July 20 – Lydia, Singapore

My first WWOOF farm experience in Hansol Farm (Gyeonggi-Do) is definitely an eye opening opportunity for a city kid like me! Weeding, picking eggs from the chicken farm, sorting and lay dry the potatoes. Together with the wwoofers, we started off feeding the chickens with bags of green vegetable and collecting the eggs. Weeding of the soybean farm comes next, which is the most exhausting session of the day. The beauty of organic farming is such that the waste created is kept at minimal. The weeds that were removed from the soybean field are used to feed the chickens. How awesome!

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▲Our reward for the first half of the day! Dessert drink made from soybean and grains! Good stuff to get rid of the heat. J

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▲ Finger licking good lunch made by our host. J
Too generous!

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▲ Sorting and drying the potatoes after lunch!

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▲There might be language barrier between us, but it’s the objective that keeps us connected! (To get close and experience organic farming~)

I am glad I took my first step out of my comfort zone to experience farm work. There are endless things for me to explore and learn about organic farming!!! This is something that I will strongly recommend! Take your first step out and experience today! (I am writing this in the midst of my 8 days long farm stay in gangwon-do (Amara Valley Farm), because I’m addicted! :p

July 6 – Fang Yu, Taiwan

7:6 Fang Yu

第一次參加WWOOF的活動,第一次做了在台灣從來沒做過的拔草,第一次親手醃了泡菜, 雖然辛苦但是帶給我很多第一次的經驗。

不管是體驗到農人的辛苦或是阿姨的熱情都讓我留下了很深的印象。雖然隊員大部分都是韓國人,但是用我的破韓文還是跟大家度過了愉快的一天。託他們的福,那天真是讓我的聽力跟口說大幅的成長阿!!哈哈~

想要練韓文又想要順便看看不同韓國風情的人也快來參加吧!!!

이번에 처음 우프를 참각했어요.
날씨가 더워서 힘들었지만 시원한 곳에서 다들 같이 이야기해서 금방 친해졌어요.
대만에서 한 번도 해 본 적이 없는 잡초를 뽑는 걸 한국에 와서 했는데 좀 신기하게 느꼈어요. 그리고 직접 김치를  담그는 일도 했어요. 하루종일 한 번도 해 본 적이 없는 일들이 많이 하고 즐겁게 지냈어요. 그리고 내 팀멤버들을 만나서 정말 반가웠어요.
그 날에 내 팀멤버들 덕분에 제 한국어 듣기와 말하기가 정말 많이 늘었죠.ㅋㅋ 다시 참가할 거에요!!

June 30 – Kumi, Japan

홈페이지에서 우프코리아 활동을 알고 이번에 처음으로 참가했습니다.
농사에 대한 지식도 없이 혼자 신청했지만 우프를 하기 전부터 스텝 분께서 준비물부터 교통 수단까지 친절히 알려주셨습니다.

우프 당일, 작은 기획으로서 감자를 캐러 갔습니다. 감자를 캐는 건 처음이었지만 호스트께서 친절히 가르쳐 주셔서 즐겁게 작업할 수 있었습니다.
일본인 외에 한국인은 물론, 서양 분도 계셔서 언어를 자연스럽게 익힐 수 있는 좋은 기회였다고 생각합니다.
점심은 산으로 둘러싸인 아름다운 냇가를 바라보며 먹은 맛있는 콩국수와 디저트로 먹은 과일, 그리고 아주머니의 마음이 담긴 한국식 단팥죽 또한 굉장히 맛있었습니다.
오후에는 남녀 그룹이 나뉘어져서 다른 작업을 했습니다.

마지막으로 유기농 감자와 가지까지 기념품으로 잔뜩 받아서, 너무나 감사했습니다.
오전도 오후도 처음 하는 농사일로 많은 체력을 썼지만, 기분 좋은 땀 흘려 일했습니다.

농업에 관심이 있으신 분은 물론, 한국에서 도시 생활을 하면서 휴식이나 운동을 하고 싶은 분들에게도 추천하고 싶은 프로그램이었습니다.

