Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Nokyaweon (녹야원)

Note: This has been stuck in "Draft" purgatory for several months, but I decided to just throw it up as-is.  Find this place and have a meal there, it's incredible!

I've raved about Perilla (들깨) on this blog before.  You can eat the leaves raw or as kimchi; you can eat the seeds raw or roasted, or powder them to add to to soups, sides, and even pancakes; and you can use the oil to dress salads or to cook just about anything. Perilla, by virtue of its myriad uses, seems to me to be on par with coconuts, or even with hemp.

Though, of course, there are some small differences. 

Anyway, such thoughts regarding the resourcefulness of Korean cuisine, the absolute refusal to waste any part of a plant, and thus the earth, rain, and sunlight that brought it to life, surfaced in my mind on a recent visit to Nokyaweon, a truly splendid restaurant located in Chilgok's less-visited east side. In particular, it was this that threw me into a reverie:

That's right, yet another perilla dish, which I hereby dub "pickeld perilla pod."  (들깨 줄기 짱아치).  If you look closely, you may be able to see that each stem has a series of little vase-like protrusions, each shaped just-so, perfectly able to cradle and eventually release the seeds that will eventually become next year's plant, or, in this case, this evening's meal. 

The slightly sour, stingy pickled perilla pod is just one of dozens of beautifully prepared, wholesome, delicious side dishes that come standard with every Nokyaweon course meal.  The dishes all change with the season, but here's a typical first course:

Starting from the center, moving outwards in a clockwise spiral:  black sesame and pumpkin seed porridge, lettuce and cabbage salad, soft tofu salad, jellyfish with julienned vegetables, a pumpkin pancake, and steamed pumpkin and bean sprout side dishes.

Then come some of the heavy hitters: pan-fried tofu; lettuce, onion, and carrot salad with rich, sweet, spicy dressing; assorted bibimbap veggies; radish leaf and perilla powder soup; and hearty whole-grain rice.  

There's more, too, but I didn't want to fill the post up with too many pictures.  Suffice it to say that I wouldn't have been surprised if the table had collapsed under the weight of our meal.

I was introduced to Nokyaweon one fateful day by Mr. Kim Gi-su, manager of Chilgok's 농부장터 (The Farmers' Marketplace).  Owner Kim Myeong-suk, as the decor makes clear, originally intended Nokyaweon as a place to share her family's knowledge about the power of tea, particularly Puer Tea (보이차) when grown, fermented, and processed according to traditional methods, to promote human health. In fact, Mrs. Kim's husband spends one semester a year in China lecturing about tea at universities and traveling deep into the countryside near the Burmese border to collect the finest tea leaves. 

Nonetheless, the snacks and side dishes served along with the tea were so tasty that customers continually requested more, leading Nokyaweon to shift their emphasis. Now, at least in the mind of the hungry customer, the tea takes a backseat to the food.   

And what food!  Like Mr. Kim's store, Nokyaweon is about good food in all senses of the word - good for the palate, good for people, good for the planet.  In their own words:

"At Tea-loving Nokyaweon...
 - In order to preserve the inherent taste of our carefully selected ingredients, 
we don't use artificial additives in any of our dishes. 
 - Through clean, clear tea and healthy food that allow humans and nature to coexist
We are doing our best to create a better food culture.

What Nokyaweon does:
- We produce and sell clean and clear, naturally fermented Puer tea.
- We produce and sell our own (Korean) eco-friendly Puer tea.
- We teach about and serve clean, wholesome traditional Puer tea.  Know your food.
 - We help to make good habits by emphasizing the importance of tea and food for human health.
- We share and spread the taste and beauty of traditional Korean food.
- We share Korean culture through international cultural exchanges and other volunteer opportunities."

For those who found that part a little wordy, here's the menu:

   - Jeongsik (set meal) with rice steamed inside of a lotus leaf: 20k (tea included)
- Brown rice healthy set meal with tea: 15k (pictured above)
- Bibimbap: 10k
- Cold noodles with young radish leaf and fruit:10k

- Duck Bulgogi: 20k
- Red pepper paste bulgogi: 20k
- Roast turkey: 20k
- Steamed mushrooms: 10k

Sound good?  Interested in visiting the restaurant, meeting the family, and learning a thing or two about tea?  Nokyaweon is open for lunch and dinner every day except Sunday.  Reservations aren't necessary.  Nokyaweon is located on the east side of Chilgok, north of Unamji lake and south of Hamji park, in a smallsih alley across the street from the Greenville 4 Danji apartments.  The closest bus stops are Buyeong 7 Danji (939), Greenville 4 Danji (939, Chilgok 1-1), and Unam Elemetary School (Chilgok 1-1, Rapid Bus 2).  Even so, it's a bit hard to find, so have a look at the Green Guide map before setting out.

