Strawberry Shortcake in June
The fields can be found in Kawarasaku, Oya.
We at ’CDP Frontier’ chose this place because we were encouraged by subsidies to redevelop the abandoned farmlands.
We cut grass that had gone wild on abandoned farmland and reclaimed it with heavy machinery.
We had no experience in strawberry farming and because of this we were given a one-year training course from Tochigi Prefecture’s strawberry research institute where we learned everything from growing to disease prevention in our crops.
Spring of 2016 saw the beginning of the first cultivation of Oya summer strawberries across five greenhouses.
Not even in jest can we say that the beginning went well.
June-July strawberries can be well grown. However, when it gets hot fruit while still small may ripen too early, and nobody wants that.
Next we cooled the seedlings with pipes through which underground water flowed, after this, the pickers were the ones suffering more from the heat.
We endeavor to maintain the beautiful rural scenery. As such we want to have an environment that is respectful of our neighbors and our employees which is why we began insect-repelling measures, cleaning the waterways and guarding crops from rain.
We were delighted to hear the happy words from a neighbor who told us that “It was scary going down the pitch black roads at night, but since the strawberry greenhouses have popped up their lights it has made me feel safer”.
We think it would be great to see the summer strawberry fields popping up more and bringing fresh life back to Oya.