쿠미, 일본

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ホームページでウーフコリアの活動を知り今回初参加しました。
農業の知識もなく、一人で参加でしたが開催日前からスタッフの方が持ち物から交通手段まで丁寧に教えてくださいました。
当日、今回は小規模の企画でジャガイモ掘りに行きました。初めてのジャガイモ掘りでしたが教えて頂きながら自分のペースで楽しく作業させてもらいました。日本人以外に韓国人はもちろん欧米人もいて、語学を自然と身に付けられる機会にもなりとても良かったです。昼食では、山に囲まれ川を背にしながら美味しいコングクス(豆乳の冷麺)を頂きました。デザートのフルーツやアジュンマ(ホスト農家さんのお母さん)の心遣いで頂いた韓国風冷やししるこは絶品。
午後は男女に別れて別々の作業をしました。農作業ということで体力は使うものの気持ちのいい汗をかきました。最後には有機農じゃがいもと茄子までお土産でたくさん頂き、本当にありがとうございます。農業に関心のある方はもちろん、韓国ソウルの都会生活を過ごす中で、リラックスや運動をしたい方にも是非お勧めしたいプログラムです。

Kumi, Japan

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June 30 – Park Ustina, Korea

안녕하세요, 박 유스티나라고 합니다.
우프를 안지는 꽤 됬었지만 기회가 안되서 못갔었는데, 주말 일일 우프가 있다는 말을 듣고, 잽싸게 짐을 챙겨서 남양주로 향했습니다.
그곳의 우퍼분들은 저 빼고 다 외국인이라서 좀 당황했지만, 다들 굉장히 상냥하신 분들이어서 제 말을 천천히 다 들어주시고 쉬운 언어로 얘기해 주셔서 어찌어찌 말은 할 수 있었습니다 :>

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솔직히 이번이 첫 우프인데다가 농사일은 제대로 해 본적이 없었기 때문에 폐를 끼칠까봐 걱정을 많이 했었는데, 남양주 농장의 호스트께서 하나하나 알기 쉽게 농사일을 가르쳐 주신데다가, 호스트의 어머님께서 때때로 시원한 계곡물이나 팥슬러쉬같은 도심에서는 별로 먹어본 적이 없는 자연의 음료수를 주셔서, 주어진 일을 제대로 처리할 수 있었습니다!

우프에서 제가 한 일은 오전에 감자를 캐고, 오후에는 감자를 크기별, 상품성별로 나누는 일이었습니다. 처음으로 호미를 들고 땅에서 감자를 캐나가는 것은 사실 조금 힘들 일이었지만, 오랫만에 무릎과 손에서 느껴지는 흙의 시원함과 캘때마다 나오는 굵은 감자들을 보면 힘들다는 마음이 깨끗하게 사라지는 기분이 들었습니다.
오후의 감자 고르기는 소비자에게 판매할 커다란 감자를 판매용 박스에 넣는 작업이었는데, 이게 은근히 꽤 재밌었습니다 못쓰는 썩은감자를 별도의 상자에 골인시키는 게 은근히 재밌었고, 무엇보다 호스트분의 어머니, 할머니께서 격려해주시고 맛있는 물도 가져다 주셔서 기쁜마음에 더더욱 열심히 일했던것 같습니다.
그리고 시간 짬을 내서 냇가에서 낚시도 했었습니다. 물고기가 지렁이를 먹는 순간 확 하고 올리는 그 입질이 정말 끝내줬습니다ㅎㅎ 지렁이도 못 먹고 저한테 잡힌 물고기의 눈이 왠지 가련하게 느껴졌었습니다:)…

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이 우프를 하면서 조금 아쉬웠던 점은, 역시 하루가 너무 짧아서 일을 많이 못했다는 것 입니다. 나중에 우프를 갈 때는 좀 더 긴 시간 우프를 해보고 싶네요!

비록 하루만 갔다온 우프 여행이었지만, 우프가 무엇을 하고, 어떤식으로 이루어지고 있는가, 그리고 오랫만에 간 농촌의 풍경이 얼마나 기분 좋은 것인가를 한꺼번에 느낄 수 있었던, 정말 좋은 체험이었던것 같습니다. 또다시 기회가 된다면 다시 한 번 우퍼로서 남양주에 오고싶네요:D

박유스티나, Korea

June 30 – Kota, Japan

Pulling the weeds, digging potato under the hot sun, we saw big warms every 30cm. The field just looks like grass field on the surface, but under the grass were full of small and big potato.

The host farmer, Mr. SangGyun Kim, became a far…mer a couple of years ago. He says he is still beginner, but we enjoyed digging the beautiful weedy field that he grew without weeding. SangGyun’s mother looked very happy to have us who just came out of nowhere. Maybe she doesn’t even know the name of WWOOF, but she understands that WWOOF is an exchange – she cooked icy soy milk noodle called Kong Guksu(콩국수)for lunch, brought us sweet tomato and water melon for desert, and icy sweet red bean juice (!) when we were boiled under the afternoon sun. Yes, we worked hard. All the food was rewarding after hard work. Beside the amazing food by the host’s mother, one thing we were exited was that the water running just beside the farm, was drinkable. It is such a natural thing, but we can hardly find drinkable stream nowadays.

There are many farmers and people who quietly preserve their small environment around the world. Just come join WWOOF, and it gives you the access to such people!

