Agricultural Products 2
Cut tulips are one of Koshigaya City’s major horticultural products, and to meet
customer demand, tulip bulbs are ordered from Toyama and Niigata Prefectures,
and from as far away as Holland. After being stored at low temperature in the city’s
storehouse, tulip bulbs are raised in greenhouses throughout the city.
The growing season is from the start of December until early April, and various
measures are continually being taken to improve the quality of the tulips produced
and to reduce the costs involved in their production. The tulips produced are shipped
to Tokyo and other towns and cities in the Kanto Area (the Tokyo Metropolitan Area
and Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Gunma and Tochigi Prefectures), with the largest
shipments being made at Christmas and New Years, and during the graduation season.
A variety of other flowers are also produced in Koshigaya City. These include
freesias and lilies, which are raised from bulbs to be sold as cut flowers, as well as
orchids and roses.
To increase public awareness about horticulture in Koshigaya City, flower growers
from throughout the city hold the Hana Fiesuta, a festival of flowers, in the concourse
of Shin-Koshigaya Station every January. Again, flower exhibitions are held in the 1st
floor lobby of the Koshigaya City Office in March and June. The exhibition in March
features tuips, and the exhibition in June features orchids, lilies and other flowers.
It is thought that the cultivation of Tarobee-Mochi began early in the Edo Period
(1603 - 1867) with Tarobee Aida’s selective cultivation of glutinous rice. Aida, who
held the hereditary position of headsman of the Shichono Village (Shichono-Mura),
selectively cultivated varieties of glutinous rice that matured early and were tall in
height in an attempt to avoid crop damage caused by typhoons. Aida succeeded in
creating a variety of glutinous rice suited to cultivation in low-lying, damp areas in
1596, and this variety came to be known as Tarobee-Mochi.
Tarobee-Mochi, which is known for its unique taste, chewiness and stickiness, was
extremely popular from start of the Meiji Period (1868 - 1912) until early in the Showa
Period (1926 - 1989), and received the honors of being offered to the imperial family
and receiving the patronage of the Imperial Household Agency. Again, it is said that
in the early part of the Showa Period, there was much competition amongst confectioners
from Tokyo who sought to buy Tarobee-Mochi from Dewa Village (Dewa-Mura).
However, during the Second World War, the promulgation of laws relating to the control
of food quality saw the price of Tarobee-Mochi reduced to that of other types of rice.
This combined with Tarobee-Mochi's small yield and tendency to topple in high winds,
saw a decrease in the number of farmers cultivating it.
At present there are very few farmers cultivating Tarobee-Mochi, so to preserve this
variety of glutinous rice, since 1993,Koshigaya City's administration has offered contracts
to farmers for its cultivation and is running programs to promote its cultivation.