【中1】八王子プロジェクト⑤ フィールドワーク「磯沼ミルクファーム」


On a sunny day in November, nine students and one teacher of Kogakuin Junior High School went on a trip into the agricultural west of Hachioji to pay a visit to Isonuma Milk Farm.

After gathering outside of Yamada station at 9:30 in the morning, we only had to cross the street and take a turn into the side streets to be surrounded by agricultural land. Everyone was getting excited to see the cattle, but even before the first group of cows greeted us welcome, the different crops already gave rise to plenty of discussion. What was that plant again growing there between the broccoli and the taro?

Once at the farm, we were told to sit at a table underneath a chestnut tree right in the middle of the farm’s inner courtyard. While the workers around us were busy stacking hay and leading cows from one stable to another, one of the staff members patiently answered our questions about the dairy business. We learned that Isonuma Milk Farm is dedicated to sustainable agriculture, animal welfare, and biodiversity. Listening to the staff’s explanations and watching them work it became clear to us that the dairy business is a vocation rather than a job. These people obviously loved what they were doing. 

For a small fee, visitors at Isonuma Milk Farm can experience milking cows or making butter. For us it was butter making. We were given small containers with cream which we had to shake for the butter to coagulate. We were told that it would take about 3 minutes, but it sure felt longer than that. Did they play a trick on us? The effort was worth it anyway. The fresh butter turned out delicious!

On our way back to Yamada station we took a short detour to the recently built Tokyo Farm Village – an indoor farmer’s market and café that specializes on regional agricultural products where some of the students bought fresh milk and yogurt from Isonuma Milk Farm as souvenirs for their families.