This is the second installment of my three-part series on manual pollination in Japan from the upcoming feature, “WWOOF! The Movie”. It reveals the way in which pollen is extracted from the anthers of the apple (or any other fruit) flower through a special grinding mechanism.
This video features Mari (our host’s niece-in-law) and Grandmother. Kazusan said to just call her Grandmother, because she may be embarrassed if we call her by her given name. Grandmother would go on and on to us during tea time as though one day we would mystically understand the language. I did my best to make sense of it (Japanese really isn’t that difficult once you know the basic syllables), but she spoke quite quickly. When I would try to answer her in Japanese, she would just say, “Nani?! (What?)”.
Mari was a hoot. What little English she knew was derived from popular movies and Michael Jackson songs. I tried to beat her in a sushi-eating contest, but she was too much for me. Here is a short video snippet from the competition can be found at:
It will also teach you how to count to 15 in Japanese! You can also find her eating “natto”, some kind of strange fermented soybean concoction that looks like cocoa rice crispy treats when you stir it. It’s very healthy… and you can tell by the flavor. I guess it’s an acquired taste. We called it “snotto”.
It’s wonderful to see how the entire Nakagomi family collaborates to fulfill the needs of their orchard. I’m sure it’s been like that for generations. It’s the kind of heritage we are quickly losing sight of here in the States. Rach and I learned at least one thing about this sort of arrangement : it brings people closer to the land, and closer as a family.
Next time: in the third and final installment of this particular series, you’ll see manual pollination in action.
Ashley Terry graduated from the University of Montana in 2004 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Media Arts. Since then, he has worked in broadcast news, commercial and television production houses, radio, and internet broadcasting. In 2007, he started “AT Films” as a professional wedding and event videography service provider and the business has since branched out into the world of documentary and short film production. He is currently working on a documentary called “WWOOF!” about the collective of organizations that make up the World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms coalition.