Mrs. Kim and Family

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Heat Therapy at Biche!

Does anyone remember Biche, the super eco-center south of Manchon that houses an organic market, an organic restaurant, the eco-feminist network, as well as a space they kindly allowed us to use to show the documentary Forks Over Knives?  Well, there's more: the fourth floor is home to the Body and Culture / Fasting and Filling healing center.  After a zip-lining incident at Herb Hills a few weeks ago that damaged my hip, ribs, kidney, and pretty much the rest of the left side of my body as well, I found myself in need of some medical attention and decided to pay a visit to Doctor Jeong, who practices a particular type of oriental medicine - first developed in Okinawa, actually - called "주열" (Ju-yeol) heat therapy.  

When I first got there, they had me change into patient clothes and lie down on a massage table. 

Over in the corner, Dr. Jeong switched on a few mysterious-looking devices:

They turned out to be something like irons.  Or at least that's the analogy that came to mind as he ran them over my aching muscles, alternately warming and massaging them, helping to restore proper blood circulation and allow them to recover from the shock my mid-air collision had given them. 

After about thirty minutes of work, he moved me over to the next device:

I lay down on the stone table, then the doctor rolled the bamboo sheath up over me, and dropped the towel down over my neck, so that only my head was outside of the chamber.

He moved over to the control panel and, once again, switched on the heat.

I was then left alone for another half-hour to meditate, sleep, and sweat it out in my own personal capsule sauna.  Despite the heat inside, my head outside stayed nice and cool and I was able to allow my body to heat up without growing nauseous. The heat eases the tension in stressed and pulled muscles, and helps your body to break down clots and other impurities in the bloodstream, restoring circulation and allowing the body to go about the business of healing itself. 

According to Dr. Jeong, because Ju-yeol therapy accelerates the body's natural healing mechanisms, it can be helpful in curing various diseases, from muscle strain to eczema to digestive issues to the common cold and even some types of cancer. I for one walked out of the office feeling much better - the pain that had caused me to wince every time I lay down our mounted my bicycle had mostly subsided, as had the fear that I had somehow done permanent damage to my kidney and other vital organs.

To make an appointment, you can call the office at 053 -752-0991 or Dr. Jeong directly at 010-6591-7706. A bit of Korean will be useful, but the doctor speaks basic English. Ju-yeol therapy costs 50,000 won per visit, or 40,000 if you register as a member of the center.  Membership costs 10,000 won per month. 

Also, the restaurant has put out a new and updated menu!  You can check it out here.  (Sorry, Korean only.  The new manager, Mr. Hwang, speaks quite good English though!)

Biche is located behind the Hwangeum-dong Taewan Honors Apartments about 1.5km south of the Suseong-gu Office subway station and 2km southwest of Mancheon subway station.  The closest bus stop is Dongdo Middle School (동도중학교), which is served by the 349, 414, 427, 449, 순환3, and 수성1 buses. Check out the Green Guide map for more details.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

SO Delicious!

One time, several years ago, a friend of mine somehow scrounged up a tub of non-dairy ice cream from a chest at a convenience store. Ever since, I've occasionally found myself stopping at random GS25s and Family Marts and digging, hoping against hope that I might run into a little treasure.  Alas, no such luck...until now.  Look what just popped up a short walk away from Beomeo Station:

SO Delicious, consistent source of organic, vegan ice cream and numerous other treats!  They opened sometime in April and serve a decent variety of foods for a place so small. 

The ice cream is all vegan-friendly.  Most varieties are made from soy, though there are some coconut-based flavors in the mix, too.  The current line-up, from left to right, top to bottom: mango-passion fruit, chocolate almond brownie, vanilla, blueberry chiux cream, raspberry, cookies and cream, strawberry, and green tea.  Sizes range from tiny, which gets you two scoops of one flavor for 2,900 won, to "Mountain Cup", which gets you something like a pint and a half of your choice of flavors for 16,800.  

 The ice cream is all USDA organic ceritified... 

...as are most of the the bakery items!  Cookies, cakes, rolls, loaves, and more.  

Not everything is vegan-friendly, but the stuff that is is clearly labeled:

(No butter, eggs, or dairy)

 There's also a cold case with sandwiches, cakes, etc. 


And also, the cutest little thimble-size servings of jam you've ever seen...

Now that summer is upon us, swing by!  So Delicious is open until 10PM seven days a week.  Apparently, that days remaining bakery treats also drop down to clearance prices after 9PM.  Finally, as if that weren't enough, the owner, Mrs. Nam, is also very friendly and speaks excellent English. 

