Monday, November 1, 2010

Farming in Korea

I didn't think that when I came to Korea I would be getting some farming lessons, but there we were, farming sweet potatoes with one of Danny's coteachers. Danny's teacher who they call "White" took us two weeks ago to his house to gather the crop. I have never farmed sweet potatoes so I didn't really know what I was doing, and I found out some interesting things: Did you know potatoes grow in the ground?! Who knew? (Well probably a lot of people, and I kinda knew but I had never participated in digging them OUT of the ground.) Koreans are ALL about health so just about everyone has some sort of garden or farm, and it's cool because most everything in Korea could be called "organic".

Mr. Lee, Danny's coteacher, gave us a shovel and told us to find some sweet potatoes (gogoomma). I like farming because it's almost like you are going on a treasure hunt, but instead of candy, you are finding delicious potatoes. (No there is nothing wrong with candy but if I had the choice between a lollipop and a potatoe, call me weird, but I would choose the potatoe!)

We got a TON of sweet potatoes, and Mr. Lee even gave us some eggplant and pumpkin. My coteacher supplied us with a ton of vegetables from her garden this summer, which was awesome, but it was still fun getting our hands dirty and finding those potatoes.

Being in Korea has been interesting for many ways, but one reason is that I have gotten to see food in a different way. Everywhere you go you see peppers or cabbage or rice or apples being grown and it makes you feel more connected in a way to the process. Being that I am an official "foodie" I think it has taken my love of food in a new direction. Right now it is rice and APPLE season. Yes, Danny, apples are EVERYWHERE! ; ) I think of all the farms, apple farms are my favorite. You see the trees decorated with the perfect, delicious fruit and if you are in the right place according to the breeze that day, you get to smell what I would consider one of the best smells on Earth. Take in a deep breath of heaven...ahhhhhh.
Another unique site is rice being harvested, which I had never witnessed before. The interesting thing about rice is that you need to let it dry out in the sun and what better place to do it than in the middle of the road!? Apparently this practice is illegal, but this fall I constantly had to take new paths due to all the rice drying on the road. I bet the Korean farmers are saying, "Asphalt is the best place because it is flat and warm, so BACK OFF! ...And don't ride your bike through my rice anymore!" Just kidding, I have never been mean enough to ride my bike on their rice, but I have considered it : ) So watch out if you are ever driving in Korea in the fall because around any corner could be a nice spread of rice... and apparently it is not free to anyone who drives by.

This picture has nothing to do with farming, but Mr. Lee took us to see this house on our way back from the farm. While historical sites are the same worldwide (boring) this one made me think that living in this old house wouldn't be that bad. Again, I say: Korea is beautiful!

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