Harvesting a giant

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Farmers begin the harvest of giant butterbur stalks that have grown about two meters high in Ashoro, Hokkaido. This variety of butterbur, known as “rawanbuki,” has a stem about 10 centimeters in diameter. The harvest will peak around June 20 and continue until early July. One farmer said as he cut down stalks on his 3-hectare plot that heavy snowfall in January helped produce stable roots, enabling this year’s crop to grow particularly well. Nineteen farms in the town are expected to harvest approximately 330 tons this season, according to the local agricultural cooperative.