When Yoshinori Ueda left his company job to take over the family farm, he gave a lot of thought to the kind of crops he would make its mainstay. “I wanted something that we could ship daily and produce steadily year-round,” he explains. “With rice, cucumbers, eggplants, for example, there’s a lot of downtime.” He settled on leafy greens, which he grows on four hectares in both open fields and greenhouses.
Yamato Mana, an heirloom plant in the Brassicaceae mustard family, is a specialty. Ueda recovers his own seeds and, along with his wife, gives talks at schools about their favorite recipes. “The stems are crisp and savory, the leaves sweet. It’s got a peppery note in the summer. In the cooler months the leaves are softer and sweeter still. It’s delicious raw, blanched, and in stir-fries.”
◎Ueda Nappa Kobo
811 Matsuzuka, Yamato Takada-shi, Nara
（The Cuisine Magazine /July 2018）