Tuesday, June 23, 2009

キャンプの季節です!Time for Camping!

6月20日は日が一番長い日。この日を境に日中時間が折り返し短くなる。まだまだ夏が始まったこのウィスコンシン周辺は、そろそろ気候も安定し、アウトドアの季節真っ盛り。毎年恒例のミネソタ州(ウィスコンシンより)にBee Creek Resortで行われるBBQ,キャンプのイベントへ参加することに!絶好の天気の中田園風景を見ながらドライブ!いやはや、このミシシッピ川をはさんだウィスコンシン南西部、ミネソタ南東部は、ほんとうに緑と青空がきれい!
June 20th is the longest day of the year. Summer has just started in Wisconsin! Temperature have been quite nice and stable. It's outdoor activities season!
Bee Creek Resort http://www.beecreekresort.com/ has a party every year. It's a camp out party! We drove through the country side to get there and it was absolutely beautiful! This part of Wisconsin and Minnesota is full of green hills and blue skies, it's a great combination!
おっと、いきなり渋滞?!ウィスコンシンで???あ~一番前に走っているのは、ホーストレイラー(馬を運ぶワゴン)をつけたトラックでした。馬のトレーラーか農業トラクター、アーミッシュのバギーかこのくらいしか渋滞になりっこないか!!Oh we got stuck in the traffic jam?? No no~~~~~~~~ look at the tracktor at front! It has a silage box on back! In this area traffic jams are only caused by Amish buggy's, tractors or construction! never from too many cars.
おっと!石炭を運ぶ列車!アメリカ南北を走るこの長距離列車。田舎の風景とまた一段とお似合いで!Look! It's a coal carrying train from way down south!
2時間弱でようやく到着したころにはすでにディナーも並んでいました!メンイは豚丸ごと一匹のBBQでその他色々なお料理を皆が持ち寄るパットラックパーティー!Finally we arrived it took us less then 2 hours. They have been preparing a whole pig BBQ and everyone brought side dishes. Oh it looks great!
Oh Yummy! We had a lot of desert too. It's getting dark around 8:30 or 9 at the moment so we had dinner under the blue sky!!
夜はバンドを呼んでのライブとそして大きなファイヤ~!いよいよ点火です!At night, live music and fire time! Now we just started the fire!
Oh it is getting bigger and bigger. It reminds us of NOZAWA Fire Festival in Japan!
Our tent is just by the fire! Lots of families came to join the party. The Kids enjoyed it lot too!
Cedarose who used to do fire dancing in Europe when she was traveling showed us her skills!! Wow it's amazing!!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

ビロクアアートフェスティバル  Art in Viroqua

この写真、、、。そうです。兼六園。なぜウィスコンシンに?義妹のシダローズがこの春日本での旅の途中に撮影し現像したもの!今日はビロクアの年に1度のアートフェスティバル。多くのアーティスト達が作品を並べ、それを買うこともできます。The picture you see in the photo, is from Japan. My sister in low took it when she was in Japan this spring! June 6th was an art festival in Viroqua. さて、次は、’ブルーベルズ’という青いベルの形をしたお花。何しろこのお花、この苗の後、2年待たないと花を咲かせない。そこまで待ち切れるかな、、、、。育てたこのお姉さんはこれだけの苗を出展するまでに12年間かかったという。ひ~~~なんとも貴重なお花!'Bluebells' takes long time to have blossom. The plants you see in the picture will take another 2 years. Oh ,,,,, I am not sure if I have the patient. This lady took 12 years to prepare for today!!! It's amazing!

昨年ザリトルカントリースクールでも皆に挑戦してもらった、毛糸作り。難しかったね、、、でもさすがこの方、すいすいと毛糸を作り上げてしまいます。We tried this last year. Making yearn is not so easy! But this lady makes it looks so easy,,,,.
ガラス細工はほんとうっとりしてしまいます!Glass art is so beautiful.
It was such a nice weather and everyone was enjoying the art in Viroqua!

