Really nice article here: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20100922f2.html  about a Sussex-based farm that specialises in Japanese veggies. So glad to see enterprises like this, which probably make it a lot easier for London and South East restaurants to get fresher ingredients.
I'd like to know if any UK bento-ers out there have used these guys' produce, or would consider it (I'm in Newcastle, so it's a bit far; maybe when I go and visit the folks!).
I'd also like to know how common it is in other countries (other than Japan itself, duh :D) for farms to specialise in this kind of asian veg production. I know Maki posted a bit about French natto, and there are probably lots of American forumers who are like 'what's the big deal? LOADS of farms do this over here!' for all I know, so please educate me!
It is quite exciting for me that UK producers are trying things like this, often fighting against the climate and the elements and the fact that in the UK, compared to the US at least, there is probably much less mainstream interest in Japanese cuisine. Obviously I still get me rice from the US or Asia (I think unless global warming takes hold it'll be some time before the UK could manage that!) and I don't want world trade to collapse or anything like that, but it is nice to buy local(ish) whenever you can, I think.