Kota, WWOOF Korea staff

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June 22th-Keir,England

On my last three WWOOF trips in Gyeonggi-Do, I’ve had a genuinely rewarding experience learning the importance of organic farming through getting my hands dirty in the day-to-day running of the farm, listening to the inspirational hosts and meeting many like-minded people from all over the world.
I had heard a lot about WWOOF back in the UK and after several months living in Seoul, I decided it was time to get some fresh air and try farming, Korean-style.
The first farm I worked on was Kim Beong Su’s chicken farm. We collected eggs first and then gave the chickens new soil for the floor of their coops. The chickens were happy to see us but we had to be careful not to excite them too much. At Beong Su’s farm I have also shovelled soil in greenhouses after the harvest (50 degrees plus – it’s like a free jimjilbang!) and weeded a new vegetable field. It is always hard work and we are covered in sweat and grime by the end of the day, but it is a good feeling to get your hands dirty for a good cause.
In May, Kim Beong Su adopted hundreds of fluffy chicks. I spent several hours on guard duty, chasing them and putting them back in their cages – two weeks later though they had already doubled in size and could not escape so easily! Kim Beong Su taught us that chickens bred for fast food restaurants like McDonalds or KFC only live for 4 weeks before being slaughtered and processed. It is important to remember that food needs time to grow and it is good to see Beong Su’s chicks, now 5/6 weeks old, are growing naturally and happily.
The second farm I visited was Kim Sang Kyun’s vegetable farm. Here I learnt how to fertilise rice paddies organically (with live snails – who knew) and also got hands-on with planting rice – it’s a lot harder than it looks! We also worked hard weeding, preparing the fields and planting.

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The WWOOF hosts make sure that the volunteers were always happy as they worked alongside us. Most importantly we are always generously rewarded for our efforts with delicious, healthy food to eat – all organic and home-made of course – and plenty of Makgeolli (Korean rice wine) to drink. I still dream of the fried fish and grilled pork that Kim Sang Kyun’s lovely mother made for us…

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Many thanks to the hardworking WWOOF Korea team and their hosts, I look forward to my next visit!

May 11 – Caitlin, Australia

One day WWOOF and Slow Food

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Fast food is responsible for more than a rise in just obesity but has led to serious environmental destruction, a loss of traditional food and food culture, and an ever decreasing amount of small sustainable farms. From the soil of Italy in 1986, Slow Food has risen to fight back against fast food and the large multinational companies behind it. Slow Food encourages high-quality, small-scale farming and a relaxed lifestyle, where food is not consumed on-the-go but instead, with many friends, well-laid tables and plenty of time. As their website states, We envision a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it and good for the planet.

In South Korea, Beyoungsu Kim is a Slow Foodie and organic farmer in the province of Gyung-gi, not too far from Seoul. Kim has been farming for thirty years before which he travelled the world, visiting communities and studying the best ways of farming and living. He brought back those ideas to South Korea and was one of the first to start organic farming and more importantly to promote and help other surrounding farms become organic too. Now he helps run an cooperative store, where local farmers bring their organic produce, to be packaged and sent to consumers.

Kim is also involved with WWOOF South Korea and together they have created a one-day experience of WWOOF and Slow Food. Open to anybody willing and able, the day introduces the guest to the idea of WWOOFing (work in exchange for food and board) and also the concepts behind Slow Food.

It is a magic combination- good food, good company and a beautiful setting. The shoveling of compost and actual work is barely remembered and just made the rice wine taste even better.

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Source:
http://architectureoftravel.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/one-day-wwoof-and-slow-food/

June 12th – Kota, Japan

This time’s highlight was definitely the participation of volunteer group from US military force. It is such a nice thing that US soldiers help a local organic farmer. It was also good for other participants to have such a chance because we usually see them only through political news on TV.

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This time we work on strawberry farm – not harvesting but pulling out all the strawberry out of the post-harvest field. It took about 2 hours to pull out all the strawberry stems and carry out them although we couldn’t complete it. There were almost 20 people working on the field. Imagine how small scale farmers do this all by themselves.

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After lunch we did some egg picking and moving soil into chicken cages and, had Mackgolli(rice wine) break time. Those who experienced WWOOF in Korea would know this, but on farms in Korea, drinking Makgolli between or after working often happens. We shared good stories and got to know with each other. We listened to each other and the host, Byungsoo Kim. He first moved to this area in early 1980’s, and started farming (mainly chicken) some years later. It was time right after Park JeongHee dictatorship’s government. President Park is not only famous for cruel military dictatorship but also made a basis for Korea’s economic growth. Byungsoo says that that era was the crucial turning point that Korean rural society starting taking apart in the name of “development”. Young people started leaving villages for big cities. When he just moved to the area he was very curious why farmers were all poor though they were working so hard. Then he himself became a farmer to create his own way and to network farmers and consumers in that area. He is now one of the most important key persons in Slow Food movement in Asia. Meeting farmer gives you a chance to hear the history of the area because farmers are always with land and people there.

