Monday, August 25, 2014

An afternoon as a Melon Farmer :))

Rouxin, Lily and Monkey standing proud in our cute lil boots. I looked like a minion among these tall ladies!!!

The sunny afternoon did not deter any of us from participating in this. Special request by Miss Monkey - Melons Harvesting. Captain Chris had to remind me that it's all because of one tiny Cherry, all 11 other peeps gotta follow suit and do this activity.

Okie lor...thank you very much for arranging this and thank you to the gang for obliging to my touristy request.

Nope...he isn't proposing to Sharon with a pair of gummy boots. But this pic sure looked like it was. Hahahaha.

When we arrived, all we could see were vast agricultural land backed by the beautiful Mount Yotei. This is a non-touristy farm, in actual fact they do not accept tourists/local tourists. Even more so, all 12 of us don't speak a word of Japanese except Papa Bear and Chef Takashi.

Plus they are letting us IN to work inside their controlled and restricted farm. Hence location is top-secret. This farm claimed to have the sweetest melons in Hokkaido....and much sweeter than the famous and expensive Yubari Melon from the city of Yubari.

The beautiful Madame with hazel brown eyes spoke perfect english and all of us gasped in surprise!!!! She was the Cross-Country Skier champion of Japan in the Winter Olympics. Such an honor to meet a world champion in person. I guess this was the 2nd time I am meeting an Olympic gold medalist *aside to Ben Ainslie in the sailing event*. She has now retired, got married, have lovely kids and this amazing farm to manage.

Madame Beautiful Hazel eyes then continued to explain the difference between their melons vs the famous Yubari Melons. It's supposed to be sweeter with its intense flavour.

Captain Chris: "Quick ask!!! What's their secret!!! and is it really sweeter than Yubari?"
So just like planting grapes to make wines, it's all in the terroir. The soil, the land, the climate all played very important roles. Because Hokkaido is also the major rice producer in Japan, there's a lot of husks around. Not wanting to waste them, it's all used as fertilizer here. It's used as compost, bcoz rice husks are organic, and decayed over time. Its properties allowed proper drainage for the plants.

After the short briefing, the slaves aka us moved into the farms. There's like miles and miles of these....Sweet Melons, u wait for momma ok? I am coming for ya!!!

Papa Bear: "HOYA!!! we are all ready to work now!!!"
He's so tall, as tall as the green house!!!
now we can all imagine Dr. Epicurean being a vigneron in his boots. He would be happier if this was a vineyard and not a melon farm!!!! kakaka.

Oh hello hello babies~~~~~
Ain't u lookin pretty?
and today u gonna be mine

Happiest day for Miss Monkey. I was so eppy and did not pay attention....almost snipped off the farmer's tiny fingers. Opssss!!!!! Sumimasen!!!

Farmer: "Wakarimasu ka?"
*do u understand?*

errrrr actually no...she's been explaining and teaching Monkey on the harvesting techniques. Errrr wakarimasen!!! I was still terrified from the finger snipping saga~~~

Here here here and here
yes u can't just simply snip it off anyway u has to be precisely where how and at which length.

I guess in the end the farmer beh-tahan and did it herself....with Monkey holding the melon instead.
-_- I failed lar....but one thing for sure, I'm definitely a champion when it comes to MAKAN!!!

and all the leaves all gone!!!!

see it has to have that length of stems with "2 hands" on it.

Sharon and Lily oso done with their harvesting. Aiks there's still leaves on ur melon!!!

Lorraine lookin really hawt here. But it's really very very HOT in terms of temperature!!! and she got photo-bombed by Lily at the back.

my housemate Mr. JS thinked he's playing "bowling"
Monkey: "oiiii this is not superbowl la."

the melon looked so tiny in his hands....we were brought to this sector of the farm to do harvesting bcoz the melons were smaller and less damaging. As for the grand cru sectors, it had to be reserved for serious harvesting....and not for gaijin like us.

Monkey: "U are following Momma home!!!!"

I forgotten what we were discussing about, but Papa Bear and Chef Takashi were busy translating them to english for us.

Yaaaayyy now we have something for lunch....hahahahaha
before we could sink our teeth into these melons...we drove back to their collection center about 2 minutes away.

and BEHOLD my dear readers.....I went bonkers like a monkey being presented with a truckload of bananas!!!




These were the larger size Melons, ready to be cleaned and packed for exports. Yeah the superior ones could sell for hundreds of dollars each. Back in 2013, a pair of yubari melons were auctioned at 1.6 million yen!!! That's 48k in Malaysian ringgit.

Again point to note, only cantaloupes melons from the city of Yubari can be named such. Just like champagnes, only those that are produced in the region of Champagne can be called as such. Else it's just a sparkling wines/prosecco etc

Each melon weighs about 2kg *total weight 8kh* and a few boxes were ordered for us to take home. :)))))))

So so so happy that you, you, you and YOU are coming home with me!!! My greatest purchase in Hokkaido :))))))))

and now....ladies and's nom nom nom time!!!
so so sweet~~~~~ and juicy!!!!

A Refractometer calibrated to measure the sugar content in the melon by measuring the refractive index of the melon juice. This is similar to the device used by vignerons to measure the sugar content of the grapes to help them pin point the most optimal timing to harvest the grapes.

Sharon gasped: "It's 16.5!!!!"
yea that's a very high sugar content. Yubari's minimum standard is 13.

This was a great experience. Thank you to Captain Chris for making this arrangement. All of us went home with such contentment and smacking our lips from the yumm-ness of these melons. Not forgetting out boxes of loots...hahahahaha.

However at the end of the trip, the sweetest melons we had was still from Yubari. It was crazy drunkenly sweet I almost lost my breathe. Will blog about that another time. Have a great week ahead there folks. It's gonna be a busy one for Monkey before we r heading off to another destination for MAKANS!!!!


Chasing Food Dreams said...

this is a first! I have never seen a melon farm... now I know what it looks like...

you look really lovely in that white polka dot dress.. ;)

CHER-RY said...

Thank you :))))