Tag Archives: Netherlands

Film making “An international Student visits to Dutch organic farm run by female enterpreneurs “

Rural Development, Communication and Innovation and Gender students in Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Science made two films in Media Design for Social Change module 2016.

Media Design for Social Change Module 2016

The objective of this filming is to visualise through the eyes of International Student in the Netherlands in order to contribute to the development of e-learning materials for the module on Agricultural and Rural Service delivery and Social Entrepreneurship of ARI PhD Programme at Makerere University, Uganda.

These films were produced by 2 groups.

Eagle Studio visualises the shortened value chain of vegetables from working on the farm, vegetable bags distributing to consumers and shops directly from the farm, while visiting the farm and talking with the farmers and customers in the shop. The film visualises a case study of the production of a vegetables value chain through the eyes of International Students in the Netherlands.

The title is “Is she a farmer or an entrepreneur? An international visit to an organic farm in the Netherlands”.


While, Creative studio portrayed the young women entrepreneurs in agriculture in the Netherlands. The title is “Why did she choose to be a farmer? An international visit to Dutch female farmers”.


In a pre-production phase, students conducted research relevant to each subjects in order to understand deeply, and discuss their style and design of these films.

pre-prod 2
Discussion in Eagle Studio

The footage for these films was recorded on 31 May 2016 at organic horticultural farm, Tuinderij De Stroom in Randwijk, the Netherlands run by three female entrepreneurs, and organic shop Lazuur where their clients can take their vegetable bags. Students from the both studio played a role as actor and/or actress, besides took responsibilities of taking list and assistant director as film crew.


Anmoniche Mtvewe (RDG) was impressed that these people on this farm is very organised. So he states “The filming on this farm was very good idea”. Furthermore, Linda Njoku (RDC) states “I will show this film to anybody, not to farmers also but to other people”.

In a post production phase, the transcript and the script were made from the footage and students discussed for a long time in order to prepare for the script.

The both studio watched and discussed the edited script. The films from two studio had a somehow overlapped such as sound, whereas they looked different films from the editing style and the objective. They discussed the effective order of reflection in Eagle studio film. In addition, the effectiveness of a private view from Nurul Aeni (RDG) in Creative studio film was also discussed. Dalawit Kahsay (RDG) stated “The informal discussion in Creative studio film will motivate women to become a farmer”.

The actresses commented, Tiwalola Akinsola (RDC): “It’s nice but I was a bit consciously”, Linda: “Watching the film remind me of the day” and Nurul: “ I am still nervous but nice informal and personal movie”.

Trend in Japanese “French Fries” market

Fried potatoes arrived in Japan in 1970 thanks to Osaka Expo!

Recently, the consumption of table potatoes is decreasing whereas, the consumption of “processing potatoes” is moderately increasing. (505,000 ton in 2013) Especially, the consumption of frozen potatoes per person is remarkable. (112,000 ton in 2013)

Amount of import (frozen potatoes) was 385,000 ton in 2012. The main export country is the USA, China, Canada, the Netherlands and Belgium. This number is increasing every year.

Recently, “Friets” made of European variety is becoming popular instead of “McDonald’s” and “KFC” fried potatoes. Fries are no longer “Junk Food”!!

Fries made of Agria in the Netherlands

One of famous 24-hour opened convenience stores, Lawson, launched a new style “French Fries” made of “Bintje” grown in Belgium, NL, France and Germany in 2015.


Other convenience store, Ministop, provides 4 different kinds of potato snacks.
1) A thick cut: Bintje? (Germany)
2) Hushed potato: Hokkai kogane (Hokkaido/Japan)
3) Natural cut: (USA)
4) X fried potato: Agria (Germany)

Of course, Danshaku (Irish Cobbler) still dominates a Japanese potato market even in a processing industry.

I hope that a healthy (hippy) burger and fries culture will be common in Japan soon!

