1. Pesticides and chemical fertilizers
The use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers causes the tea plant’s natural immunity to drop, inhibiting natural resistance to disease and pests. It’s said that the potency of the antioxidants and the immunity levels of the tea plant are so high insects aren’t attracted and don’t eat it. It’s though that excessive absorption of pesticides and chemical fertilizers quickly causes the plant’s natural immunity and antioxidant levels to deteriorate.
The 1985 Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Prize-winning plantation.
Pictured: Yabukita tea plants.
Teas including Yabukita, selectively bred from species indigenous to Japan, and the indigenous Yamacha still thrive after many years of repeated natural crossbreeding. They are produced in the village of Sagara, Youra ward.
Despite Benihomare being selectively bred to popularize Japanese black tea all over the world, it is known today as a “phantom” black tea. Benihomare was artificially cross-pollinated with MakuraCd86, a selectively bred relative of Darjeeling, to create the high-profile Benifuuki we know today. Along with Benifuuki and Benihomare, Benjifuji is another imported variety. At Fujisako Tea Estate we mainly grow the indigenous Yamacha and its selectively bred varieties Yabukita and Tamamidori.
Benifuuki, which is well suited for black and semi-oxidized teas and has its origins in India, certainly has value, but at Fujisako Tea Estate we are insistent on producing purely Japanese products. We believe in the importance of preserving not only the fragrances, flavors and colors of Japan’s traditional indigenous varieties, but also the “living force” that resides within Japanese Tea.
We only lend a little helping hand and trust the rest to nature.
Soil pH levels
Acidic soil of pH 4 – 5 is said to be the the most suitable for growing tea, but at Fujisako Tea Estate our soil is almost neutral, at pH 6.7. Pictured: an analog soil meter in May 2014.
Soil moisture content
The soil moisture ratio is just under 40%. The measurement was taken on a clear day at a depth of around 5cm. If the same measurement was taken at a tea farm that used heavy machinery or chemical fertilizers and pesticides the meter would read “DRY”. Preserving the soil’s water content is paramount to maintaining a healthy farm.
Home-made organic fertilizer,free from animal waste products
Due to concerns about chemical carryover, all our fertilizer is organic, made from raw materials containing no waste products from cows, pigs or chickens
At Fujisako Tea Estate we only use raw materials that come from Kumamoto Prefecture in our original organic fertilizer. To eliminate carryover from pesticides, chemical fertilizers and radioactive material, absolute care must be taken with regard to the substances we use.
A spider among dayflowers that grow on the estate
The tea estate is inhabited by spiders, beetles and mantises and we remove weeds by hand only during the tea picking season. We aim to maintain and environment that is as close as possible to nature, but weeding really is hard work.
A tea estate without heavy machinery.
A walkway between rows of tea trees
We employ techniques that do not place a burden on the soil. We use hand-held equipment instead of vehicles equipped with caterpillar tracks. By not using herbicides or insecticides plants can grow in the earth, just like in the photograph.
JAPAN AGRIFUTURE MANAGEMENT CO.,LTD
[Manufacturing & Organic estate Company]
TEL:+8192-980-5942 / FAX:+8192-954-3638