Carrots in Korea – Another Farming Experience

In MY ARTICLES, My Farming Experiences by James2 Comments

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Farmer Demonstration

On Saturday I once again joined with WWOOF Korea and the Slow Food program and got my hands dirty. This time I went to a new farm to harvest some carrots. I was happy to get to experience working with a root vegetable again like the prior week when I worked with potatoes for the first time. Our group was the smallest group and our host farmer, Mr. Noh,  would be  participating as a host for the first time (I think). The kicker was including myself there were two Australians and another American none of us speaking Korean, and our host’s English was very limited. But he did a great job showing us what to do and how to do it and was extremely friendly and supportive, so the day went along fine without any hitches.
Farmer Noh drove us to his farm in perhaps one of the tiniest cars I’ve ever been in, so it was a good thing our group was the smallest considering there would not have been room for anyone else. The farm was more isolated than the others I’d been to before but equally beautiful. The crops he was growing included carrots, broccoli, corn, cucumbers, and scallions.
Our first task for the day was to pull the carrots from the ground and sort them into “good” and “bad” piles. The “good” piles included carrots that were not split, and were not too small. Farmer Noh demonstrated how to pull them and what to look for when separating the piles.
Once we started pulling it seemed a lot of the carrots were borderline, and most of them were quite small. I’m not sure what they would be sold for as there were very few that seemed the size that would be in markets. Perhaps they’d be used for some organic carrot ingredients for some other product. After we had pulled and separated the carrots into piles we needed to cut the greens and box the carrots. It was another hot and humid day but the morning worked went by fast.

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Carrot Field Before the Harvest

Carrot Cutting

Carrot Cutting

After the Harvest

After the Harvest

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was around 12:30 by the time we were finished with the carrots. Farmer Noh drove us to his house and prepared a simple but delicious Korean lunch for us. It mainly consisted of fresh vegetables from the garden. His mother greeted us as we were eating and I think she tried to apologize about the lunch saying her back is hurt so she couldn’t prepare it for us. I think that’s why the lunch was more simple than usual, but it was still delicious and after three hours of summer farming it tasted even better than it normally would have.

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Lunch

 

 

After lunch we loaded the boxes of carrots on Farmer Noh’s tractor. It was a nice looking tractor. I don’t know much about tractors, but it looked like a good one. It had a nice roof anyway. Once all the boxes were loaded onto the tractor bucket we headed back to the fields for some weeding. This time we were working in the broccoli field. The broccoli had been harvested, so we pulled out all of the old stocks and then commenced with slow weeding for the rest of the afternoon. We stayed out there for about 3 more hours before the job was done and the sun was too unbearable.

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Farmer Noh on his Tractor

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Weeding in the afternoon sun

Final Thoughts

Although the heat was similar to the potato harvesting day last week my body seemed to handle the heat better. Maybe I’m slowly acclimating? It was another positive experience with the Slow Food program. I learned a new skill – harvesting carrots, and most important I gained more on the farm experience. For me this is what it’s all about. The learning curve in farming is massive. Working a full time Monday through Friday job in the city gives me little time to have actual on the farm experience, that’s why I love this program so much. Aside from the experience I’m after, getting out of the city and breathing fresh air for the day is worth it alone. And of course anther great thing about this program is at the end of the day everyone from all the different farms (usually about 4) gather at one place and have some home cooked food and drinks (usually makkoli). This time we gathered at a farm that also has a restaurant, actually the farm I visisted on my second farming experience. The farmer had ground lotus leaf and made (파전) pajeon a kind of salty Korean pancake from it. It was possibly the best pajeon I’ve ever had, and we washed it down with some local makkoli that was equally delicious. Overall it was another great experience. Thanks for reading!

Comments

  1. Addye Thole

    I always enjoy reading these reviews!! Thank you for taking me out of my everyday routine & taking me to these beautiful rural areas of Korea!! I enjoy hearing about the farming experience. I love the details about the people you meet and what they know. I love that the most!! Thank you!

    1. Author
      James

      Thanks for reading as always! Glad you enjoyed it. Should have another one coming next week. 🙂

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