On the slopes of Mount Aso, sheep graze happily

Good day everybody,

Today a little post about some animal life in Aso; sheep.

 

 

This is a new flock as there used to be no sheep in this part of Japan. Aso looks even more like New Zealand now.

So, new livestock here:

The shepherd in charge of these sheep is also a new one. Well experienced farmer, he started this adventure last year, in 2020.

Ewes, rams and lambs are now populating the green grass fields on mount Aso.

Our shepherd introduced several species:  Manx Loaghtan and Cheviot, Japanese Corriedale, Suffolk and  Friesland, with each of them being treated livestock of the same importance..

 

 

Since they are born, they reside in a small calm part of the farm, but after a month or so, little lambs go and frolic around in the vast and beautiful landscapes of Aso.

Fom breakfast till dinner, all are supplied with the fresh grass and the same organically grown grass is used for forage. It is saved up pretty soon in Summer, preparing for the harsh wintertimes. They happen to be very long in Aso.

No use of chemicals, no artificial medicine is ever in use here.

 

 

In Japan very few places serve mutton. There are simply not that many sheep in Japan.

Here they are raised in full nature with the aim to develop the consumption of mutton meat, with of course an eye on the no-waste production as they produce leather and wool as well.

Of course, it is a hard job. Not only physically, but mentally. Letting go of the sheep you take care of everyday is a very hard thing to do, explains our herder.  Living beings are a cyclic thing, he says, but there are definitely hard days.

In Japan, every meal is a gift of nature. Being it meat or vegetables, fruits or the everlasting national rice, every little thing is a present received when sitting at the dining table.

 

 

No waste: a lot of wool. The sheep’s wool is threaded completely by hand. No machine involved. Then it is either used by locals from Aso to knit or weave.

A totally traditional craft, it starts with the fleecing of the sheep end of April or begin May. Then, all washed by hand and carded, the wool is finally threaded.

For beginners, this can be very hard work and to obtain even a little 100g (3.5oz) of yarn, it may take up hours and hours of concentration and diligence.

 

 

For more than a millennium now, the people of Aso have been taking care of their grass fields  Bringing in livestock, mostly grazing cows until now, it keeps the grasses short, a safety measure for the fire hazards in  Autumn and Winter. Our shepherd shares his hope to protect the grazing lands of Aso for the coming millennia and therefore to bring up to 1000 heads the sheep of Aso…

He also works on the project to associate with other sheep herders in the world and to maybe to have Aso city twin with the city of Zermatt in Switzerland. Friends from the Canton of  Valais, we await you!

I hope you got to enjoy our little excursion with the sheep of Aso, see you soon for more adventure!

Nathalie

 

Instagram:

www.instagram.com/aso.sato.farm/

The shepherd’s website:

http://www.aso-satofarm.com/ 

In Japanese only, at the moment.

 

カテゴリー: English Blog, Recommendations   タグ: ,   この投稿のパーマリンク

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