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Thread: Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm

  1. #131
    Sansai
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    Some photos from the last pond, for me the big event. Oval pond containing Yonsi. These fish were 22" to 26 1/2".

  2. #132
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    My First Trip To Nisei Koi Farm

    This trip to New Jersey actually began in mid-2004. HenryC was planning to go up for the October harvest and encouraged me to go. I declined. October is my firm's fiscal year-end. It's always a bit hectic. Henry returned with high enthusiasm... and photos of some really nice koi. He had acquired a Sanke that would stay at NKF another season. I knew kichi did such things, but it was just something I read about or somebody I met in passing. It was not "real". That the guy across town who helped so many deal with koi health issues and filtration questions, the guy who came running when I had some mystery deaths about 6 years ago... he had paid a not insubstantial sum for a koi he would not see for another year. This was real. Henry is kichi, but he is also rational.

    In 2005 I wanted to go, but just could not arrange it. DickB was going. I knew he was as knowledgeable of Matsunosuke genetics as anyone I knew. I've always liked Henry's taste in koi. How could I go wrong if they jointly selected for me? So, I set a budget and asked them to select "something special". They made the choice... a nisai Sanke. And, she would stay another year.

    So, in 2006 I had no choice. I had to arrange to make the trip. The best koi I owned was one I had never seen.

    I flew up with Henry on Friday morning. We arrived by 11am. It was overcast and a chill wind was blowing. We found Mat McCann dealing with well pump problems, coordinating with electricians and the like. A koi farm depends on water. Having a well pump not pumping is an emerging disaster. But, Mat was in good humor as always. While Mat focused on the crisis at hand, Henry guided me around the farm. There's a lot of ponds.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-friday-004.jpg   Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-friday-003.jpg  
    Last edited by MikeM; 10-31-2006 at 08:54 AM. Reason: typos corrected

  3. #133
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    And, if you didn't figure it out from the photos, all the ponds are criss-crossed with monofilament and fencing to deter herons, fish hawks and osprey. They do the job, but are not perfect. A couple of heron-speared koi harvested over the weekend showed that.

    As we strolled around, we passed ponds with lowered water levels in preparation for the next day's harvest. It was a good omen to see the pock-marked clay bottom revealed along the shoreline. The bigger the holes created by koi digging into the clay, the bigger the koi.

    In the ponds that would be harvested in the weeks ahead, aeration was constant.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-friday-001.jpg   Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-friday-002.jpg   Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-friday-005.jpg  

  4. #134
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Walking back to the complex of greenhouses, Henry led me to the 80,000 gallon pond where some oyagoi and other fish had been segregated.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-friday-006.jpg   Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-friday-007.jpg   Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-friday-012.jpg   Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-friday-011.jpg  

  5. #135
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    For perspective, the Ochiba Shigure in the photo above is quite a large fish. I'd estimate her at 32+", but obviously I was not measuring.

    And in another house were four ponds. Males will be kept in two ponds at one end and females in two ponds at the other end. But now the ponds hold hundreds of nisai harvested in the weeks before. They will be sorted when time permits. This was sensory overload. I spent a lot of time looking in the one where my nisai Sanke "Tattoo" is residing.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-friday-019.jpg   Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-friday-022.jpg   Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-friday-023.jpg  
    Last edited by MikeM; 10-30-2006 at 11:05 PM. Reason: correction

  6. #136
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    In time we made it to another house where hundreds more had to be sorted to make room for Saturday's harvest.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-friday-025.jpg   Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-friday-028.jpg   Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-friday-026.jpg  

  7. #137
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Since there was time before the sorting began, I went back to the house with the 555 Event nisai to try to find my other nisai Sanke harvested the weekend before. I'd not seen her the first half hour I spent staring at all the koi there. This time I got a glimpse.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-friday-030.jpg  

  8. #138
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Then back to watch the sorting.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-friday-043.jpg   Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-friday-042.jpg   Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-friday-044.jpg  

  9. #139
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    As Mat was sorting, I tried to understand how he was selecting. If I silently guessed where the fish would go ... in the bulk sale group, or the more premium groups, or the tategoi pond..., well, I was really pleased with myself. Of course, pure random chance would probably have been as good!

    Then Mat asked if a Showa was one I liked. He knew I'd like it. It's now mine and will stay another year.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-friday-037.jpg   Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-friday-038.jpg  

  10. #140
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    A koi farm is a dangerous place for folks who love koi.

    As the sun got low in the sky, it was time to check in the motel down the road. We left Mat and Ross to their sorting. We learned the next day that it had taken several more hours to get through the task. The pond that had been so full on Friday afternoon had only a few koi deemed worthy of the space.

    But, that's jumping ahead. Saturday was the harvest day for the Sanke Henry and Dick had selected the year before. Sunday was the harvest of the Sanke Henry got in 2004. Friday was just to take in the feel of being on a koi farm.

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