14 October 2008

There Was a Farmer Had a Dog

We just got back from the best field trip we have been on. The director (owner) of the school (daycare) owns a farm (house and garden) near Gijang and we went there for the children to get a taste of the country life. They shelled beans (the red soy variety that goes into the red bean sauce), dug potatoes, dug peanuts, picked about a peck of peppers, and generally had a great time. I loved it. After we were finished in the garden they took me into the courtyard of the house where they were in the middle of a variety of industries: drying peppers and beans, salting vegetables for kimchi, and picking the seeds out of huge cucumber-ey looking things (they use the dried membrane around the seed to scrub dishes). I told Jenny teacher to ask if I could stay and the lady who lived there said something that made everyone laugh and Jenny translated it as "you can live here with me," but I think it was maybe something more suggestive. They told me I can go there anytime I want and I think I will. There is a bus (181) that goes right to the gate. About ninety percent of the gardens were given over to the cultivation of three crops: cabbage, peppers, and sweet potatoes. There were also peanuts, onion, eggplant, and a few things I didn't recognize. The mountains closely surrounded the farm but it was on the southern face of the hillside so it was light and warm. The mountains across the valley were cool and dark. In the valley below workers were in the fields haresting cabbage. It is the time of year now when everyone puts up their stock of kimchi for the year. The kimchi made now, properly salted and buried in the ground in huge crocks, will last until next year this time. I am not a fan of the "ripe" kimchi that is everywhere now, as it has been fermenting for almost a year. I like the fresh stuff. Hopefully that will be more common soon. We tried some pickles at the farm that the farm lady had made and they were delicious. Along one side of the garden was a vine covered place to sit, and I think I might go there and sit under it soon. Next time I will take my camera.