If you can imagine that space 10 times more cluttered, then you might understand what it was like before.  Along with organizing the Naya, we had to clean up the various machines we’d been using throughout the fall: the combine, tractor, shucking-machine.

We’ve also done a couple of promotional events in Niigata and on the Sado Ferry, selling our rice.  The events were organized by a company called VEA-Produce.  They are an event planing company (stuff like weddings or concerts or seminars or whatever), but they also own a store in Niigata called Najira, which sells locally produced Sake and Rice.  We were introduced to the head of VEA-Produce in June and began selling our rice at Najira around that time.  It’s been really successful and is a great way to get more customers outside of Sado.

What else?  What else?  Well, I got a ticket back to the States for the holidays.  I’ll be there for about 3 weeks and I can’t wait.

The winter doldrums sounds like a good time to get cracking on that New Ideas in Onigiri thing I kept threatening to do, so look for my next entry to talk about that.  In fact, I will do it within the next 7 days.  This is another “you may slap me upside the head if I do not complete it” event.  So get your slappin’ hands ready!