and the reason why you don’t see it in the shops.
The important points that the Japanese grower made were;
1. The water quality and quantity were the most important things about growing wasabi
2. If you had a crop failure then it was 3 years before you had another crop ready for sale.
These are the main reasons why there are not a lot of still active wasabi growing farms around.
Back in the 1990’s there was a wasabi farm built along similar lines on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. A large growing bed was built just off to the side of one of the shingle rivers in the area and part of the river flow was diverted through the farm.
The wasabi farm was planted and the wasabi grown to harvest.
It was when it came to harvest it that the owner decided that he didn’t want to do the work and get cold and wet for what at the time was a relatively unknown vegetable in New Zealand with a very low (almost non-existent) market demand. Sure, he sold a few kilo’s of product to restaurants as a specialty, and that was all. Not sure why but when I spoke to him about buying the crop for our operation he wanted full retail price, and we had to harvest and transport the product ourselves. Since we were not going to make anything out of it we said no.
The farm was effectively abandoned and the wasabi farm eventually just became another part of the original river system.
This brings up another important point that was ignored in this case.
Make sure you have a market that wants the wasabi before you spend the time and money building the wasabi farm.
You can get more information on growing wasabi by becoming a member of the Wasabi Growing Club.
I hope you found this information useful. Leave comments below.