Saturday, September 10, 2011

Space efficient

One thing Korea frequently impresses me with is how efficiently they use SPACE. High population density plus small peninsula = not a lot of space to go around. In 2009 it was estimated that South Korea alone had a population of about 48,747,000. Both North and South Korea together are about the size equivalent of the U.S. State of Minnesota.  For comparison sake, in 2010 the Census Bureau reported MN as having a population of  5,303,925.  Wow, that is a lot of people sharing a limited amount of space, boardered on 3 sides by ocean and one side by hostile neighbors.

This is one thing that really hit home to me when I was in the states this past summer.  I could not believe the amount of space.  It took forever to drive from one place to the next, there were yards and people owned houses (in Korea it is a rare, rare thing that someone would own a house and if they do it is small and they are wealthy), there are parking lots everywhere and things like Super Target that are sprawled out all over the place.  It's crazy the amount of space American's enjoy.  And we don't even realize it.

I stopped and took some pictures of one aspect of efficiency that is everywhere here in the summertime:

Pictured above there is a busy street along the left hand side of the picture, a fence, trees, a walkway, Steve and Caleb and then you'll notice some greenery, a wall and more green.  Taking a closer look:

And closer:

Korean snap peas growing along the wall.

And corn and squash growing up the hill.

That is one reason why you are hard-pressed to find green grass growing anywhere in Korea.  Every teeny tiny available extra space is used to grow food.  You'll see tomato plants, eggplant, squash, corn, peas, grape vines, pepper plants and more growing in the oddest places.  They use the space available.

And, yes, if you were observant that IS black mold growing on the wall in the picture above.  Nice.

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