To get there, come out of Beomeo Station, exit two.  Walk straight until the second big intersection, and turn left just before the SK Gas Station and Porin Shabu Shabu restaurant.  Walk down just a few minutes, passing a fire station on your right.  When you get to the main entrance of Lotte Castle Apartments, look across the street to your left.  There she'll be!  Visit the Green Guide to see it all mapped out. 

Head over to the Photo Page to see the entire menu, which also includes coffee, tea, and some other good stuff.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Eco-Film Night: Up the Yangtze

Short notice, I know, but we've got another one coming up tomorrow!

In China, it is simply known as “The River.” But the Yangtze—and all of the life that surrounds it— underwent a truly astonishing transformation wrought by the largest hydroelectric project in history, the Three Gorges Dam. Started in 1994, the dam is only now nearing completion.

Up the Yangtze, released in 2007, traces the surreal life of a “farewell cruise” that traverses the gargantuan waterway filled with tourists who have come to see "old China" before it disappears, and locals who are lured by the jobs and tips that such visitors bring.

Director Yung Chang’s approach beautifully captures the microcosmic society of the luxury liner. Below deck: A bewildered young girl trains as a dishwasher—sent to work by her peasant family, who is on the verge of relocation from the encroaching floodwaters. Above deck: A variety of wealthy international tourists set sail to catch a last glance of a country in dramatic flux.

Although based on a project that is nearly complete, and thus cannot be stopped or reversed, Up the Yangze captures a moment in time and gives a human dimension to the wrenching changes facing not only an increasingly globalized China, but the world at large. It is a memory of lives swallowed up for the sake of "progress", and a warning of a future in which we may one day have nothing left to lose.

Three Gorges Dam Info:
International Rivers Organization

New York Times

What:  Up the Yangtze
Where:  Downtown Daegu, Buy the Book Cafe'
When:  Saturday, May 26th, 8PM

Who:  One and all
How Much:  Free!  But please consider buying a drink, snack, meal, or dessert from Buy the Book to thank them for sharing their space with us. 

Korean Subtitles?:  Yup, we made them!  Bring your friends!



국에서 그냥 ""이라고 불린다하지만 양쯔강은 - 그리고 강을 둘려싸인 모든 생명은   - 역사상 제일 수력 발전 공사인 샨샤 때문에 매우 놀랍게 변경이 되었다공사는 1994년에 시작되었으며 이제야 완공에 가까워진다

Up the Yangtze (양쯔강을 따라서)영화는 커다란 수로를 가로지르는 아주 이상한 "송별 크루즈" 따라다닌다 크루즈의 승객들은 그것이 사라지기 "원래 중국" 보고 싶어하는 여행객들, 그리고 여행객들에 따른 일과 팁에 끌린 지역 중국인들도 있다.

융창 감동의 접근법은 럭셔리 배의 사회의 축소판을 아름답게 담는다아래 층에서: 당황한 어린 여자 아이 명이 설거지 담당자가  되는 훈련을 받는다그녀의 소작농 부모는 홍수로 인한 다가오는 때문에 이전될 예정이라서 그녀를 배에 보냈다위층에서: 여러가지의 부유한 국제관광객들은 매우 빨리 변경 되는 나라를 마지막으로 관람하기를 위해서 배를 탔다.

완공이 되어 가서,  멈추거나 뒤돌릴 없다그래도 "양쯔강을 따라서" 순간 담으며 속세화 중국뿐만아니라 다른 세상이 직면해야 되는 고통스로운 문제들을 인간다운 관점에서 바라본다.  "진행"  위해서 먹힌 인생들의 기억이다그리고 이상 잃어 버릴 것이 없는 미래에 대한 경고다

무엇: 에코필름 - 양쯔강을 따라서
언제:  5월 26일 토요일 오후 8시
어디서: 대구 시내 Buy the Book Cafe'
누구: 누구든지
얼마: 무료입장.  그렇지만 원하시는 분 케페를 지원을 하기를 위해 과자나 음료, 또는 식사를 그매하면 감사하지요!
한글자막?:  네, 직접 만들어 드렸습니다. 꼭 오세요!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Daegu Bike Festival, May Edition!

2012's third Bike Festival is just around the corner.  On Saturdya, May 26th, come join Ecobike, the Council for Local Agenda 21, and hundreds of other Daegu bike acifionados of all varieties for a little jaunt around Buk-gu and Chimsan. 

Event schedule:
3:30-4:00 Registration and distribution of raffle tickets
4:00-4:30 Opening ceremony
4:30-5:30 Ride (Just under 8km)
5:30-6:00 Closing ceremony and raffle

Cyclists of all ages, nationalities, and level of interest and dedication are welcome to participate.   The event is free, but if you want a raffle ticket, head over to the official event page at http://www.ecobike.org/bbs/board.php?bo_table=eco_schedule, click the orange 신청 (apply) button, and fill in your name, website nickname, phone number, and email address.  Prizes generally include gift certificates, electronics, bike gear, and even bicycles!  DBF events are great chances to learn the roads, see new scenery, develop cycle confidence, meet other cyclists, encounter odd bikes, stick it to the man, and/or wear spandex in public.  There's something for everyone!

