We visited the Hirooka Farm where strawberries and peaches are cropped within Okayama-city.
We were all agog to have an interview with the owner of this farm after receiving delicious strawberries every spring. Our wish finally came true.
Mr. Hirooka started farming upon high school graduation.
He originally cropped peaches and grapes that both grow in the summer. Unfortunately, he has experienced losing both crops due to natural calamities like typhoons. After seeing his fruits affected, he decided to switch one crop from grapes to strawberries because the strawberries’ picking season is winter.
He told us the necessity of strict temperature control in greenhouses. When the temperature is too high, strawberries become overripe while they stop growing when the temperature is too cold. Mr. Hirooka also included his feedbacks about our BTO product, a lactic acid fermented extract. During his years of experience, he found that the BTO makes strawberry leaves very strong and become resistant to diseases. We appreciate his comment.
Last Christmas, strawberry prices went up due to poor harvests throughout the nation. Many different companies visited his farm seeking for strawberries and they were willing to buy for whatever price Mr. Hirooka wishes. However, he did not take those offers and continue to deliver his strawberries to his regular customers without any unreasonable price increase. This story tells us about his personality, one that treasures his customers.
By going through a conversation with him, we deeply understood that investing a good amount of time and effort, and constantly giving his love to crops make them better tasting. “My motivation in life is to grow truly delicious fruits and make my customers happy”, Mr. Hirooka said. He looked proud of his work and his voice was lively.