Since the emergence in the 1970s, Teikei has been building a trust-based relationship between producers and consumers in search of an alternative food system. Non-customizable vegetable box has been situated as the main food practice with which Teikei philosophy is expressed; both rewards and risks that farming entails being shared by both growers and eaters. The set of organically grown vegetables produced by Teikei farmers varies in volume and item depending on the season and farming condition, reflecting one of the ten Teikei principles “accepting all the produce”. This aspect is what makes Teikei food practices unique, consumers need to develop an eating habit and skills to make their meals adaptive to what the season offers.
While the consumers’ flexibility in support of organic farmers has been playing the pivotal roles to move the organic agriculture movement forward in Japan, this feature is now considered as one of the negative factors causing the decline of Teikei, given the challenging situation that many of Teikei groups face by losing its members.
This paper is to examine, with the Theory of Practice as a framework, the vegetable box of a well-established Teikei group in Kyoto as a case study to illustrate how Teikei food practice is shaped and sustained over time. The results illuminate the role that non-customizable aspect of the vegetable box plays in binding the elements of practice and thus, resulting in the consumers’ food practice to be sustained. The author, by revisiting Teikei movement, argues the importance of the non-customizable aspect of vegetable box to be re-evaluated in search of more just and sustainable food practices.
Comparison of the growth of organic cherry tomatoes, eggplants, bell peppers, and watermelons with each two cultivar types were done in between the tillage and no-tillage fields. Commercial cultivar and cultivar for nature farming were adopted in the research field. The research was conducted in Center for International Field Agriculture Research & Education, Ibaraki University from April to October 2018. Yields of cherry tomatoes, eggplants, bell peppers, and watermelons showed higher in the tillage plots than in the no-tillage plots. Eggplants and watermelons showed considerable yield differences between the tillage and no-tillage treatments, but cherry tomatoes showed relatively a small difference between the tillage treatments. The yield of eggplants showed higher in the cultivar for nature farming compared with the commercial cultivar. Soil carbon and soil nitrogen were higher in the no-tillage plot at the surface layer compare with the tillage plot. This result suggests that no-tillage with grass mulch was a promising candidate for a sustainable agricultural management method because this system maintains and improves soil carbon. However further improvement of yield responses will be required to maximize the agriculture productivity in organic no-tillage conditions.