Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tokyo Families Visit Fuji Eco

Recently we were visited by three families on a week-end excursion from Tokyo organized by a travel agent that promotes eco tours and farm stays.When we were given the information that we expected guests we brain stormed ideas for activities that might interest our visitors.The info given was that there were 15 people,half were children aged around 10-12.So we came up with a plan to keep everyone busy and learn about sustainable living.Rain was forecast for the day the visit was arranged,so we also had to come up with an indoor strategy should it bucket down.

We greeted our guests,7 adults and 4 kids, and Waka san gave them a tour of the house and explained the passive solar design behind its construction.Waka san was here in the early days and helped build the house,so he was best suited to explain it.The building is cleverly designed and has an exhaust fan in the ceiling that sucks warm air from the ceiling,generated from the fire place,and blows it to below the flooring and is allowed to heat the floor.

Around the farm is a set of notice boards,about 20,with information in the form of an eco quiz.We planned for the children to explore the farm and answer the quiz and the winner would receive an eco prize.We determined that the visit was purely aimed at the children experiencing farm life.Upon finishing the quiz,Toshi got the answer sheet and went about finding the winner.Not to have any of the kids feel left out,they all received a recycled ,from paper, plant pot with a cosmos plant from our nursery.The kids eyes lit up when they all got one.

Next we went to the chicken house with the kids to collect eggs.The parents didn't come with us as the mothers were scared of the chickens.The travel agent helped me with the kids and we all had a ball running around searching for the eggs.A little secret,we kept all the eggs from the previous couple of days without dates on them to make alot more to collect for the kids.All up the found 25.The same amount we put in there for them to find.

After the egg hunt,we headed over to the nursery where I showed the kids how to make potting mix and to seed pumpkin into pots for growing on the farm.The parents had been in already and potted up one tray,so they stood by with smiles on there faces as they watched the kids having such a fun time.One older boy wanted to be best so he seeded really quickly,I even think that during his racing two seeds may have been put into one pot.Not to worry though,they were all having fun.

The rains started coming down heavy so we headed back to the house for mint tea.The mint harvested fro the garden.We had organized for the children to make a drawing of theirdream for the future and color it in.When finished they all took turns presenting their picture to the adults.The kids had dreams of living in the country some day and their drawings were of that.

In all our guest seemed to have a great time.Everyone was laughing and the kids liked to get their hands dirty.We hope it is a start of a good relationship with the travel agent and they bring us more visitors in the future.


Figtree said...

Great work with the children. All children love the thought of being in the open space of a farm. Have you many schools near you Paddy's class has just done a term on healthy bodies,and the term before they were learning about farming perhaphs this could create more local interest and children have a habit of encouraging parents.

Figtree said...

Are you all on holiday? No reports for a month. Hope you have on soon.