Another Great Korean Farm Experience

In MY ARTICLES, My Farming Experiences by James9 Comments

J2This past Sunday I again joined with the Korean WWOOFers and Slow Food program and got my hands dirty. We headed back to Namyangju our usual area for these experiences and went to a new farm called Purun Sanha. The location of this farm was pretty spectacular. It was nestled at the foot of a small mountain, and had a stream of drinkable cool water hugging the edge of the fields. That stream came in handy as the summer heat pounded on us all day.

farm view 2 creek

 

 

 

 

What Did We Do?

When we arrived we learned the farmer had an order for 700 kilos  of potatoes going out that night so having us for the day was a huge help. Our main objective for the day was harvesting potatoes. I was excited for this because it was something new and unlike my last two farming experiences which involved collecting strawberries this seemed to be a more classic farming activity. Digging in the dirt with tools to unearth the harvest is one of the classic quintessential farming experiences – at least in my mind, and I’ve always loved mashed potatoes. First things first we needed some guidance on technique. An older farmer gentleman who’d be working with us the entire day showed us the ropes. This farmer worked with us all day and of course outpaced everyone. He had a smile on his face the entire day and enjoyed talking to everyone – and to himself. I only wish my Korean was good enough to understand him because I’m sure he passed on many nuggets of wisdom throughout the day, along with plenty of humorous comments I’m sure.

farmer demo

breaktime farmer

After the demo we all grabbed a tool and went to work. The important part in harvesting the potatoes is trying your best not to spear or slice the hidden potato with the spade which can be difficult because they’re buried. Starting by pulling up the weeds and potato plants helps unearth some spuds, then you should start working the soil in a V formation which if done correctly will reveal the taters without causing any damage. I did slice into a few potatoes at first, but as the day wore on my technique improved.

group working

Potato field

We worked for about three hours before it was time for lunch. We took our lunch at the far end of the field next to the stream sitting under a Korean style veranda. The lunch was 콩국수 (Kong-Guk-Soo) which is a white noodle with some thinly sliced cucumbers sitting in a iced soy milk broth. It hit the spot quite nicely, especially on such a hot day.

 

kong guk sulunch

 

 

 

 

 

Final Thoughts

After lunch it was back to the fields for more of the same. The afternoon was quite difficult as the sun became more and more intense. But luckily we had a cool stream we could go to for refuge when it became too much. Also the old farmer’s wife brought us an ice cold homemade red bean drink along with water to quench our thirst. We ended up working for another four hours so it was a full day’s work, but despite the tough conditions it was a very rewarding experience. I learned how to harvest potatoes, how to use a new tool, and experienced some of the toughest working conditions a vegetable farmer faces – working in the humid heat of summer. I was tired and sore at the end of the day. I had a few hot spots on my soft office hands. But it was all welcomed. I slept like the dead and woke up the next day feeling energized and refreshed. I’m looking forward to doing it again. When all of our work was completed the old farmer grabbed a few worms from the field and showed us antenna fishing (using an old antenna for a fishing pole). The perfect ending to an all around great day. (Click on any of the pictures to see them in full size) Thanks for reading!

farmer fishing  JamesFarmers

There was a camera man shooting video for a Youtube channel called “Korea Daily News.” He’s recently posted his video so I’m adding it to this post now a week later.

Comments

  1. Addye Thole

    James!!!!! My favorite farm experience review of yours so far!!!! Felt like I was there minus the heat & blisters!! Yea You!! Loved all your details & of course the pictures as well!!!!! Awesome!!

    1. Author
      James

      Thanks! Glad you liked it. You definitely would have enjoyed it – minus the heat and blisters. 😉

  2. Lil J

    I like this review most.
    I can’t wait for ur next farming review
    😀

  3. Addye Thole

    Loved the youtube video addition! Got to see more of you experiencing the harvest experience with others!! Loved that!! Thank you for including this share!!!

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