I am growing Korean.
I just freed myself this summer from having to buy some Korean crops at the Korean supermarket. Though it will be seasonally that I have this opportunity, it is a good feeling. Making trips to Flushing’s or Midtown’s Hanareum (now H-Mart) was a necessary evil, but I would hunker down and go––like I had a choice? Where else am I going to find sesame leaves?
But I made a plan this growing season: I ordered some Korean crop seeds from Kitazawa Seed Co. and started my seeds at home. Kitazawa started his company back in 1917 in San Jose, CA, but was forced into internment during the Second World War. When he got out in 1945, he started up his business and here we are. Check out their online catalog of over 500 seeds.
Once I got the seedlings big enough, I transplanted them in my community garden where they are thriving. Turns out they really like Flatbush Avenue!
So I can clip my leaves whenever I’m ready to grill some meat and make some soup.
What a feeling of satisfaction to grow your own food.
Sure, I’ve been growing veggies and flowers for years on my deck and in the garden, but growing crops that connect you to your Korean identity? That is something else.
Dare I call it national pride?
Yeah, I dare.