Korean Vegetable Garden

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Paul Park and his family hold ‘Hobark,’ or ‘Korean Winter Squash,’ which can be made into sweet soup and rice cakes.

MOTHER EARTH NEWS’S Garden Essay Contest, titled “Why We Dig Gardening,” prompted many responses — here is one of our favorites!

After a busy day, the first thing that welcomes me home is the fresh smell of my Korean vegetable garden. Full of joy, I pick up my shovel, till the soil, plant new seeds and pick some vegetables for dinner. All my stress melts away. It seems like a miracle — green buds sprouting up from the ground.

As an immigrant from Korea, I plant vegetables and fruits that are rarely found in the United States. It is a good way to introduce Korean foods to my children. The vegetable we are holding in the photo (see Image Gallery) is ‘Hobark,’ or ‘Korean Winter Squash,’ which can be made into sweet soup and rice cakes all winter.

Our backyard garden is my favorite place. Once the seeds are planted, the earth always keeps its promise by presenting fresh green buds. Plowing the Korean vegetable garden has given me not only a peaceful time to think and dream, but also great health. And that is why I shovel and sweat every single day.

Paul Park
Lompoc, California

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