Grass that Produces Delectable Green Tea
Traditional Tea-grass Integrated System
The Shizuoka Prefecture accounts for 40 % of Japan’s tea production. Within the Midwest area of the prefecture, a unique farming practice is implemented. The tea fields are surrounded by grasslands comprising of Japanese silver grass and bamboo, and once a year between the fall and winter this grassland is mown, after which the grass is dried out, finely chopped, and laid out between the ridges of the tea fields. This not only prevents the drying of soil and the outflow of fertilizer, but also makes it possible to produce high quality leaf mold. Furthermore, biological diversity is preserved in this "semi-natural" grassland, resulting in this farming method being designated as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems(GIAHS).