I guess the first time I had mango must have been when I was a high school student. I think it was my rarity loving father who brought it home. The sweet fruit harvested far away in a distant country… I imagined how the fruit must have been transported from a very warm climate.
But did you know that mangoes are also cultivated in the Saita town area of Mitoyo city, Kagawa prefecture? The company putting effort into mango cultivation is annfarm.
Mr. Ando, who loves tropical fruits such as the mango, wanted to try out growing them by himself, so he set up a large plastic greenhouse and began cultivating.
He had zero know-how or experience in farming, only the wish to someday grow the most delicious mangoes in Japan, so he first headed to Kyushu where mangoes are produced. He searched for mango seedlings, cultivated the ground, mastered temperature control, and put great effort into fertilizing methods. He also visited Indonesia several times, and finally managed to grow delicious mangoes.
At over 15 degrees, the Otohime mango, the Sanuki grown mango by annfarm, has an unbelievably high sugar content!
The secret of the fruit’s sweetness lies in the soil which, in the mountainous area where annfarm is located, is good quality decomposed granite. From the beginning the soil was suitable for cultivation, but Mr. Ando added brown rice amino acid enzymes and “bokashi” fertilizer fermented with the power of microbes, as well as “Sanuki Mouga”, a fertilizer made by pulverizing Kagawa grown bamboo and fermenting it with lactic-acid bacilli. All this work led to the soil being filled with nutrients.
Filled with the sweet aroma of happiness, inside the greenhouse where the mango trees are drooping with fruit, it feels almost like you’re in a southern island paradise!
In summer, in addition to mangoes, the farm also harvests dragon fruit, passion fruit, star fruit, Java apple, and lychees among others. Off-season, peaches and rare fruit like Indian jujuba are also grown in the garden, one after another.
Luckily, near the garden you’ll find the annfarm café. While during summer it offers desserts and drinks filled with tropical fruit starting with mangoes, from autumn to winter hearty dishes made with local ingredients are available.
This is the mango parfait, sold during summer only. The freshly harvested mango is nicely cool!
If you eat the mango pieces together with whipped cream, you’ll discover a delicious flavor in addition to the delicious flavor of the mango itself.
Extravagantly filled with freshly harvested local ingredients such as nashi pears, grapes and chestnuts, the Mitoyo fruit parfait is offered during the autumn and winter.
A pleasant place to visit even outside mango harvesting season, the café also serves rare warm dishes that fill the stomach.
Characterized by its round shape, this is the Mitoyo eggplant pizza toast baked golden and made with Mitoyo eggplant.
This is the “forest’s blessings, wild game burger” made with wild boar hunted in the local mountains! It’s a gem of a dish created exclusively with Mitoyo ingredients; the boar meat is seasoned with Saita’s miso paste, made into a rural style patty, and sandwiched between Mitoyo rice.
Do come over to the Saita town area in Mitoyo city to enjoy the local flavors of all the seasons. The mango harvesting season changes depending on the year, but the best time is around May.
Mango Farm annfarm
Location: 6476-1 Saitakami, Saita-cho, Mitoyo city, Kagawa prefecture
Open: 9:00-17:30 (May thru October. Closed on Wednesdays)
Open/10:00-17:00 (November through April. Closed on Tuesdays & Wednesdays)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writers:
Text: Tomoko Kawai (Dream Network Activity)
Photographs: Takafumi Yanagizawa (Dream Network Activity)
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