Jon Walsh never knew he was dreaming of becoming an urban farmer in Tokyo, until one day when he bought some seeds, a pot and some soil and started growing his own food. Now he inspires the next generation of kids to do the same at schools across Tokyo and has built a garden for a major hotel chain as well. Jon shares how he made his surprise passion for growing food into a business in Japan.
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In this episode you’ll hear:
- How the Tohoku and Christchurch earthquakes in 2011 were a catalyst for Jon becoming an urban farmer
- What Jon did to get started in becoming an urban farmer in Tokyo and land his first client
- Jon’s “3 Ps for success in Japan” in life and in business
- Why you can’t simply “import” your reputation to Japan
Jon Walsh is an urban farming consultant/instructor and a leading pioneer and innovator in Japan’s urban farming sector.
So far he has briefed and trained over 2,000 people on how to grow healthy food, taught urban farming to over 1,000 students at 17 international schools, set up 80+ gardens around Tokyo (including at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo).
Jon is the only native English-speaking professional urban farming consultant/instructor in Japan for the last decade.
Jon launched his urban farming business in 2012 as a direct result of the Tohoku and Christchurch earthquakes. He was featured in the Japan Times article telling how the deadly back-to-back earthquakes spurred him to begin urban farming in 2012.
Each growing season over the years (there are 2 seasons per year) Jon was teaching at one international school and he did that for approximately 8 years.
When Covid hit, many businesses suffered, but the pandemic spurred a global surge in interest in urban farming.
In 2021 Jon started teaching at 3 international schools; he doubled that to 6 in 2022, and he already has 2 signed up and at least 2 more likely this year. So business is taking off for Jon.
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