Source: Ministry of Agriculture(2013)

Livestock farmimg in Friesland

Friesland(northwest of the Netherlands) and general information

There are 1,480 livestock farmers taking care of 50-100 cows for milk or meat, 830 farmers(100-200 cows) and some farmers(over 500 cows). Total 260,000 cows exist in the state.

A farmer who I visited told me ” a low skilled farmer is attracted to city life and says goodbye to his farmland”
As he mentioned, skilled farmers are buying the abandoned land and expanding their farmland in the state.

In the Netherlands, about 70% of cows are adopted grazing system although the rate slightly decreasing. A big famer who has over 160 cows tends to avoid grazing system. 92% of small farmer(less than 40 cows) adopts the grazing system. A grazing rate of southern part of the Netherlands(arable land) and Friesland is lower than Northwestern(grass land) relatively.


Example of a live-stock farmer in Friesland

I visited a live-stock farmer in Oudemirdum where is a small village. The farm is runned by family and they have 70 cows for milk. And they pasture cows except growing calf (1-2years old) from morning milking to afternoon milking in summer. Even in the evening, they adopt free-stole system. The farmer said “an animal welfare is very important in Europe. Recently, most cattle shed should be well-ventilated and light”.



According to CVR data in 2009, a yield of livestock feed(dry matter); grass silage(514,000ton), dent corn silage(3,893,000ton) and hay(218,000ton). Comparing to 15 years ago, the rate of dent corn silage dramatically increases. Since 70s the crop acreage has been expanding because a dent corn contains high energy and is possible to keep stable yield because of the suitable climate to the Netherlands. In 2011 the dent corn acreage is 227,800ha, grass land is 172,300ha and alfalfa is 6,400ha.

The farmer also has 15ha for dent corn, they plant in April and harvest in September. The harvested corn is used for 100% cattle feed for themselves. They use a compound feed which contains corn, grass, soybean and mineral as concentrate feed.

Amount of drinking milk production was 11,626,000 ton and processed milk product was 526,600 ton in the same year. The amount of milking per cow per year was 8,075kg and twice higher than one in 1975. Milk contains average 4.41% fat and 3.48% protein in average.

In case of the farmer, he is milking twice a day, total 225L. Three times a week, processing company with which they have a contract comes to pick the filled milk tank up. Additionally, once a 6 weeks, an organization comes to check the amount of milking per cow and they take a sample in order to check the quality of milk and give a feedback. Consequently, the farmer can re-make the feeding schedule based on the feedback.

Many Japanese suppose that “Dutch farming means IT system like horticulture, machinery, control by IT system” . But as you can see now, the research and consultant are just one of keys/investments for which a farmer decide their proposal and confirm their progress and judge whether they are doing well.

DSC_7470 DSC_7466 DSC_7465


Previously in Friesland there was trading market twice a week but now a trader comes to give an advice (need a small commission) because the trade market has a risk to spread diseases. The farmer does natural cross breeding by themselves. “The price of cow is app 1100euro before winter, however, before summer 7000euro despite of the same cow. So we need to make a strategy with the trader”. In summer, cows have less stress thanks to the grazing and amount of milking is higher than winter season. But the price of milk per L is lower than winter. So they are trying to adjust the breeding schedule in order to make an effort to sell more milk in winter.


They used to have deduction of fuel, however, currently they should pay fuel tax(0.40euro/L). It means that it costs amount of milking for 1 cow. But the selling cost is stable(app 0.50euro/L). The family said” I have to make a profit by managing the feeding, making a planned strategy before we complain about government”.


Potato variety (1) Agria

As an individual research project, I will introduce some Dutch potato varieties to you.

I cannot explain of Dutch potatoes without referring to “Agria”.
So this time I mention Agria.

The breeding had been finished in 1986. In spite of quite old variety, it is still one of the most brilliant and promising varieties in the Netherlands.

In the Netherlands you can easily find this variety in Albertheijn and/or Patat (French Fries) stand.
I believe most people living in the Netherlands have already eaten it unconsciously!

