The Rooftop Garden in Fall

A somewhat cooler breeze blows through the rooftop garden, causing the red dragonflies to dance around the silver grass. One can feel a deepening sense of the coming fall.

August: Rice harvest

The end of the summer is the time to harvest the ripened rice. A hoe is used for this task. At first, the children wield their hoes gingerly and tentatively, but they gradually put their backs into it and cut the rice stalks down. Somehow it is a scene that evokes the promise of fall.

September: Threshing

The harvested rice plants are threshed after being allowed to dry for 10 days. The children use all their strength to operate an old-fashioned, treadle-powered threshing machine, and the chaff falls off the dried rice sheaves.

Planting winter vegetables

Different vegetables are grown in this field, basically separated into summer and winter. The planting of the winter vegetables begins in September. The seeds are chosen carefully to ensure that they are companion plants, in an effort to protect the crops from insect damage without the use of chemicals.

Red dragonflies

Will the dragonfly nymphs in the rooftop garden grow to be mature adults? The madder-red dragonflies are beautiful all the way to their tails. The dragonflies flit in and out around the rice plants.

Silver grass

This is a silver grass called “fountain grass” that is so rare in Japan it does not yet have a Japanese name.