Theodora Chin is a first-semester exchange student from the National University of Singapore.
From Metropolis to Local Farm
My favourite experience at AIU would be the farming opportunities I had here in Akita.
I live in Singapore so things like rice planting, planting edamame, etc. is not something that I had the opportunity to experience.
I had fun planting rice with Team Takinomata in Takinomata, and though I will not be able to harvest the rice we’ve planted, since I will not be staying for the Fall Semester, it was a really memorable experience.
Walking in the paddy fields was an experience in itself. Everyone was getting stuck, trying to catch the seedlings thrown to us by the farmers, getting splattered with mud and generally helping each other out and having fun with one another.
Moreover, we got to eat Takinomata rice for lunch after rice planting and rice really never tasted better than after planting it.
Akita Rural Studies Course and Edamame Farming
I’m taking JAS380 Akita Rural Studies, and we’re focusing on the Hirasawa Farm Corporation this semester. Through the course, I had the chance to plant edamame seeds, talk with the farmers to learn more about their farming corporation and the lifestyles of a farming community.
They also brought us around their fields to see the paddy fields, their machines and what they are doing with the lands they consolidated. But what is most memorable is seeing the edamame that we planted by ourselves grow as time passes.
I’m looking forward to trying the edamame we planted before I leave AIU (hopefully they’ll grow fast enough though)!
Lasting Impact of AIU Experience
While it was fun to plant rice and edamame, it was not an easy job. Everything that ends up on our tables as food is a result of the hard work of farmers and they work hard through rain and shine and it is really not easy.
Especially since I live in a city, there isn’t really a chance to experience first-hand the toils of being a farmer, or to interact with farmers themselves. Hence, I was really glad that I came to AIU and had all these opportunities to experience farming and to interact with the farmers and their work. These memories are not something that I will not forget and hopefully I will have opportunities to work in the farm in the future as well!
To future AIU students, I hope you have fun here at AIU and get to experience the joys of farming as I did!