The following is basic information

– Skin color is yellow
– Tuber color is yellow
– Tuber shape is oval long
– Tuber size is big
– Early maincrop
– High yield
– Quite floury cooking type

Agria is suitable for a range of uses including French Fries, processing, organic purpose as well as table potatoes.

How to cook
I like making handmade French Fries using this variety.
Agria is quite floury but chewy character, thus, it would be suitable for French Fries, baked potato and Japanese potato salad(not completely mashed different from Dutch creamy potato salad).

Tubers have some resistance to Golden nematode: RO 1 and 4 and quite resistance to Spraing, Erwinia, Yn-virus, Yntn-virus and Late Blight-tuber.

However it has low resistance to Golden nematode: PA 2 and 3, Common Scab, Powdery Scab, Blackleg, Wart disease 1, 2 and 6.

Harvested Agria! The stem is longer than other varieties.

Secret garden between buildings

Honestly, I don’t want to write about the secret garden… to keep it secret!

This ALMATUIN is unique atmosphere and laid-back place in Amsterdam Zuid, busy business area.
Originally, it was a school garden. They moved place this year and now they rent 128 small square gardens based on Permaculture.


However, they do not only rent a garden, but also organize various workshop such as yoga, cooking, gardening… and training course, party and etc!!!

I would love to remark that the outside cafe is great!


Not luxury! Not precious table setting! Self-service! Self-payment in a jar! Good price!
If you love natural flavour and garden scenery, you can sit in the garden sipping a cup of organic tea!
※caution; coffee is unfortunately made by senseo.

image1  image4

I enjoyed the delicious beans and bacon quiche! Of course, the beans were harvested in ALMATUIN!

image5  image6

In Japan, my grandparents used to have their own edible garden. Hens…as well!
It was common to make our own food in the garden until 70s/80s although it is in the city.
However, the garden was changing to parking lot and new building… Nowadays I rarely find it… 😦

On the other hand, young generation are enthusiastic about gardening in balcony and/or city garden!
Differently from the Netherlands, most Japanese renters work in garden weekends only because we work in office until late evening 😦  In weekdays some employed administrative men are watering, weeding…
That’s why the rental cost is twice as expensive as Dutch garden.

Let’s enjoy social life as well as working!
Let’s be lazy sometimes!

Authentic Green Tea Workshop in Amstelveen by Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms

Fortunately, I found information about the interesting Green Tea Workshop organized by Japanese green tea farm, Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms!


Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Obubu tea farm is in the town of Wazuka, situated in Southeastern part of Kyoto.
Wazuka is famous district for Uji-cha, one of the highest quality and the most luxury tea in Japan.

They produce and sell tea on their farm. Addition to that, they organize some attractive workshops such as “tea picking and rolling tea workshop” and they also offer an internship program for both Japanese and non-Japanese.

This Europe tour is also one of their challenges to introduce authentic Japanese green tea to European people!
I will give feedback about the workshop to you, secretly.


Organic Genmaicha
As a welcome drink, we tried the organic genmaicha, combination green tea leaves with roasted rice. It made me nostalgic for my grandparents house.

Aroma: long-lasting nutty aroma because of the roasted rice 🙂
Colour: vivid yellow
Flavour: sweet buttery

Organic Sencha
This is a green tea appearance which European people expect!
They served the tea 3 times with the same tea leaves.

Key point is TEMPERATURE!
1 round – 70℃ (smooth, subtle sweet flavour)
2 round – 80℃ (refreshing)
3 round – 100℃ (breezy)

You can enjoy different flavour each round!


Organic Houjicha
Houjicha is roasted-green tea with beautiful colour.
My Dutch friend suggested it tasted like rooibos tea.
I agree with her…and Houjicha is also non-cafein tea as well as rooibos tea.

