A typical, old Japanese neighborhood, Kitakagaya has a few urban farms, and other various nooks and crannies hiding all sorts of herbs and edible wild plants (also known as ‘weeds’ to some). For our urban herb foraging event, Suhee prepared a ‘herb map’ of the neighborhood, and slowly guided our participants on a walk to discover these plants, and how we can use them.Continue reading “Springtime: Urban Herb Foraging & Herb Whiskey”
A Nature Mandala: Growing Seeds in a Shopping Mall
As much as we could—and albeit, it’s not much in a Japanese shopping mall—our experiment in engaging with holiday shoppers at MUJI this past weekend offered subtle notes: nothing is permanent, slow down, listen to nature, be closer to nature, play with nature, you don’t need to buy anything to do this.Continue reading “A Nature Mandala: Growing Seeds in a Shopping Mall”
Alicia Bay Laurel Acoustic Live & The Real Sharing Economy
Alicia Bay Laurel is an American artist, author, and musician, well known for her bestselling 1970 book Living On The Earth, a notable guide for participants in the American back-to-the-land movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Having become good friends with Alicia in the past few years, we’ve starting making use of the real sharing economy together.Continue reading “Alicia Bay Laurel Acoustic Live & The Real Sharing Economy”
Event Recap: Herb Tea Blending Workshop
Suhee has been happily working these days, to cultivate, wash, harvest, and dry herbs from several neighborhood gardens here in Kitakagaya. After some months of preparation, last Saturday we debuted the “Herb Tea Blending” workshop at The Branch.Continue reading “Event Recap: Herb Tea Blending Workshop”
The Branch: Before & After
When we began planning The Branch project here in Osaka, we made a firm decision that we would design and build as much of it as possible ourselves. This was not just to contain our costs (although it did), but because we wanted to begin a transition away from our society’s over-reliance on industry and the capitalist mentality, and instead to engage in the spirit of smallness, regeneration, relationships, sharing, giving new life to old things, and just generally living lightly on the planet.
As a result, most of the materials used in this project were salvaged from old homes that had been torn down, and all of the work was done by our own hands and those of like-minded volunteers who are happy to build and enjoy an active community space together with us.
With that, here’s a look what has transpired here over the past five months…