This Month’s WWOOFer

2024-04-09 11:52

A life rooted in my ground

We are conducting interviews with a host every month. Who is the Host of the Month?

Here we introduce Mr. Kang from South Gyeongsang province.

Linda Choi from Seoul, Korea


Q: Could you briefly introduce yourself?

A: I was born in the US and had a chance to run a small Kimchi business in Australia and England. As Kimchi was highly favored as healthy fermented food back then, I saw the market potential and had a great experience to challenge myself. In Korea, I mainly worked on business strategy side at IT start-up companies. My curious and audacious personality led me to diverse culture and work experience. Then in my early 30s, I wanted to take a root in my ground and decided to stay in Korea.


Q: How did you find out about WWOOF?  

A: Certainly my enthusiastic personality led me to diverse experience. On the other hand I didn’t know how to look inward as I was so busy spending my energy externally. Two years ago, I got sick physically and got serious influence on my mental health. It gave me a whole new perspective on life and I wanted to live in a place more close to nature. I’ve known Snail farm members in Dan-yang and while staying there I naturally met WWOOFers from all around. I am planning to join more WWOOF activities this year.

Q: What did you mainly do at the host farm?

A: I visited Kkut farm in Hong-seong (CN117) and Hwa-seong Sanan Village (GG120). As Kkut farm is located in Hong-seong, where the history of Korean organic farming has started, it was a great opportunity to get to know the ecological farming and young farmers communities better including Poolmoo community college. My host farmer couple grow flowers and crops with smart farm technology. As they were similar in my age, I could easily relate to their thoughts on practical and ideal way of farming.

 Sanan Village is a community village with a long history of poultry farming on the idea of Yamagishism. During my stay there were events like the 40th anniversary, Nakwonchon youth camp, and special lecture program. Luckily I met many people coming and going. My main task was to take care of young chickens and sort out eggs. But the most impressive experience was to be a part of community. I was quite curious about the story of building their own community in the modern society where materialism and human alienation tend to get stronger. It's complicated to summarize in this interview but I was very grateful to experience their brave and honest trials and errors on the matter of the better community.

Q: Do you have any WWOOF experiences you would like share?

A: I’ve already shared some of my experiences in the previous question. There were things I knew in my head but it took a long time to truly realize what it means. Some say the distance between the head and the heart is the longest 18 inches in the world. While getting my hands in dirt and getting along with genuine people, my mind has been gradually changing. Frankly it might be difficult to write down clearly as it is an ongoing process. I met WWOOF during the time when I was personally dazed and confused. With the many help of hosts and WWOOFers, I am trying to find my own path.

Q: Can you give a message for readers of the WWOOF Korea newsletter?

A: Recently I became a member of the research and editorial department of WWOOF Korea. I’ve met lots of hosts and WWOOFers with similar values but different backgrounds. While sharing my story with them, I’ve learned more valuable lessons. I hope that online and offline WWOOF events  become more active and others benefit from the community as well. Farmers without owning land, travelers with the mission of cultivating the world!


Q: Feel free to say something to WWOOF Korea office.

A: These days I got a good energy from WWOOF directors and members. I hope we move forward together with the mindset of a marathon not a sprint.


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