「牛の幸せは第一」Cows’ happiness comes first….

(August 1)

A long and intense day, full of beautiful meetings and exciting adventures!!

I was really looking forward to meet farmers and get into the lands, so it was a real pleasure to be able to visit two farms in the same day. Walking on the land, smelling the fresh dirt, touching the cows or feeling the grass up my knees, I really felt in my natural element! This day really made me realize that I feel fulfilled when I am in this type of environment. I was lucky to grow up in a small village surrounded by nature, so when I went to Ishizawa-san and Mitomo-san’s farms, I could really picture myself living in one of these adorable wooden houses, eating fresh cheese and petting my cows greeting me like dogs!

But I have to admit that even though I could wake up early that day due to the excitement to discover new things, I don’t think I would have the courage to do it every single morning of the year. After all, we are the only “animals” who invented the principle of a Sunday! The weather was also a part of the trip, and it really challenged us throughout the day and showed the difficult situation of farmers. Waking up before sunrise, no day to rest, fighting with the natural elements… No matter how much one might like nature, I was convinced that the farmers we would meet would still let us know how tough is a typical day for them. In France for instance, we hear almost everyday on TV how farmers struggle with their depts, with the administration, the bad weather (too much rain or too much sun to grow anything), the lack of money, the decrease of prices or the competition with other Europeans countries and so many other troubles. However, each person we met today told us that there was nothing better in their work than being into nature and work with their animals all day…

I also really appreciated how the wife of Ishizawa-san trusted us. When I asked if we could see the place where she makes her cheese (having both French and Swiss nationalities, I don’t know how my DNA could possibly resist to the call of cheese….), she seemed unwilling to let us go there. But once she saw that we were really interested about her work, she started to talk a lot about her feelings, about how much she loves her life style, and she even started joking with us. I found it really touching how fast she trusted us, and I am really thankful to both of them for their kindness and their patience.

As for the visit of Mitomo-san’s farm, we had much more than a study tour, we literally had a life lesson. Mitomo-san always had a philosophical thought to share about our questions or comments, and he was truly inspiring. As he said indeed, the planet was made to be filled with water and nature, so how could we possibly imagine living on it if we pave it over? And he also reminded us that working with nature means being able to wait, which is a notion unknown by nowadays generations who are used to go to the konibini whatever the time of the day. But what inspired me the most was what he said about the weed. It is indeed tempting to get rid of it, but Mitomo-san advised us that we need to respect diversity in our garden just as we respect diversity in our societies.

Finally, we received a very interesting lecture and tour given by “Tate-jiji” who was truly passionate about his work and who didn’t lose his sense of humor!

 

Overall, it was a really inspiring day, and I cannot express how grateful I am to all these people we meet everyday and who patiently make time for us in their busy day!

 

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