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It was such interesting and nice day that I could witness US soldiers, who work apart from their land, help an organic famer in Korea!

Kota, Japan

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June 8th-Date Jun

Although I was interested in WWOOF Korea, I had no time to join because I go to langueage school in Seoul. Then I found this weekend program ‘Get your hands dirty,eat local !

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Today I went to Mr. Kim’s farm with international WWOOFers. We planted corn seedings, transported heavy pipes, went into rice field and planted rice….and so on. Especially throwing snails into the rice field was quite fun!

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I was very happy to experience the farming today, but there are two other great things I experienced. One thing is today we met Mr.Kim’s mother. Mr.Kim’s mother made fantastic lunch for us. Of course it was so delicious, but also I was very impressed by mother’’s hospitality, as she prepared such a wonderful meal for those who she first met today.

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Another great thing is meeting with other WWOOFers. Today I made many WWOOFer friends from various countries. It was such a fun to communicate with them in Korean which I’m learning. Through meeting international people who are studying/working hard in Korea, I got to think that I have to strive too. Lastly I want to say thank you for Mr.Kim and his family, and staffs at WWOOF Korea. I would like to join this Event again.

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즐거운 하루 – 다테 준, 일본

오늘 처음 우프 코리아의 이벤트에 참가했습니다.

우프 코리아에 대해서는 예전부터 알고 있었지만, 그 때는 시간이 없어서 참가 할 수 없었습니다. 그런데 마침 쉬는 날이 생겨서 직접 우프 코리아에 가서 스탭 분에게 이야기를 듣고 이번 이벤트에 참가하게 되었습니다.

오늘은 여러 나라의 우퍼들과 김상균씨의 농가를 방문해서 일을 도와드렸습니다. 옥수수의 종자를 심고, 농작업용 파이프를 나르고, 모내기도 하고… 특히 우렁이를 논에 던지는 것이 재미있었습니다.

농사일을 체험할 수 있었던 것도 좋았지만, 이 이벤트에 참가해서 가장 기억에 남았던 것이 두 가지 있었습니다.

하나는 김상균씨의 할머니과 만날 수 있었던 것 입니다. 오늘 점심밥은 할머니께서 맛있는 요리를 많이 해 주셨습니다. 맛도 좋았고 무엇보다 오늘 처음으로 만난 우리들에게 많은 음식을 준비해주신 할머니의 마음이 담긴 대접에 굉장히 감동했습니다.

또 하나는 다른 우퍼들과의 만남입니다. 한국어로 외국분과 의사소통을 한다는 것이 무척 재미있었을 뿐만 아니라 이렇게 한국에서 생활하는 외국인 친구를 보니 자연스럽게 힘이 솟았습니다.

마지막으로 오늘 이러한 체험을 제공해 주신 김상균씨와 가족 분들, 또 우프 코리아의 스텝 분들에게 감사의 말씀을 드리고 싶습니다. 앞으로도 우프 코리아의 활동에 참가하고 싶다고 생각합니다.
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楽しい一日 – ダテジュン

今日ウーフコリアのイベントに初めて参加しました。
以前ウーフコリアについては耳にしたことはあったのですが、そのときは時間がなくて参加できませんでした。でも今語学堂がちょうど休みということもあり時間があったので、直接ウーフコリアに行き、スタッフの方にお話をうかがい、今回のイベントに参加することにしました。
今日は色々な国のウーファーたちとキムサンギュンさんの農家を訪れ、作業のお手伝いをしました。トウモロコシの苗を植えたり、農作業用のパイプを運んだり、田植えをしたり・・・。特にタニシを田んぼへ投げるのが面白かったです。
農業を体験できたのはもちろんよかったのですが、他にこのイベントに参加してよかったなと思うことが2つあります。
1つはキムサンギュンさんのおばあちゃんに会えたことです。今日の昼ごはんはおばあちゃんがおいしい料理をたくさん作ってくれました。味もすごくおいしかったのですが、それに加えおばあちゃんの心をこめたおもてなしにとても感動しました。今日初めてあった私たちにこんなにたくさんの料理を準備してくださったからです。
もう一つは他のウーファーたちとの出会いです。今日は色々な国のウーファーと友達になることができました。韓国語で外国の方とコミュニケーションするのはとても面白かったです。韓国で生活する外国人の友達を見ると自然に力が湧いてきました。
最後に今日このような体験を提供してくださったキムサンギュンさんと家族の方々、またウーフコリアのスタッフの方々に感謝したいと思います。これからもウーフコリアの活動にぜひ参加していきたいと思います。