May 11 – Kota, Japan

This time Group WWOOF “GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY, EAT LOCAL” got lots of participants in perfect whether under the shiny sun. One of the teams worked on farms in Yangpyeong, by weeding, planting, and eating!

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Work:
Weeding on wheat and potato field. Planting spring onion, cucumber, chyi(취; a fragrant edible wild aster), etc. Wash dish.

Eat:
Very yummy seasonal food that you can hardly find at restaurants in Seoul. Pajeon, green onion pan cake after work!

Play:
We made grass whistle with the host. This is something you must learn on the ground with local people! Farmers know a lot!

A story:
After lunch time we heard interesting history of this area from the host:
This area turned into organic farming area after it was designated as greenbelt and water source protected zone for millions of residents around capital region in 1970’s. However, the lows and the reality have been conflicting for long time especially from the local farmers’ point of view. For example, a low makes it very difficult for some farmers to keep farming (with their family) because to build a new house is prohibited in this area. So, some farmers cannot live nearby farm. It is also banned to start a restaurant. Food business can be a great alternative way for farmers( and their family), but they cannot even open a farm restaurant with their organic productions. It was impressive that the host said the democracy is the majority vote, but who have been supporting the majority who live around metropolitan area? Farmers were always minority and busy and quiet in the society although they do not only produce what we eat but also keep environment circulate and preserve culture.

…WWOOF is a world-wide great opportunity to listen to important minorities.

Kota, Japan

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