10 September, 11th

[Farm Tour] Ikuetsu Farm <Fujieda City, Shizuoka Prefecture>

By Ryotaro Isozaki
[Farm Tour] Ikuetsu Farm <Fujieda City, Shizuoka Prefecture>

Visiting a senior tea farmer from Hideaki Natural Farming

I visited Mr. Ikukoshi, a pioneer of the tea farmer of Hideaki Natural Farming, and went to Shizuoka prefecture.It was last spring that Mr. Ikukoshi came to our tea plantation.At that time, I was worried about how to maintain the vigor of tea by natural farming, but the advice I received at that time was not easily accepted, so I actually went to see it this time.

Tea plantation in the mountains

In the morning in Fujieda City, Shizuoka PrefectureWater wheel unevennessWe met at and went to Mr. Ikukoshi's tea plantation.I changed from a van to a box van and climbed a narrow mountain road.There is a steep part in our tea plantation, but it takes about 15 minutes to climb a narrow narrow mountain road.Originally, there was a tea plantation managed by Mr. Ikukoshi using natural farming in an area where organic farming was popular.

How to keep the tea tree vigor by natural farming

A beautiful tea garden in a nice place with a nice view.There was a natural farming tea plantation that was almost as energetic as the conventional farming method.I visited in the middle of September. He said he was mowing and weeding for the autumn bancha harvest starting in October.

 Harvest schedule of Ikuetsu farm

 Ichibancha (early)


Ichibancha (Middle)
Black tea
Ichibancha (slow)
Hojicha / Roasted green tea
Medium mowing or table mowing Cut the second tea without harvesting
Autumn Bancha Bancha → Hojicha


I was surprised at the high yield of about 1 kg of fresh leaves per roll, and he taught me the cultivation schedule for the year.After the first tea was finished, all the leaves were dropped once and returned to the land as organic matter.I see.Actually, I was convinced that March is better if you want to cut it off.

I had had Mr. Ikukoshi's hojicha somewhere else before, and I was surprised at its refreshing taste.That must have been the best Hojicha.

Tour of the tea factory

 After getting off the mountain, I went to see Mr. Mura Mizuki, who is processing Mr. Ikukoshi's black tea on a contract basis.This time, I didn't process the factory because of the off-season, but I was shown the equipment with its huge processing capacity, which can accept 2 tons of fresh leaves per day.I had heard in Nara that there is a machine called "Date-style" that specializes in black tea for making black tea, but it was exactly that Date-style machine that I met Mr. Mizukimura.I was overwhelmed by the array of machines.

New tea will start in Shizuoka from the end of April.New tea will start in the mountains of Nara from the end of May.Due to the difference in climate, there is a difference in harvest for a month.Warm Shizuoka and cool Yamato Kogen.For me, who prefers a warm climate, Shizuoka is truly a paradise.At the same time, I thought that I should be able to make good tea in cold places.