Reflections from Elizabeth on Buying Local in Korea

Illustration courtesy of Truth In Still Life

Some of you may remember that my "baby" sister Elizabeth wrote a blog post for us when we were having our "Meet The Farmer" guest blog  series several years ago. She was in Australia and New Zealand at that time.  She is currently in Korea teaching English and recently wrote to me telling of her experience at the local farmer's market.  When I read her words, they brought tears to my eyes because I realized: (a) my baby sister sees with her heart, not just her eyes (b) there is something about being a "small" farmer that evokes sentiments connecting us to other small farmers, even a world away (c) the feelings of connectivity are intensified (for me personally) when I get a glimpse into the life of another farm woman whose life, hopes, dreams as well as livelihood are presented in the product she is selling.

Here is Elizabeth's experience in her own words:

"Since I've been back to Jeju, I've made a point to buy all my produce at the 5 day market. It's so much cheaper, fresher, and I feel good knowing that I'm supporting the local farmers (all the produce in the supermarket comes from the mainland, not the island). I had a moment last Saturday when I was walking through an area of withered old women, schlepping their vegetables. There was one particular old woman, stacking tiny white onions perfectly into a bowl with such precision and care that it broke my heart. It just hit me that so many of these women have put their heart, soul, sweat into their produce. Those onions were that woman's lifeline. It was just so tragically beautiful, and I have a hard time expressing just how I felt or the magnitude of the moment...but I just wanted to share...and wish you could have been there to experience it with me."

Did this short account of Elizabeth's experience in the Korean Farmer's market evoke any feelings for you?  I would love to hear your thoughts. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It causes me to imagine a beautiful painting that I wish I could paint, imagining the scene and the humanity that could be displayed on a canvas, that would be the what your baby sister saw with her own eyes.