ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on May 4th, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Picture of the Day: Old School Farming In Korea

A farmer drives a bull to till his hillside field in the city of Gangneung on South Korea's east coast on May 3, 2012. Farming machinery has almost entirely replaced animals around South Korea but is hard to use on steep terrain. The high and cool area, located 1,100 meters above sea level, is famous for high-quality kimchi cabbages, or "baechu" in Korean. (Yonhap)

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  • Donald R. Fox
    11:19 am on May 4th, 2012 1

    When I was in Korea (1959-1960) such sights were common. No tracters! All farming was done as pictured. Thank You for “rokdrop”.
    CSM (Retired) Fox

  • Bruce K. Nivens
    12:02 pm on May 4th, 2012 2

    In 1986, while on a recon in the foothills of Palgongsan, we saw an elderly woman pulling a plow while an equally elderly man (we assumed these folks were husband and wife) was steering. No joke. THAT’s old school.

  • guitard
    3:05 pm on May 4th, 2012 3

    Was that happening indoors…or outdoors?

  • Teadrinker
    11:23 pm on May 4th, 2012 4

    ” Farming machinery has almost entirely replaced animals around South Korea but is hard to use on steep terrain.”

    Sure. Some fields are so far up along the flanks of mountains, only a fool would try to get one of those rototillers/tractors up there.

    And to think that the farmer plowing a field in Die Another Day was thought to be disparaging to Korea–by stupid kids who had never set foot outside of Seoul, that is (my guess is that what really got their panties in a bunch is that the farmer was plowing his field with a water buffalo, which in their minds suggested that Korea was somehow like Vietnam (that’s Social Darwinism for you). Yes, hypocrisy is the mother of irony).

  • Teadrinker
    11:29 pm on May 4th, 2012 5

    Besides, anyone who’s done farm-work with a large rototiller (and the ones in Korea are the biggest I’ve ever seen) knows that even on flat ground it’s a struggle so they don’t tip over. If given the choice between using one of those monsters or an ox to plow a field, especially along a steep one, I’d pick the ox. No question about it.

  • Fanwarrior
    5:20 am on May 5th, 2012 6

    A large rototiller is one thing, but there are plenty of small ones for doing one row at once, they shouldn’t be subject to the steep hill, no more than an ox is. My parents use one for their country garden.

  • Teadrinker
    9:56 am on May 5th, 2012 7


    Different strokes for different folks.

    Just because one solution to a problem is common in one country doesn’t mean that it will be and should be common everywhere else.

  • Fanwarrior
    9:35 pm on May 5th, 2012 8

    Not saying it should be, just saying that the statement “they use animals because they can’t use machines here” isn’t really telling the full picture. There certainly are machines that would work just fine there.

  • Teadrinker
    2:10 am on May 6th, 2012 9


    Sure. But, there’s probably more to it than what the caption suggests. That farmer’s probably doing it that way for a variety of other reasons too, maybe even philosophical ones.

  • Glans
    3:27 am on May 6th, 2012 10

    Maybe he’s an oxidentalist.


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