Sunday, July 5, 2009

Gardens Everywhere

A striking thing about both Japan and Korea is that almost no patch of ground is left untilled or untouched. Every nook and cranny contains a plant or flower or herb tended by some hand in hopes of enjoying a harvest or bloom.

We saw the same terraced beds in Korea that we see everywhere in Japan, along with small farms and even the occasional guardrail bed of peppers or sweet potatoes. A number of the plots contained little huts with low tables and tools. I imagined they serve as storage as well as a place to retreat from the laserlike sun of the Korean summer.

I'm still surprised at my own sense of surprise at these things. Using land for food (or even flowers, to some degree) is more sensible than using it for inedible and water-hogging grass.

Here's a simple and concise history of agriculture in Korea, a nice little piece on farming and early childhood education, an older but interesting piece on organic farming in Korea, and the next book I'd like to add to my bedside table!

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