Farmers Markets and Recipes
In the last Hino Note, we took a peek into Hino’s farming scene. This time, we’ll introduce some places where you can buy produce directly from farmers. As a special treat, we also have two recipes by local women in farming!
In Hino, mini farmers markets are held three times a week at two locations. One can be found in the public square on the east side of Hino Station, while the other is in Tamadaira Dai-nana Park near Toyoda Station; both are open on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday afternoons. The number of farmers present depends on their schedules and harvests, but you can usually count on there being two or three per market, each with an array of freshly picked fruits and vegetables.
While many of us shop at grocery stores for convenience, there are a lot of advantages to buying directly from farmers. For one, the produce you get will be much fresher. Farmers often bring produce picked that very morning! Buying directly from farmers also costs significantly less than buying from grocery stores and goes straight to supporting the local farming community.
It’s also a fun opportunity to meet local farmers! I tried asking a few farmers and their customers about their favorite ways to cook local produce. Here’s a summary of some good cooking tips I heard:
- Try adding wasabi leaves to salads for a little kick of flavor
- The potatoes and fresh vegetables at farmers markets are good for nikujaga (a type of Japanese stew)
- Leeks are always good to have in your pantry because they’re easy to use in a wide variety of dishes, such as stir-fries and hotpots
- Daikon is a big part of many Japanese dishes and is great in “buridaikon,” a dish using daikon, yellowtail fish (“buri”), and soy sauce.
- Taro can be a fun substitute for potatoes and is great in korokkes.
These are all great tips! Did you know that you can also find free recipes by local farmers on the Hino City website? The Michikusa Association of Women Farmers in Hino has shared over 40 of their favorite recipes. For this Hino Note, I translated two of them to English. Give them a try!
Michikusa’s Spinach Quiche
Michikusa’s quiche recipe is packed with nutrients, and is easy to personalize by substituting fillings and spices. Depending on how thick or thin you cut the slices, it could be a healthy meal for the family or a fun appetizer for potlucks and parties.
Michikusa’s Sweet Apple Mashed Potatoes
Michikusa’s mashed potato recipe is a cross between classic Western mashed potatoes and Japanese kinton desserts. Instead of using the typical russet or Yukon potatoes, this recipe uses sweet potatoes along with apple bits, butter, and a hearty dose of sugar to make a sweet treat great for both adults and kids.
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Phone (Direct Line): 042-514-8098
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Address: Hino City Hall, 3th Floor
1-12-1 Shinmei, Hino, Tokyo 191-8686
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