Friday, June 5, 2009

アーミッシュ達が住む町ウィスコンシン Amish country in Wisconsin

前々からブログで紹介しているアーミッシュ。宗教革命時代にヨーロッパから宗教の自由を求めてアメリカカナダなどに移り住んできた彼ら。このウィスコンシンの中でも最も大きなアーミッシュコミュニティー’キャシュトン’エリアには、1966年以来多くのアーミッシュが移り住み今では約250ファミリーがいるそうだ。アメリカの中ではペンシルベニア辺りにも非常に多くのアーミッシュがいるが、ウィスコンシンのアーミッシュ達はOld Order Amishといわれ、中でも非常に厳しい規定を持ったアーミッシュ達らしい。町では馬のバギーを走らせている姿や、馬を使って畑を耕している現代の文明を拒否したもっともユニークといわれる生活スタイルを見られる。ビロクアのファーマーズマーケットには数件アーミッシュ達も参加している。とはいえ、まだまだ彼らにしか分からない謎だらけ。そんな中、私もこの町に住んで、彼らのファームにある小さな質素なお店でお買い物をしたりする際に少しずつだけれど学んでいる気がする。Amish who came from Europe during the Reformation. They moved to the 'Cashton' area in Wisconsin around 1966. There are about 250 Amish family around this area. The Amish in Wisconsin are Old Order Amish, which means they are one of the most strict. We see them quite often in town, riding their buggies or horse farming. They have one of the most unique cultures. They come and join our Viroqua Farmer's market too. It is great to see them selling their wonderful quilts, baskets, homemade jams, vegetables and so on. Of course they carry all the stuff to farmers market on their buggy. Yet, they are so mysterious. Since I have been living here near them I am slowly learning lots about them by visiting their little cute shops and buying their crafts!
They farm for a living and they are always together. Some Amish make buggies, furniture, wood crafts, run a bakery or train horses. Women make quilts, baskets, candy and other sweets. Their life is so simple but their families are bound to each other. This time, I bought the above stuff! The little cloth pin bag looks like a dress but it's not for me to wear, I am quite small but I'm not that small. It is a cloths pin bag for hanging up your wet cloths! Their candies are so sweet. Once you start, you can't stop!
ツアー@ http://thelittlecountryschool.com/jp
These Amish shops are for everyone even for tourists. Their shops are open between May and October. We are a big fan of the bakery that has delicious doughnuts! It was our first doughnuts in 2009. They came to Viroqua farmers market last year but this year they said they won't come. So we need to go to the bakery, 20 min by car. But this is also nice cause we get to visit them on there farm! This time we heard about their refrigerator. A Refrigerator??!! Is it only me wondering how they can have a refrigerator without electricity?! They built a special frame that has very good insulation and cut ice from a pond. Then they take the ice in the frame which we call an ice box. It will keep almost all year!!! Wow they are so smart and live a great life without modern technology! I bet if we all had a more simple life, we would appreciate more stuff in this world. It is so fun to know about them. Clothing, Schooling, how they find boyfriend and girlfriend, marriage, etc. I am hanging out our cloths using their little cloths pin bag today, it's a nice feeling! Why don't you come and experience the Amish culture here in South west Wisconsin!
Tours available at The Little Country School http://thelittlecountryschool.com

