green curtain

Green Curtain Madness

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Green Vined Wall with Weeds and Sign, Ichikawa

 

Using nature to keep cool in the summer and warm in the winter is nothing new; however, since the March 11, 2011 triple disaster Japanese have been planting green curtains.  The idea behind green curtains is that the leaves will absorb the sun’s rays, release oxygen into the air, and keep homes and offices cool.  Commonly planted vines are cucumbers, goya, and morning glory.  The climbing vines are planted in front of window that will allow air to pass through, but keep out some the harshest sun.

This was not the case with this little house in Ichikawa.  The entire home has been completely engulfed in an ivy vine that the windows have completely disappeared. The only part of the home that has not  been completely covered with vines in the front door.

I wonder if these vines really keep the home cool?  Greeny green in Ichikawa sounds pretty good to me.

 

Autumn Fruits Pomegranate and Goya

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

According to my metrological sources Friday was the last warm day we are going to have this year.  The weather from now forth will progressively become cooler and cooler.  It will get so cool somewhere down the road that I will be writing how cold I am and I can’t wait for spring to arrive.  This year the weather really did seem to be like an out of control faucet.  One day it was cranked to the HOT and the next cranked to COLD.  I juts got to protect myself to keep from catching a cold.

As I was making my way though a quiet neighborhood in Chiba prefecture I stumbled upon a few pomegranate trees growing wild.  The were short squat yet full of ping pong ball sized fruit.  I thought that it was rather serendipitous to find my all time favorite fruit in the semi-wilds of Chiba.  Also, since many of my family are observing the Jewish new year with apples and pomegranates I was captivated by these little fruits.  These fruits have been enjoyed for millenniums in the middle east.  They are such an odd fruit.  The seeds are  surrounded by the wine like fluid flesh.  In order to enjoy the arils of the fruit one has to work hard to separate them from the bitter white innards of the fruit.  No matter what the difficulties are in getting to the juicy bits it is always worth it.  Having to work at getting the purple pieces is part of the pleasure of the fruit.

As the seasons change so does the why in which we interact with the land around up.  For example, here in Japan citizens were encouraged to grow green curtains.  Green curtains were devised as a way to save electricity by growing climbing vine plants on a trellis over a window.  Many Japanese planted morning glories, goya (Okinawan bitter melon) even saw some grapes.  They were beautiful.  Now those that planted them to cut back on electricity now get to fill a basket with grapes, goya and other vine climbing plants.

We should all take the time to help green our world.  All it takes are are few seeds, water and love to be able to reap the health and stress relieving qualities of greening our planet.

To all my brothers and sisters celebrating Roshashauna I wish you the best of times.  Enjoy some fresh apples and pomegranates for me.

Pomegranate Autumn, Mimomi

Green Curtain with Goya, Mimomi

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