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Posted by on Nov 17, 2009 in Commentary | 0 comments

Bae Yong Joon-ssi, do you really want to be a farmer?

During his press conference on September 22, 2009, launching the debut of his book Search for the Beauty of Korea, Hallyu star Bae Yong Joon told the media, “For me, farming. I want to be a farmer. You know how to do farming, don’t you? I want to step on ground. I want to touch soil. Planting something and making it to bear fruits seems like a tremendously happy thing.

“If I would like to add one more in my occupation column, I like to add the ‘farmer’. I wonder if the topic of today’s article would be ‘Becoming a farmer’, It is not, is it? (laugh) I will never become a singer. When I become a farmer later on, I will sing for you.”

He reiterated this desire in his conversation with South Korea’s First Lady Kim Yoon Ok on November 10, 2009 when he told the First Lady that he wanted to be an organic farmer. Since he has said this on two different occasions, I presume this is not a off-handed comment but an idea he is truly pondering.

Watch this video out first to see if the urban farmer life is a good fit for a native of Mapo-gu, Seoul. Seoul is a lot more urbanized than Oakland, Calif. Even if you can’t retire to some remote field tucked away in the hills and mountains of Gangwon-do, anyone feeling trapped in a big city can test out their green thumb.

This video has practical tips such as having the soil tested for lead (a tip the White House didn’t heed before planting their so-called organic garden) building raised beds for the plants, how to protect your food from predators, and how to share the fruits of your labor with grateful friends and less fortunate neighbors.

Novella Carpenter started small, with some plants in an empty lot next to her house in Oakland. A couple of years later, she was tending to a full-blown farm, with goats, turkeys, ducks, pigs, and a robust garden. This video tackles questions of neighborliness (which is more offensive: police sirens or roosters crowing?), environmental poisons (raised beds are key), and the all-important slaughter question. The answer: Yes, she does (and yes, there is some bloody footage).

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