July 17, 2012
We have heard voices from Ishinomaki such as “please spread the word to the volunteers who helped us, about the vegetables that have grown so big.” It’s been months since our last report, and we would like to share the latest story about the “vegetable gardens we helped cultivate.”
Peace Boat has been helping people in Ishinomaki cultivate vegetable gardens since November 2011. We started to restore vegetable fields and gardens which had been washed away by the tsunami as one of the supports provided to residents of temporary housing. We have been receiving many positive comments, such as “I can forget all the negative things while gardening. And I can live life feeling the joy of growing vegetables.” This is the reason we help people living in their own homes as much as possible also, in addition to those living in temporary housing. As of June 2012, we have helped cultivate 121 plots of vegetable fields and garden altogether in more than 20 districts in the districts of Honcho (Old Ishinomaki city), Kitagami-ogatsu, and the Ojika Peninsula combined.
When it started to get warm, we went to see the vegetable fields and gardens that Peace Boat helped cultivate after a long while…
We found onions, potatoes and cucumbers! So many different kinds of vegetables are growing beautifully!
Retired or elderly people do not usually have much incentive to go outside of their temporary housing. However, gardening gives them motivation such as watering the garden, to go outside everyday.
Their facial expression appears brighter. They started to exchange vegetables harvested with their neighbors. Various positive effects are emerging. More frequent typhoons and heavy rains this year always worry us. Yet, we feel extremely grateful and rewarded when we see smiles on people’s faces working in the vegetable gardens, and the beautiful vegetables growing strong.
One last extra.
Here is a slide show of the vegetable gardens created by staff member and photographer Suzuki Shoichi.
TAGS: temporary housing • vegetable garden • Volunteer • Volunteers • voluteers