Wellness Goodies from Mt Shasta

Microgreens (spicy mix) from Lava Oasis Farm, Ume products from Mume Farm:) 

Thought to introduce some of the items (loots:) I brought back from the mountain:  These salted plums have aged for over 10 years !!! A GEM A FIND ! They were fermented and preserved by the original owners of Ume/Plum orchard in Chico.

That Kazuko-san was at this Mt. Shasta concert and her protege selling these precious jars of umeboshi along with other new products accompanying the original owner of Mume Farm  – what a legend –  Kazuko Yamazaki.  This amazing petite lady, Kazuko moved to Orland, California in1968 from Japan with her husband, Jyunsei.

Together over time, they planted and cared for 450 ume plum trees.  Working hard, they succeeded in making umeboshi plums in the U.S. Umeboshi is a national soul food in Japan, handed down generations and I can confidently state that a stash of umeboshi is almost always in the pantry of all Japanese kitchens.  It’s indispensable part of Japanese diet especially in the medicinal Shojin (buddhist monk’s temple cuisine) foods.  From the ancient times, these plums were heralded for having medicinal benefits – aiding digestion and elimination; anti-nausea and hangovers; even considered anti-aging … Read This.

The couple also grew red shiso leaves (Japanese medicinal herb beefsteak) on their farm, since the leaves are essential ingredients for making umeboshi plums. Umeboshi plums has the auspicious red color from the natural coloring from the shiso leaves. No artificial chemical red dye here – all natural food coloring and flavoring of shiso leaves are integral part of umeboshi making.  Green plums are often preserved another way – for making plum wine or sweet syrup which are … most definitely anti-aging in my humble opinion:)

Their umeboshi plums are authentic, made according to traditional methods.  Traditional in that they grew their own ume trees organically, hand picked the harvest, plums were sun dried and bathed under Californian sun.  Remaining true to the recipes passed down for generations, they then lovingly preserved the sun dried plums with pure sea salt and preserved with sea salt lined with organic shiso leaves … the result ?  It’s umeboshi packed full of ume power nutrients  –  it’s fermented & naturally medicinal !

Kazuko-san retired from farming and turning 88 this year, she enjoys seeing how the 450 trees are now cared for by the younger generation – she’s passed her baton into the capable hands of Kiyoko Usugi.  Kiyoko has taken over the operations of that orchard and also released new product lines in steps with the current health foods trend – really loved the raw ume chia seeds leather and their ume syrup – soooo refreshing. But of course, the jar of umeboshi is a must.  Know that it cannot be recreated, it’s so precious, I’m having trouble eating them though ! Knowing that there are only very limited quantity of this 10 years preserved treasure –  Mottainai:)

 

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