What a truly magical and special time to be able to experience a Japanese New Year ritual, mochitsuki, at the world renowned Chino Farms. They are everything I've only read about in foodie publications... such an amazing family full of rich culture, true work ethic, and community.
Although the farm stand closes between Christmas till a few days after New Year, the farm work must go on. And during this winter break, Chino Farms prepares for mochitsuki, pounding 50lbs of sweet rice to make mochi in an all day event that took days before to prepare. The community of chefs, loyal customers, family, and farmers was unlike anything I've ever witnessed.
There was also a write-up on KCRW about this exact experience I was so lucky to attend.