Monday, October 6, 2008
Tonight at 7pm (Higashikawa, Hokkaido, Japan time), we are meeting with our neighboring rice farmer and his bailer (the guy that makes the bales for him every year and then sells them off to people for other uses - I doubt anyone has bought them for building a house before). It's the meeting we've been "waiting" for on pins and needles. It's a big night for we'll find out many things tonight. We'll hopefully find out if they can provide the quantity that we need (about 800 square bales) and the quality that we need (tight bales with consistent dimensions). We'll probably get a price tonight and that should be....interesting. If it's too much, we may have to reconsider the "price" of using this eco friendly material. And, finally, we'll hopefully find out if the bailer has a place where we can store these bails until we need them next Summer (after we get the foundation and roof built so we can keep the bales protected from the rain on our own property). So, yes, it's going to be a big, big night for us and the above questions have been occupying my mind all day. I'll provide an update tomorrow (or soon).
By the way, I (Toby) went up to Asahidake, the tallest mountain in Hokkaido, yesterday. I wanted to see how much snow was up there so I climbed to the top.
I was greeted with a lot of snow, but not quite enough to do much skiing yet. It was all white at the top and I could barely see past my arms. The picture on the side here is from the summit post.
On my way back to Tohma-cho from the mountain, I drove through Higashikawa and saw that our farmer friend has been busy harvesting (if I were to guess, I'd say he's 1/2 - 2/3rds done) his rice and he's been cutting all of his straw into the long straw that we'll be needing. Maiko says he was planning on making long straw anyway so it's convenient for us. Above (the top of this post) and below are a few pictures from his rice paddies. The long straw laying on top of the fields is what we'll hopefully be using for our house. Of course, the bailer needs to make the nice, tight and consistent bails first....