Aroma: room filling woody aroma
Colour: rich sunny glowing
Flavour: clean and consistently sweet

Sencha of the spring sun
A spring harvested tea leaves is the most tender and contents the most nutrition in other season pickings. It means…Spring tea is the most luxury.


Aroma: zen-like mistiness
Colour: brilliant green
Flavour: subtle refreshing and bit bitter

A Dutch attendance said ” Bitter is healthier in the Netherlands”.

Uji Hikari Matcha
Matcha is familiar to many people thanks to Matcha flavour dessert/snack.
But this is authentic sugar-free Matcha drink.

Using this bamboo whisk and ceramic tea bowl

Whisking Matcha, powdery green tea until being foamy

It is like a green tea espresso, rich flavour and aroma.

Green tea salad
Have you ever thought that it is not eco to throw away tea leaves after you enjoyed a cup of green tea?

Try green tea salad with the tea leaves, soy sauce and roasted rice!

Even me(Japanese), it is new flavour and impressive experience.
caution:  only for fresh thin tea leaves


Green tea contains VitaminC, Cafeine, Theanine and Catechin as you know.
Comparison, eating tea leaves contains VitaminA, VitaminE and Dietary Fiber.

I would like to mention…”Anyway, green tea is good for your health!!”

I highly recommend to visit the Obubu farm when you have any chance to go to Japan!
Finally…I am glad to see happy-looking Dutch attendance in the workshop and introduce the authentic green tea to you through the feedback!

Visit their weksite for more information

Local Goods and Foods

“Local production for Local consumption”
=地産地消 (chisan-chisyo in Japanese) is being a hot topic all over the world.

I went to Indie Brands LOCAL GOODS weekend market in Amsterdam.
On the market, products purely designed and made in Amsterdam are sold – food and non-food!

1) Coconut yogurt made by Abbot Kinney’s.
Inspired by souvenir from Los Angels, they started making it suitable for vegans and people with lactose intolerance.

2) Special local sausages made by Vanboef since 2014 (really brand new) are tasty.
They are made in the heart of Amsterdam!


3) As a lunch… Bulls and Dogs’s hot dog was super delicious!
It is one of the best hot dogs in Amsterdam! Of course, the sausage is made by Amsterdam butcher!

And…They are lots of attractive clothes, shoes, plant, box, coffee, pie, stationery, bicycle and etc etc..
Everything is produced locally! Despite they don’t mind if the ingredient/raw material are grown/produced in Amsterdam, everyone knows where the ingredient/material comes from.

and it was held in a former tram depot, it is really Amsterdam!
画像 画像

On the other hand, in Japan chisan-chisyo is defined as “local grown for local consumption” by Ministry of Agriculture since 1981.
So it is kinds of local authority-led policy and movement not led-creators and city planners.
During the research, I have known that my hometown Aichi is the No.1 amount of production of cabbage, shiso, fig and quail egg.
I am proud of the fact, however, I prefer more creative projects using the local products not only serious one.

I think that things we, japanese should learn from Amsterdam is flexible thinking, light-footwork and creativity!













Rural life in the Netherlands and Japan

Friesland(the Netherlands)

Last week I visited Friesland, which is the northern part of the Netherlands to have an interview with a cattle farmer.

It was only one and a half hour-driving from Amsterdam but the landscape was completely different from a city.
Especially, Friesland is a unique position because of their own language and a good old Dutch farmer houses exist.

 from free images

I arrived before 12 o’clock luckily so kind people invited me to have a traditional Dutch lunch together.

It was new and really interesting experience!

