Nestled on the Fujisaki hillside resides a grand farm resembling 'that of the outskirts of Munich' as Jurgen Schmidt, a charcutier from Germany, had put it.
Pig farmer, Teruo Hashimoto, the founder of Tategamori Ark Farm, moved from Saitama to Fujisawa (now a part of Ichinoseki City), Iwate in 1975. In 1985, his farm started the marketing of hams and sausages made from its own pork. Producing processed pork was uncharted territory, so in order to realize Hashimoto's desire to produce additive-free products using natural and traditional methods, he imported equipment from Germany and invited Jurgen Schmidt (mentioned above) to teach production methods.
The national government commenced agricultural development in Fujisawa and this was when Hashimoto embarked on large-scale crop farming. He went abroad adopting advanced techniques of agriculture, and wished to create a “farm market,” taking inspiration from farmers markets in Britain.
Tategamori Ark Farm opened in 1992 and as of now, comprises of animal viewing and petting areas, vast floral expanses and gardens, a barbecue terrace and restaurant serving delicious pork, and vegetables produced on the farm, a herb garden, a farm market showcasing the entire range of products produced on the farm as well as local specialties of Fujisawa and endless pastures which are populated by free-roaming deer, sheep and free-range chickens. As the premises covers a large area, I suggest going around by car, or hopping on board their bus (although with COVID-19, may not be running). Some people opt to walk.
One thing that I was incredibly impressed by was the farm's commitment to making additive free and organic produce. I had never heard of additive-free sausages and ham before. The general manager informed me of the difficulties and the high level techniques involved in the production of their processed meat. Tategamori Kogen Pork is a renowned brand which is sold at high end department stores such as Takeshimaya, is served when you fly first class on Japan Airlines and their pork-loin ranked first place on Otoriyose Net, one of the largest Japanese online food outlets.
Another thing that was equally as impressive is their profound dedication toward environmental sustainability. Transforming the virgin soil to that of high nutrients by cultivating compost from their pig manure and using vegetable scraps from restaurant, intense maintenance by the staff such as weeding, pledging to plant 210,000 trees by the 21st century, are some of the ways that sustainable, agricultural chemical free, organic farming is being undertaken at Tategamori Ark Farm.
Business hours: 10am to 6pm
【Winter (Jan~Mar)】10am to 5pm
Business holidays: Jan 30 to Jan 3rd
Phone number 0191-63-5100
Homepage: https://www.arkfarm.co.jp/en/ *Pictures used in this article are with special permission from Tategamori Ark Farm.