inserting some nature into the city

taken around gwang-hwa-mun district


planting therapy

there’s something therapeutic about planting something. massaging the rich soil and compost together with our bare hands, planting seeds towards the evening time as the weather cools off in a summer day…saying sweet words of encouragement for this life to grow, patting the soil gently and giving some water. gulp gulp. happy thoughts. and on and on, during the night receiving the star’s light and during the day soaking in the sun rays, and during the rain drinking up the waters,,,i watch them grow little by little. even when i forget about them, they grow, some die inevitably, but they keep growing! happy thoughts! magical!

worth every child to experience..

problem of packaging but at least recycling?

packaging is not a problem in seoul. almost everything is packaged. i realized this when i passed by one ‘Paris Baguette‘ bakery chain store. so many of the breads are pre-packaged. i guess it has to do with hygiene but also for presentation.

in the supermarkets, most of the vegetables are pre-packaged as well. i experienced some difficulties in finding herbs such as basil or cilantro. there does not seem to be a high demand. when i finally found some in the supermarket in Lotte department store, the basil was packaged in plastic boxes. only about 14 small leaves contained.

on the other hand, i’ve never lived in another country that has a better system of recycling than korea. everything needs to be 분리수거’d. plastics, paper, foil, food waste, cans, newspapers, milk cartons you name it.

guerilla seedbombs

utne‘s got some cool articles. including the one i read today about seedbomb gumball machines started by Greenaid. (read more about it)

“Seedbombs are little eco-grenades packed with seeds and compost—lob one of them into a vacant lot, cram it into a crack in the sidewalk, or leave it in a neglected public park, and in a few days watch for a green explosion of regionally-tailored wildflowers and grasses.”


as i was walking to the subway station in my neighborhood, dobong-san, i saw about 7-10 middle aged ajussi’s armed each with a palette knife looking tool all scraping off grass and weeds growing between the cracks of concrete bricks on the ground! you know, this kind of stuff:

😦 i guess they’re trying to keep the roadway clean and aesthetically pleasant, and when i asked my grandma why there aren’t as many people farming around the neighborhood, she replied that the city government doesn’t want people growing food in the city because it makes the city look ‘bad’…

but to whom?

conversation at the salon

if in the right mindset, even a haircut can segway into a very interesting conversation about sustainable living and growing cherry tomatoes in your lanai (hawaiian for veranda).

seoul, the capital of south korea, is filled with high rise apartments.

the skyline of this city consists of many a green moutains and forests of high rise apartments. any hiker would kill to come and live here. i think. as i see many middle aged and older korean ajussis and ahjoomas (korean words for men and women in the middle age-almost retired age range) wearing their well selected hiking gear and uniforms all over the city.  SAN. that’s mountain.

but overpopulation! overcrowdedness! and not enough land of course. i’m here with a mission, i think…to get people to grow more food!

so far, after some lazy research, i located ONE ‘community garden’ in the city. Songpa-gu area, where my mother’s parents live, is home to the city’s first organic garden project titled ‘sol-i tut bat 솔이텃밭‘ (i need to learn how to romanize korean words) in collaboration with seoul green trust. the project launched right before the humid summer hit korea.

i am extremely enthusiastic and excited about this. as well as the fact that my hairdresser grows peppers, cherry tomatoes and lettuce in the small veranda of her small apartment. horray!

let the green guerilla movement in seoul begin…slowly and surely.

guerrilla gardening in tokyo…