Thursday, June 4, 2009

オーガニックバレーツアー Organic Valley Tour

Organic Valley was established by local organic farmers in 1988. Last year they had 20th anniversary!! They started out with only an office in a farmer's house but now they have huge headquarters in 'La Farge' in Wisconsin. La Farge sits in the Kickapoo Valley which is a beautiful nature as well. Today we visited the head office. At first, we had lunch at the "Milky Way Cafe" which is organic valley's cafeteria for their workers. They have great organic lunch everyday and all the products are from organic valley or near by farms! Organic Valley has a garden for their workers, so people can take care of their plants while they are at the office! How nice!!! Papa George joined our table. He just came back from Japan and he is very interested in rice farming! He loves agriculture and even seeks it out and studies it when he goes on vacationo.
ジョージは、このオーガニックバレーの設立から携わり現在もCEO(Chief Executive Officer)を務めるが、オーガニックバレーの牛乳パックを見てください!ジョージのサインの下には’CEIEIO’シ~アイイ~アイオ~’まさか!あの’オ~マクド~ナルド ハダ~ファ~ム イ~アイイ~アイオ~’(日本では一郎さんの牧場でイ~アイイ~アイオ~ですね)名刺にも書いてあったので、重要会議で、真剣に’ジョージ、CEIEIOとは?’質問をされた方もいたそうで。それ以来ちょっと恥ずかしいな~と思いつつもすでに印刷されているので構わず今も使っているジョージ。 George started Organic Valley with other farmers and he is still working as CEO. But look at the milk container. it says CEIEIO~~~~~!! that's cute!
After the lunch, we learned about the history of Organic Valley and Clovis shared lots of interesting stories about how his area became the leading county in america for organic farming. Sizuka would like to work in the organic industry in Japan. I'm sure she learned a lot today!

Monday, June 1, 2009

オーガニックを学ぶ Learning about Organic

Turkey Ridge Organic Orchard's farmers are so tuned in and environmentally aware. They grow apples organically! This year the apples blossomed a bit early, so we missed them but we saw a lot of little tiny baby apples on the trees! This year they let the orchard pollinate naturally with out the assistance of brought in bees, cause they want to make their orchard totally self dependent. plus they don't like to kill the bees, which is what you have to do in cold weather locations like Wisconsin. It is a kind of risky, but look the apple are growing with only the wind and the natural bus and bees as pollinators!
グレッグと奥さんのフィーは地元の高校でオーガニックの授業を受け持っている現役オーガニックファーマー。オーガニック栽培の基本は土。様々な要素を取り入れた肥えた土を準備できてこそオーガニック農法の成功へとつながるという。それは、もはや人間だけでは作りえない偉大なる自然の力がなくてはならないものであった。Greg and his wife Fey teach Organic agriculture at the local public schools and they always say the key of the organic farming is the soil. Take care of your soil and it will take care of you!
土づくりから栽培に大きくかかわるのは実は動物。この他にも馬や豚、鳥等、多くの動物たちがこのアップルファームで働きます。羊の油から作られるハンドクリームなどがありますよね~。同じようにリンゴの木に彼らがなすりつけてくれる油はリンゴにも非常に良い効果があるという!なるほど~~~。この他にもたくさんの謎を語るグレッグ!かっこいい~~~!グレッグは実はオーガニックバレー(オーガニックファーム共同組合)の設立にも携わり、自然と人間の共存を日々研究し続けている。Animals are another key on the orchard, cause they make good soil by digging in it and fertilizing it. plus they eat insects and mow the grass. Nature knows nature. Sheep have a great oil on their body and as they rub up against the trees it comes off onto the trees and makes them healthy! Ah~. Greg told us a lot of the keys to organic farming. He is one of the pioneers of Organic Valley too. Greg and Faye are always searching for ways to live in harmony with nature!
グレッグの果樹園Turkey Ridge Organic Orchardのオリジナル100%アップルサイダー。Pasteurize(低温殺菌)を施さないため本来のリンゴの味が変わらず味わえる!しかし、、、、、。政府から低温殺菌なしではお店に出すことはできないという指令が出て、、、、数年作り続けたこのオーガニックアップルサイダーも幻のものになってしまうのか、、、、、。これからは、このファームでしか買うことができなくなってしまう。ウィスコンシンまではるばるやってこられた際には是非是非お試しあれ~~~~です!これから夏に向けてリンゴもぐんぐん成長してくるのが楽しみです!They have such a great Apple Cider. 100% Organic unpasteurized cider. But this year, government said that they can't sell without pasteurization,,,,,, but you can get it still at Turkey Ridge Organic Orchard!! shhhhhhh don't tell any one though. Oh I can't wait to see their apples all big and red at the end of the summer again!!
We made apple cider last year with our clients!