Could it be magic?
Updated: Sep 9, 2019
Today has been a busy day on the Farm. It started with photographing a selection of Koi for the European Auctions, selecting two of the ponds from inside the Koi House ~ this was a priority so that we have the space to bring more fish in from the selections that we are doing outside from the mud-ponds tomorrow. Following the selections, another specific photo-shoot, for specific customers in Germany followed by dinner, (maybe a beer or two) and a bit of an early night.
We have been privileged to have been a part of the Yoshikigoi story for a while now, and, as you all know, have been visiting the Farm regularly for many years. We have observed the breeding process, watched the eggs develop, observed the selections, and the further selections, watched the Koi move from the mud ponds, to the Koi House, back to the mud ponds, then then travelled with them from the Farm to the UK (often in person) and enjoyed seeing them take pride of place in their new homes …. and yet, even after all these years, the magic of actually being here on the Farm, and watching even a small part of that whole process is still completely spellbinding.
From the people who get up early to make sure the fires are burning (literally), to the people who are up to their waists in water netting either thousands of small Koi for selection, or trying to catch the elusive ‘one’ that needs to be photographed for a specific customer ~ always under pressure and to strict timelines. The people who makes sure there is plenty (and we mean PLENTY) of food and drink for guests. To be clear, when we say ‘people’ we are not talking about a huge team…. We are talking about a handful of dedicated individuals who work extremely hard behind the scenes to make sure that when Jos arrives to select, he has the table set up, the koi socks ready, someone to net the ponds, someone available to walk the selected koi to where they need to be… Often not speaking any English, but always greeting every guest with huge smiles and kindness that needs no translation. All essential and critical roles that are possibly unnoticed, maybe understated, but never underappreciated. The unsung heroes of Yoshikigoi Farm.
When we talk about magic… the process of hand-selection is, quite frankly, to the untrained eye, remarkable. Looking at a pond with that many Koi… often nearly all the same colour (as was the case today) our view is… Where the hell do you even start….?
Yet…. Jos, koi-sock by koi-sock stands at the table and with the most remarkable concentration, supported by outstanding hand-eye co-ordination, makes his decisions in milliseconds based on the potential that he sees, in that small fish, in that moment. Table after table, they keep coming, until the pond is empty, the basins on the back of the truck are full, and the selection is complete. Until the next round, of course.
We are not joking when we say that it is like watching magic!
Finally, selection complete, two basins ready to head back out to the mud-ponds. A good days work we think!
In other news, we were joined on the Farm today by Paul of Facebook ‘ Koi Passion' Fame. He is a fab creator of videos, so if you are following us, you should totally follow his page too and see what he has come up with from his time here, both this visit, and from previous visits…! You will not be disappointed.