We'll be starting from the North District Office.  To get there, head north from Jungangno subway station towards Daegu Station.  Go under the cobblestone underpass next to Daegu Station, then continue straight until HomePlus. Turn left at the 3-way intersection on the far side of HomePlus, then go straight for about 1km.  Buk-gu Cheong (the north district office) will be on your right, not too far after Emart.  If you find yourself at 원대 Quintuple Intersection, double back! 

You can also plug the following into googlemaps.
대구광역시 북구청
447-16 Chimsan 3(sam)-dong, Buk-gu, Daegu, South Korea

Oh, and if you need a bike, you can borrow one from Myeongdeok station (along with several others aroun town) for free.  All you need is your passport, or maybe foreigner ID card.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Eco-Film Night: Freedom Ahead

As an unfortunate consequence of having quit my job, I'm being forced to leave the country!  Luckily, as a fortunate consequence of being forced to leave the country, I'm embarking on a 2-month-ish tour of Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Korea, and Japan (no typos, ask in person for details.)  This means that this film will be my last, at least until sometime in May. 

Please join me on Sunday, March 25th for this very special documentary, filmed in part at Sadhana Forest, a volunteer reforestation and water conservation project where I spent four months back in late 2009-early 2010 learning about community, permaculture, and the good life, and without which there would likely be no Daegu Green Living!  Swing by Buy the Book and enjoy drinks, snacks, or dinner at your leisure.  We'll start watching the movie around 6:30. 

From the official website, http://freedomahead.ahooha.com/

Never before in known history have so many people relied on so few for the basic essentials of life. In our present-day democracies, freedom is slowly being commodified. We have been giving our democratic governments more and more freedom while they have been busy restricting ours. In the name of democracy and global progress laws are drafted that will outlaw simple activities that empower man, like growing our own food. By taking our freedom for granted we could be on the verge of losing it. Are we still free when we can't grow our own food anymore or when peoples livelihood depends heavily on how we interact with the money-hungry machine democracy has become? We need to be governed less and become less dependent on a system that is simply not sustainable. An empty system that will offer no reward, when we feel it is time to start enjoying life. It is not democracy that will offer true freedom, it is reclaiming the spaces that were taken away by democracy.

Set against the backdrop of the most celebrated democracy in the world -India- we learn how governments are pushing the democratic dream, while stealing and selling peoples land to foreign corporations on consumerists behalf. In the documentary film Freedom Ahead we visit the people who are the conscience in a world which is losing its moral principles. These people regain control over their lives by being independent and living self sufficiently. By doing so they obtain the highest valued asset of all times: real freedom. This collection of committed individuals does not constitute a movement. It is dispersed and fiercely independent. It is taking shape in universities, elementary schools, farms, communities and many other places. It is experimentally emerging as a global humanitarian movement rising from the bottom up. Freedom Ahead colorfully captures this almost instinctive response, the largest social movement in all of human history through lucid footage, inspirational stories and an evocative soundscape.

What   Eco-film night: Freedom Ahead
When  Sunday, March 25th, 6:30PM
Where Buy the Book, Downtown Daegu, 
(Rodeo Street, Mr. Pizza Building, 4th Floor)
Who  Anyone and everyone
How Much  Free!
Korean Subtitles?  Yes!


불행히도 제가 일을 그만두게 되어 저는 한국을 떠나야 합니다. 하지만 제가 떠나야 된다는 것의 행복한 결과로 저는 약 2달 동안 대만과 일본으로 여행을 갈 거예요! 그래서 이번 달의 2째 에코필름은 당분간 저의 마지막 에코필름이 될 것입니다.

3 월 25일 일요일에 저에겐 아주 소중한 이 에코필름을 보러 나오시길 바랍니다. 이 필름은 제가 2009-2010년 겨울에 약 4개월 동안 살았던 물절약과 살림 공동체인 사다나포레스트, 그리고 그와 비슷한 지속가능 공동체들에서 촬영했습니다. 이런 공동체에 방문할 기회가 없었더라면 저는 아마도 대구녹색살이를 설립할 생각도 안 했을 거예요!

무엇 에코필름: Freedom Ahead (자유로의 길)
언제  3월25일 일요일 오후 6:30
어디 Buy the Book, 대구 시내
(로데오 거리,미스터피자 빌딩, 4층)
누구  아무나, 모두 다
얼마  무료입장
한글 자막?  팀과 함께 정성껏 만들어 드렸습니다!