In rural Japan, there’s a plethora of vegetable patches. In the countryside they seem to grow everywhere and even in the cities you’ll find them flourishing in small yards and alongside streets. Older folks in particular enjoy the exercise and comradery that comes from tending gardens, and their plots are nurtured with care. It’s hard to find an overgrown tomato bush or wily zucchini. Around August-time, the country seems overflowing with succulent jewels hanging from the vine. This school lunch highlights many of the delights that only late summer can bring: eggplant, okra, green beans, sweet potatoes and melons. It’s the Vegetable Patch of Eden.