Dai Oizumi began his life as a farmer in 2006 seeking to live a self-sufficient lifestyle in the mountains of the Kii Peninsula, Wakayama Prefecture. Moving to the small village of Minamiōi, he began learning how to cultivate rice and vegetables from neighboring farmers. There are only a few tea fields in the region as it is not a major tea production region, but helping out various farmers, it was the tea fields that truly inspired him.
"The atmosphere of the tea fields, the peacefulness of walking between the hedges of tea plants, noticing the changes in the plants and the leaves both throughout the year and over the years....I felt these things matched my personality, so decided to focus specifically on tea farming." (Ian's translation of an interview with Oizumi-san)
Leasing fields from tea farmers who retired, or were too old to maintain their own fields, Oizumi-san became a dedicated tea farmer in 2012. Our current 2013 stock from him is his second year of farming, though the fields he took over from were already developed. Adhering to his love of nature, Oimizu-san farms without use of pesticides, and only organic fertilizers, but is not yet established enough to certify his tea.
Our History & Info
NAME: Dai and Shinobu Oizumi (Dai, the husband, is the primary farmer)
LOCATION: 875 Minamiōi Nachikatsuura-chō, Higashimuro-gun, Wakayama-ken, JAPAN
ALTITUDE: about 600 meters
SIZE / # of FIELDS: 1.5 tons production capacity on 3 fields totaling about 9900 square meters
TEA PLANT CULTIVARS: Primarily Yabukita
FARMING STYLE: Minimal pesticide use (none used 6 months before harvest), 15-year long soil development, organic and fish-based fertilizers.