Introducing Project Potatohead – A Farm-To-Foodbank Initiative

akiba 2020-04-07

We’re very happy to announce the launch of Project Potatohead, a farm-to-foodbank initiative here at hackerfarm to supply food banks in Tokyo with fresh produce. As Japan and other countries work to contain the spread of Covid-19, measures are being put in place that preserve public health at the cost of the economy. We’re expecting one result of this to be a decrease in food security for people and families.

To address this, we’ve decided to allocate one of our fields and donate crops grown this year on that field to supply food banks in nearby Tokyo. The original plan was to grow a variety of organic vegetables for member CSA (community supported agriculture) boxes that we distribute to friends and families. As we watched the pandemic play out over such a short time, we quickly realized that it could potentially be a social disaster here in Japan.

Because of this, we got together and discussed various things that we may be able to help out with. We decided that food is something we could definitely work on and adjusted our planting schedule this year. Instead of heirloom tomatoes, exotic cucumbers, and fresh herbs, we will instead focus on staple crops with long shelf lives such as potatoes and onions.

Seed potatoes from previous harvests we’ll be using

Prepping potatoes for planting. We can get more plants out of the potatoes by slicing them into parts

We also re-allocated the hackerfarm CSA field specifically for this project for the entire year. We’ll be growing various crops on it all year for the project.

One of our fields previously allocated for member CSA boxes

Team Potatohead has been putting a lot of work into prepping the field and planting the first crop which will be, of course, potatoes.

Noriko and the family have been spearheading this effort

At hackerfarm, we have to deal with a lot of bullsh*t, but the good kind…

Ark, a 16-year old veteran member of hackerfarm

Ark’s brother, Lewis, who at 11 years old is building his farming skills

We’ll be growing various crops on this field all year with the harvest being donated to food banks around Tokyo. Of course all of the produce is organically grown. We’re also in contact with various food banks and will start working out logistics as harvest time approaches.

Project Potatohead is a unique way that hackerfarm can contribute and give back to the community here in Japan. It’s also a great way to get exercise during the voluntary isolation and the kids learn so many amazing lessons from it. We’re all surprised how quickly it came together and really proud of the team. We’ll also be posting updates to the project page and lessons learned from this experience. Hopefully it will benefit other groups that want to do similar things in the future.

Stay safe and much love from Hackerfarm 🙂



2 comments

  1. If there is anyone out there reading this….I want to help. I dont have much money, but i do have a mindset geared toward Led lighting. Specifically UV led lighting. I

  2. Hi Nate. Where are you located? I think there are plenty of things to do to help out in any location. Right now, you can pretty much throw a stone with your eyes closed and hit a social problem. Out here, I think we are trying to limit what we work on so that it doesn’t overwhelm us. At the moment, we have things under control. But I’m sure there are many people wherever you are that would welcome a pair of virtual hands 🙂

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