Royal fern cultivation in Oboke

Daiki Magari
(Farmer in Miyoshi City)

Oboke in Miyoshi City is the birthplace of royal fern cultivation. The cultivation of royal ferns started in the Taisho era (1912-1926), and at its peak, dozens of households were cultivating them. Mr. Daiki Magari, a tea farmer in Kamimyo, Yamashiro-town, was busy harvesting royal ferns in April. Royal fern farms are in steep areas; therefore, they carefully pick royal ferns on farms steeper than the tea fields. The royal ferns were covered with fluffy hair. They became thicker. Steep slopes are well-drained and suitable for growing royal ferns.

Once harvested, the ferns were boiled in a cauldron on the same day. The boiled samples appeared bright green. The aroma of spring spread. To soften them, they were rubbed with a machine.

Previously, it was spread on a straw mat and rubbed manually. After drying in the sun for a few days, they shriveled and turned red. Royal ferns are mainly shipped to Kansai and other areas. They are used in restaurants as valuable wild vegetables that symbolize the coming of spring.

Royal ferns cultivated without pesticides can be purchased from Kyokufuen's website. They are delicious when cooked with eggs. After harvesting the royal fern, the time of tea picking is coming.

Please refer to Kyokufuen's tea website.