Handmade vegetables at a handmade cafe
Getting off the prefectural road along the Toyosawa river, having Kitakami Mountains far away, you can see a shop with a warm woody design. Getting inside, there is a handmade wooden counter and a spacious ostrich space. Here at the farmers cafe Farm Plus, you can enjoy dishes with plenty of vegetables, handpicked by the shop owner Koki Hiraka in the morning.
The vegetable curry changes its color everyday according to the harvest. Vivid coloring makes you oversee that there is no meat, and the flavor of spice blends into a whole sweetness.
Taco rice is another popular menu, using the local Hanamaki Platinum Pork. The taste of taco and the lightly fried vegetables make an excellent combination. The home-made miso soup and ginger ale, and much more menus offer a wide range of selection.
From vintage cloth shop to a farmer, a series of challenges
Ms. Hiraka who was born under a cucumber farmer’s family at Hanamaki had been working at a local vintage cloth shop after graduating a University in Tokyo. Introduced by a friend, he starts a training as a farmer, and it’s been 13 years today since starting his own farm. “If you do by yourself, you will be able to forgive even if you fail. And if it works, it makes you even happier.” He tries to be involved in as many aspects as he can, from the interior of the cafe to the painting of the dishes.
On the counter, there were dressings produced together by fellows of local young farmers. Both are exquisite, the excellent harmony of sourness and sweetness of “Apple umeboshi” flavor and the vital sweetness of “Mini tomato” flavor.
Connecting farmers, foods and people
The name of the shop “Farm plus” shows the will to connect farmers, food, and people. Mr. Hiraka felt from the beginning that growing vegetables on his own is not enough. Since the opening of the cafe, harvesting experiences and original miso cooking classes are offered every Sunday. By the end of this year, he plans to open a place to produce original dressings and ciders across the store.
The space was vivid, full with children right at the time, but still cozy and chill with selected books chosen by the owner. Being surprised by the taste of the curry and taco rice, I found myself relaxed and enjoying the place, thinking about the ingredients and farms that brought this food.
Farmers cafe Farm Plus
Location: 025-0043 Hanamaki, Iwate Prefecture Kamineko shaped Shimoda 60-2
Phone number: 0198-33-0594
URL: https: //www.farmplus.cafe/
Hours: 11: 00 ~ 15: 00 (L.O.14: 30)
Closed: Sundays and water
Access: 10 minutes by car from Hanamaki Minami IC, 5-minute walk from Iwate bus Yuguchi line “Nitta” station
Interview & Photography by Ichita Komori & Remo Sugimoto
Edited by Ichita Komori