images of the crossing over

Harvest, summer 2010

“Chinese cabbages”–although we call them plain cabbages, and those huge, round things they eat in Europe and the States “Western cabbages.” A late summer harvest from our fields, 2010.

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4 responses

  1. Roy

    Does the harvest from the fields fully support the Seminary / Temple or must other food be purchased during the year to augment what comes in from the efforts of the Sunims?

    February 11, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    • Not entirely. We’re usually self-sufficient for cabbages, “great radishes,” Asian eggplant, cucumbers (if the drought doesn’t get them), seasame leaves, potatoes, small white radishes, and hot peppers through the end of the summer. We’re partially sufficient for lettuces and other greens, such as one called a-uk, Asian zucchini, and a tuber called yak-con through the late fall. But we usually have to start purchasing staples like potatoes, great radishes, and lettuces past a certain point in the summer or winter (for things that can be put aside in a cellar)–the natural growing season, basically, when farmers who use greenhouse-growing continue to produce, while we have to turn the fields over to other season-appropriate crops or begin to let the fields lie fallow. For kimchi, we usually get 4,000-5,000 head out of the fields and supplement by purchasing another 2,000-3,000 for pickling. Sometimes we have to supplement the radishes as well, although not in nearly the amounts as the cabbages.

      Of course, there are things we can’t/don’t grow. Carrots never seem to work out well. Beans, too–we did try peanuts, technically a legume, of course, and it was so-so. Sweet potatoes are an inconsistent crop, where some years we’re able to harvest a fair number and other years not. Mostly we use our sweet potato crop for the vines, which are edible. Tomatoes, too, have been on the whole a failure. Plus, because we use very little pesticides–compared to the average farmer, almost none–the bugs get a lot of the green stuff. The joke in my class when we were the ones responsible for the fields and spent days upon days among the Western cabbages and broccoli picking cabbage worms out of the leaves, was: “Organic farming means the bugs get 90%, we get what’s left.”

      February 12, 2011 at 12:35 am

  2. Oh, I know where those cabbages are going!

    February 11, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    • I’ll have to “borrow” some of our kimjang–kimchi-making–pictures from someone to show as evidence. You’ve rarely seen such a sight, unless you were ever at a major temple like Haein-sa, Tongdo-sa, etc. for kimjang. It’s a spectacle not to be missed.

      February 12, 2011 at 12:36 am

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