i’ve heard of ‘weekend farms’ growing in Seoul for quite a few years now. and to be honest i disregarded them as faint attempts of a few who go away on the weekends to be pseudo-farmers. but i blame myself for lack of interest and research, because actually these ‘weekend farms’ are great models of community gardens. I’ve already found two farms for the local community located near our apartment! how did i not know this already? why is there not much exposure?
even with a shop that sells seedlings and seeds!
wow i love it!
these photos are ripped off from 무수골 주말농장 website
something i’ve noticed about many community gardens in many cities is that there is a sense of isolation. isolation not in the sense of being detached or hidden from the rest of the city, but isolation in the sense of creating a protective boundary around the garden. as we would to take care of what we love from harm. it is hard work to keep a community garden together! (it seems, i wouldn’t know because i haven’t worked in one…)
the purpose is not to commercialize or market themselves. if there are enough people who have their plots/raised beds or whatever, then it is more about dedication and consistency. not about getting as many people involved. hence, community gardens are anti-capitalist. humble in fact.
the structures of such community based growing must be very well organized and maintained. one poorly kept plot can ruin it for the rest of the gardeners.
one thing i read in a blog by a Korean working mom reminded me what growing food together is all about. she says working on the weekend farms bring the family together. it increases the time for family members to interact and communicate with each other. context influences the ‘nature’ of interaction-therefore, a family when watching tv in a small apartment as opposed to when planting seedlings outdoors in the fresh air greatly changes the dynamics of how family members think, feel and thus treat one another.
co-operation, mutual interest and joy from taking care of living-growing organisms together. this is also true for raising a pet together, a baby. it’s a group ‘project’, that is not a one-hit, one-time event, but an on-going process of learning and growing together. many things are to be learned; patience, respect, compassion, diligence, acceptance…..
so i hear that it costs about 50,000 won (about $50) / per year to hold a plot of 4pyong (equivalent to 0.00009 acres).
but alas it is chuseok 추석, a big time Korean holiday and it’s pouring outside. happy 추석!