Having gone through years of tribulations, the hard-working vendor wants to be there for the young people struggling to afford food.
People who have faced some tough battles in life understand and empathize better with the adversities of others. Many kind-hearted souls are focused on reaching out to people in dire situations and doing the needful to help them. Japanese farmer Tomoko Oshimo, is centered on assisting the needy youth of her city who find it challenging to afford good-quality fresh food, as reported by CBS News. In Tokyo, a city bustling with high-tech fads with a mix of traditional essences, Oshimo's compact fruits and vegetables stand in the marketplace catch the eye of passersby.
The village-style stall bears fresh produce straight from the farm, such as carrots, mandarin oranges, potatoes and so on. Amidst the high cost of living that Tokyo is known for, what stands out with Oshimo's stall is the cost of each product, which is at the low end of the market rate. The generous farmer charges roughly around 100 yen (70 cents) for most of the items, while other vendors sell such fresh produce at a much higher price. The stall displays Oshimo's handwritten objective hanging that says, "Dear young people, I came here from Hiroshima with nothing. Lived on watermelon for a month but couldn't ask mom for help. Thirty years on, I grew plenty of vegetables. Tomo-chan is on your side, so don't worry about the future."
The 53-year-old greengrocer has her hands full with farm work, a nursing center job and the vegetable stall. She told the outlet about the variety of crops she and her family reap based on the season, like arugula, spinach, snap peas, turnips, onions, eggplant, green peppers, cherry tomatoes and zucchini. To serve as many people as she could, Oshimo tops up her harvest with substandard produce from Saitama Central Market with her witty bargaining skills. "I can pick up a case of carrots for 600 yen, which normally costs 2,000," she told the outlet and added, "I got a case of grapefruit, still edible, but not suitable for supermarkets, and can sell three for 100 yen."
Growing up in a farming family, Oshimo always was passionate about crop-raising but had to navigate through a multitude of career paths, like training to be a preschool teacher and a professional cook. She also ventured into real estate, putting her people skills to good use and she saved enough to invest in a vacation house at Boca Raton and a diamond watch. "While wondering what to buy next, I realized there wasn't anything else I wanted," told the selfless helper. Talking about meeting a young and needy customer one fine day who couldn't afford to buy her fresh produce, Oshimo said, "I hate the idea of young people walking around hungry." The big-hearted woman was then determined to lend a helping hand to the youth who are struggling just as she did when she was young.
Her little stall in the Ebisu neighborhood was the victory of her real-estate skills and she had been serving those in dire need for over five years. "I want young people to feel that they're not forgotten, that they are treasured. I can make money anytime. Right now I want to give young people a helping hand," said Oshimo. One note of thanks on her shop's wall said, "I had no income. My elderly parents were in the hospital. I didn't know how to support myself. Walking to the shrine to pray, I came across your stand. You lifted my spirits." Another note read, "Lonely, struggling financially. Working my way through school is hard. You've become like a second mother to me." In Oshimo's heartwarming words, "Even in a field full of weeds, you can grow something if you put in the effort."