Growing Wasabi is not all beer and skittles
Growing wasabi is not like growing lettuces or tomatoes. It is real farming where you get dirty, wet and tired by the end of the day.
Below is an audio I made a while ago that gives the bad news. Below that is a transcript for those who prefer the written word. You can make comments below if you want.
Welcome to the wonderful world of growing Wasabi.
Thank you very much for your interest in growing Wasabi. But before we start, I think I need to tell you a few home truths about growing wasabi.
My name by the way is Michel Van Mellaerts. I have been growing Wasabi now since 1990 and we grow all over the world using all different methods and systems. The one thing you need to know about growing Wasabi is that it is farming.
As in farming, things happen you don't expect like plants dying, equipment breaking down, employees managing to destroy systems and equipment and then not telling you about it.
The other thing you need to know about Wasabi is it is extremely difficult to grow properly. In some ways it grows a bit like a weed but only when you get the environment that surrounds it correct. Otherwise its preferred state of existence is dead.
Our experience over the last twenty odd years is that if you manage to make mistakes then it's very easy to lose your whole crop or at least a major part of it. This of course is not conducive to actually making a decent living. But for those people who are prepared to mollycoddle the plants and check on the plants at least three times a day then in fact you can make a decent living growing Wasabi.
Now overall the cost of setting up a Wasabi farm is not cheap. The reality is there are two different ways that you can grow Wasabi.
One is in the ground which we do not recommend for a number of reasons which we will make apparent if you decide to go ahead with this course. It also produces inferior product that in reality is only really useful for processing.
The second system, which is the one that we use, is to grow it (Wasabi) in running water. Now you automatically think of "fine, we've got a stream or access to a river or running water” which is good because Wasabi can all be grown in those sorts of areas. But you don't get the high quality products that you want unless you are able to control the environment. And is this area that we will be concentrating on through the course.
The other thing to bear in mind is that if you are going to grow the Sawa quality Wasabi then you must be prepared to invest in the region of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000). This will enable you to plant a commercial quantity of Wasabi and in fact start making money on it after 18 to 24 months which is how long it takes for a crop of Wasabi to grow.
Now I would suggest that you seriously think about these qualifications, if you like, before you start getting into the course that we offer later on. But if you are still interested and you are still determined to give it a go, then we are more than happy to try and help you do that because the requirement for high quality Wasabi around the world is growing.
So have a think about it. Read the rest of the information on this page and let us know if you want to proceed. But if you don't that's fine. No hard feelings at all. If you do then great, let’s work together to make it a success.
You have a great day and thanks very much for listening to me waffle on. Bye, bye.