Food & Farming

Organic Food

We grow together, cook together and eat together!

Our founder Bahram was motivated by his son’s allergies to study organic rice and vegetable farming with Kobe University professor emeritus Dr. Shigeru Yasuda. We have been revitalizing unused fields to grow rice and vegetables in Ozo-cho, Kita-ku, Kobe with our Japanese and international members since 2009 as part of our mission to create safe foods and a safe environment by hand. Our yearly schedule includes revitalizing and leveling unused fields, creating “bokashi” (natural fertilizer), and planting, caring for, and harvesting rice, onions, and summer vegetables. After harvesting our hand-grown rice, vegetables, and herbs, we cook them together using the “kamado” (traditional Japanese wood stove) at our Ozo Base.  Members from countries around the world show off their favorite dishes, and everyone enjoys together in this cultural exchange through food.

Revitalizing unused fields

Planting rice

Harvesting onions

Creating “bokashi” fertilizer

Vegetable gardening classes

Harvest

Cooking

Rice harvest

Herb Garden

The Peace & Nature Herb Garden Project is off to a great start!

We began by leveling this land that had been abandoned for many years and was in very poor condition. Our members and volunteers worked very hard to make this possible.
We hope to build this herb garden with help from all of you. We hold fun herb events where we plant herbs, weed, and water together, as well as learning how to incorporate herbs into our everyday lives.
For our first event, we planted chamomile seeds and a variety of herb seedlings. The children helped us plant an olive tree, our symbol tree. The olive flower symbolizes peace – perfect for Peace & Nature, right? This olive tree will watch over our herb garden from now on.

Upcoming events:
-Making mint bug spray
-Making herbal soap
-Afternoon tea with fresh herbs
-Simple herb recipes from around the world

Environment

Ozo Base Renovation

This vacant farmhouse had been abandoned for a long time, and the shed and storehouse had deteriorated significantly. We demolished these unusable portions and are renovating damaged areas. Next, we plan to build an open kitchen and shower room. This house will be reborn as a location to experience traditional Japanese food culture and a home base for our events.

Green Energy

Renewable energy refers to energy resources that exist perpetually in the natural world, including solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass power. Unlike fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gas, renewable energy is reusable and gentle on the environment. These sources of alternative energy are gaining attention worldwide.

We created an “Aino Kamado” (traditional Japanese wood stove) at our Ozo Base with instruction from specialists from Aoyama-cho, Mie Prefecture. This energy-efficient stove can do a lot of cooking with a small amount of fuel. Instead of gas, we cook using discarded wood from the farmhouse renovation and thinned lumber from our forest revitalization activities.

Next, we plan to supply 100% of the electricity used at the Ozo Base with renewable natural energy. We invite you to participate in our renewable energy project.

Mountain Activity

Peace & Nature is working to revitalize the forest on Mt. Rokko as part of our mission to protect the earth’s environment. Our work area is near the peak of Mt. Kinchozan, adjacent to the hiking path connecting Hokura Shrine and Kazafukiiwa.
Throughout the year, we plant Japanese cherry, maple, and chestnut trees, cut back undergrowth, trim shrubs, and capture and survey harmful insects. Experience these activities to learn about forest revitalization philosophy and techniques, as well as enjoying the refreshing sensation of working in this negative ion-filled forest!

Planting saplings

Forest yoga

Human Development

Wellness Camp

Peace & Nature organizes wellness camps as one of our Human Development programs.
Yoga in nature, farm work, cooking with fresh vegetables from our organic garden, getting away from our daily lives and realizing our own power and strength: we coordinate this program to become well and healthy.

A message from Ms. Purvi, our Yoga teacher!
I firmly believe that one should put oneself out in the raw every now and then. As much as I enjoy the comfort of my bed, there is a different charm of being in the open. Staying close together with flashlights as we go out at night and help each other! With clothes that are simply comfortable (mix n match), barefoot or sneakers or slippers, no make up and no fancy and frills. Just you and your enthusiastic spirit and curiosity for life!
You come back home with a part of you even more empowered and nurtured. You bring back a whole lot of experience that makes you a better and stronger person than you were yesterday.
Abundance Wellbeing Studio

Zazen

At Peace & Nature, we practice Zazen meditation as one of our Human Development programs.

In Zazen, your slow and deep breathing gradually warms up your body, and you come to feel moments of ease. The regulated breathing of Zazen has been shown to 1.) help you relax using alpha brain waves, and 2.) lead to brain stimulation due to the release of serotonin. We encourage you to try this experience and master the breathing techniques for use during your work and daily life.

We will also teach Zen sayings that contain life wisdom, such as “Reidan Jichi” (learning through direct experience) and “Jiri Rita” (helping others helps oneself).

Young people from countries around the world participate in our Zazen workshops. We hope these young people will take a role protecting the future of the earth.

Our Zazen workshops include “Samu” – cleaning and farming work as part of Zen training.  Enjoy the scenic farmland sights, calls of wild birds, and scent of the fields, grasses, and soil and hone your senses during this physical work in the natural environment.

Peace & Nature Student Volunteers

The P&N university student team was formed in collaboration with Kobe Social Campus, an organization that coordinates extracurricular activities for students. Many motivated students have participated and volunteered in our events, but until now, we had no system to build a long-term collaboration with them.  Thanks to Kobe Social Campus, a special P&N student action team has now been formed. Last year, they planned and ran the Farmhouse Renovation DIY Workshop, which attracted 40 participants. This year, they are working on creating a high school student volunteer program and fundraising for the DIY costs of renovating our farmhouse. Rather than passively participating in our events, these students are taking the lead in creating programs in an opportunity for proactive learning and development. P&N and Kobe Social Campus are working together to support these students’ growth.