In my endeavour towards a more sustainable world, I am working on partnering The Jade Room + Garden Terrace with more sustainable producers in Japan and therefore was excited to visit Naeme farm in Kamogawa City, Chiba Prefecture this October.
Ryutaro Inoue /CEO of Naeme is an activist who is involved in environmentally friendly agriculture, focusing on the production of herbs and edible flowers in Kamogawa City, Chiba Prefecture. In 2014, he started an environmentally friendly agriculture project in Kamogawa City, Chiba Prefecture, focusing on the production of herbs and edible flowers using no pesticides or chemical fertilizers. In April 2023, he started “Naeme farmers stand,” a direct sales shop and cafe, as a place to create a community based on the theme of “cultivation and collection” of plants. In addition, a log-building project is currently underway to create a base for collecting plants and to regenerate the environment of a Satoyama(community-based fores), in order to consider ways to regenerate the environment by making the most of the existing environment. Mr. Inoue continues his practice, hoping that by creating a system that allows individual farmers with small farmland to make a profit, abandoned farmland will decrease and the destruction of nature will cease.
We invited some press members on a trip to Naeme farm and hosted a wonderful al fresco dinner. Dishes incorporated edible flowers and herbs whilst also utilising local produce to express new and unprecedented tastes and sensations through the juxtaposition of traditional cooking methods and innovative ideas.
I always try to champion each member of the food eco-system from suppliers to chefs, to consumers. I speak for and support fellow pioneers, large or small, and try to educate on these vital issues through my menus and restaurant concepts. Seasonality and locally sourced produce are incredibly important factors in the preparation of any menu I create. I believe in harvesting the freshest ingredients that the changing seasons bring; I am an avid forager and favour using local producers whom I know and trust that are just as passionate about growing or rearing their wares as I am about cooking them.