Gravy onto cooked beef, floury steamed potatoes and sweet cooked carrots

We put everything on one plate.
Please note: Pepper is not common in Dutch traditional dishes


All photos from free images

Peach compote

To my surprise, everyone eats it on the same plate.
I recognize that a fruit compote is one of desserts, however, for them it seems to be part of dishes.

  from free images

Sweet  fromage pudding

It was made of farmer’s milk so it was rich taste even though quadruple portion of Japanese dessert.

                    from free images         

The lunch made a good impression!
I discovered that farmers ate a heavy lunch as the energy source for their afternoon work.
( And they are quick eater!! )


To be honest, I’ve never been to Japanese farmer’s place to have a lunch.
But I can explain “what is a Japanese traditional rural life” from my experience.
My grandparents had a second home on the hillside of a mountain in Gifu prefecture.
That’s why I used to go to Gifu with my family in childhood.

 from free images (same prefecture but it’s not theirs)

Takikomi Gohan

It is rice dish flavored with dashi and soy sauce along with mushroom, konnyaku, vegetables and/or gobo.
It raised the memory of my grandmother.

 from free images

Rice ball, rolled egg and cooked vegetable

Apparently, they are pretty attractive but tasteful.
I like the combination very much. Moreover, it is more than happy to be added to Miso soup.

All photos from free images

 from free images

I love the scenery of an outdoor lunch time.


If you are interested in a Japanese rural life, I’ll highly recommend a farm stay in Japan!
I’m sure you will make many discoveries about a traditional Japan and it will be more adventure than an amusement park.

Vegetables (Europe vs Japan)

I was really surprised to watch a Japanese TV programme about a Dutch agriculture.

According to the programme, the Netherlands has made it the second world’s leading exporter in agricultural fields including “Smartagri”, which is a unique automated IT system specific for agriculture.

On the other hand, Japan faces a crisis with an agricultural fields because now we rely on imports for about half our food supply and the number of self-sufficient rate is decreasing.

So the programme said that we should follow the Dutch agricultural system and idea.

I’ll talk about the issue anytime soon but today I’m going to talk about what different vegetables are there in Europe and Japan.


Firstly, I was impressed to see beet, chicory and root celery. Probably, they exist in Japan but they’re not familiar to us.


from free images

We can enjoy a tasty beet salad in the Netherlands.


from free images

I like a chicory gratin with ham.
Due to the price in Japan, maybe chicory is not common.
As below, they are packed separately and seem to be gorgeous, aren’t they?

free images

Root celery

Actually, I don’t know a correct recipe of root celery but I’ve had a soup and salad.
These were much more tasty than the appearance.

from free images


Next, I’ll show Japanese/Asian unique vegetables to you.

I miss “Shungiku”, “Shiso”, “Yuzu”, “Myouga” and “Gobo” because it’s impossible to find them in Amsterdam except Shiso(Someone grows Shiso as a herb) and Gobo(thanks to BIO).
Probably, you cannot imagine them from the name.

Shungiku(garland chrysanthemum)

The smell is very unique thus I’m attracted even though I hated it in childhood.
I like using it as an ingredient of “Nabe” (like a shabushabu, shukiyaki).

from free images


There are two kinds, one is Green and the other one is red.
They also have a unique smell and various efficacy.
For instance, it effects an antiseptic property and regulates the functions of the intestines.

I love eating them with sushi or salad, however, it’s possible to use it as a pesto like a basil.

from free images


You might have already known “Yuzu” because I can enjoy a tasteful ice cream with Yuzu flavour in Amsterdam.
Yuzu’s peel is a key flavour for Japanese traditional dishes and desserts.
Not only dishes but you also can make Yuzu jam and dissolve it with hot water to have a cup of delicious Yuzu tea.

from free images


It’s called “Japanese ginger” but I don’t think so.
It’s refreshing taste and used as a seasoning.
It’s NOT star BUT fascinating supporting role!

Gobo(burdock roots)

They seem to be branch! Maybe for Europeans it must be awful to try them.
However, they’re good for your health because they are rich in dietary fiber.

If you’re interested, you can find them in BIO market, Turkish shop or Chinese shop in Amsterdam.


I still have tons of unknown food/drink/vegetable between European and Asian.
Therefore, when I find an interesting vegetable, I’ll share it to you!