We’ve just celebrated Tanabata (Star Festival) on July 6th at our shared house. The Star Festival is held on July 7th, to celebrate the meeting of the cosmic lovers, Orihime and Hikoboshi (represented by the stars Vega and Altair), who are only allowed to meet once a year. The Japanese celebrate that day by writing wishes on tanzaku (small pieces of paper) and hanging them on a bamboo. We had a whole day of activities for more than 20 kids and adults, and I participated by selling gluten free almond cake at the event. Check out our fabulous day!!
Making origami and writing tanzaku for hanging on the bamboo tree planted in the garden.
Kids getting a chance to play with musical instruments from all over the world.
Singing songs of stars, wishes and love with live music by amazing musicians.
Little snacks made and brought by the participants for sale.
My gluten free almond cake!
Served with homemade whipped cream and wild harvested mint! At 300 yen per plate, and I sold 13 out of 15 plates!
Hula dancing by Mami chan, a hula dance teacher and flower essence therapist and her students.
Live music and entertainment by Yu, a super talented musician I’ve met twice at different transition town events before.
Another amazing live performance that got many of us clapping and dancing! See the little girl in the middle? She was such a natural dancer, moving rhythmically to the music. No surprise because she’s the daughter of the two musicians in the band! ;)
And south Indian curry by a local caterer, The Curry Project for dinner!
Another cafe meeting today. 13 more days to the opening! Today, we were doing the photo shoot for our business card.
Don’t you just love fresh organic vegetables that come in a variety of colors? :)
I got to taste this “Jardin Egg Parfait”, a name I helped to come up with today! Ingredients are mashed potatoes, pureed beets (as they’re in season now. veggies will vary according to the season), and fresh eggs from our project manager’s permaculture garden. Bread is baked by our chef!
Our second signature dish - brown rice waffles prepared by Chef Ayumi ;)
Ratatouille, one of our deli menu dishes.
One of my dreams is to start a gluten free cafe one day, though it doesn’t have to be a full time business. I’m happy enough to run a cafe at home sporadically…when I feel like it! It’s not really about doing a business, but rather to do something that nourishes and inspires me to contribute to the well-being of others, and to create a beautiful healing space for myself and others to relax and recharge.
And I can’t believe that within a few days of moving to our new home, I was offered to be part of an organic cafe project! It was a golden opportunity that just fell right out of the sky! Sometimes things really just seem to fall into place naturally :)
The location is an antique showroom just along the coast and you can view the ocean even while working in the kitchen. For three months from the end of July, the place will be converted to a book and organic cafe that uses natural and organic ingredients produced locally in Hayama! We don’t know what is going to happen after three months (when the summer crowd leaves), but it is likely we will be continuing the cafe on a less regular basis and renting out the space for events and workshops.
This month, our team will preparing for the launch party of the cafe! This is a complete new area for me, and I’m expecting to experience a huge learning curve, which I’m totally excited about. I hope to be able to write about it and update everyone on the process of our cafe project (my cafe dream)!
Here’s an article about the making of the cafe (in Japanese):
One of my birthday wishes was to plant an herb and vegetable garden on my birthday! I’d like to name it “Butterfly Moon Garden” and make a wooden sign near the entrance. We’re still on the lookout for wood to make our sign!
These are the seedlings Kai bought.
He thought it’d be nice to plant some flowers too! And blackberries to make jam!!
We’re also looking for roses with a nice strong fragrance to add to our growing garden. Hoping to find roses like these growing in my friend’s garden in Azumino!
Getting ready for what he’s amazing at…gardening!
Cutting the wild grass, dokudami (also a top ten medicinal herb commonly used by the Japanese) to make space for the herbs and vegetables.
Loosening & softening the soil with a shovel
Planting the herb seedlings. According to what I studied at my previous permaculture workshop, you would plant things you use often closest to the house. Herbs like parsley, shiso and also tomatoes and green onions will be great to have in cooking!
Pulling out the roots gently
Planting my favorite herb, lavender in front of our bedroom so we can smell it! Kai’s planning to grow different species of lavender all around the garden so when they bloom, we’ll be in lavender heaven!! :) Next to the lavender is passion fruit.
Growing different flowers in a barrel
After hours of hard work in the garden and getting bitten by mosquitoes, we changed and walked to the beach, which is also close to the marina, for a romantic French dinner ♥︎
Happy Birthday :)