While I was in New Zealand so many kind people expressed their sadness over the situtaion in North Eastern Japan following the earthquake and tsunami. Many people told me that news had all but disappeared even though they know the area is devastated beyond belief. I was really happy to see this article pop up over the weekend about the Tohuku Cotton Project.
Even though the water from the tsunami has subsided the soil is damaged by the high salt content remaining. Apparently cotton is a crop that can withstand quite high amounts of salt whereas rice is not tolerant of it. The plan is to grow cotton in what used to be rice paddies until the correct soil balance returns. I think this is brilliant! Not only are the farmers doing something to hasten the return to their main crop, they will be making an income, creating jobs and improving morale across the area.
Several large companies, including Japan Airlines and Lee Jeans, have pledged their support. The cotton will be available for use as early as next year. I hope some of my favourite fabric manufacturers get in on the project as I would love to sew some very special bags from it.