Harvested rice dries on a highway bridge rail near Kangnung (October 2000).
(Please read this before you copy our photos or text.)

Korea has long since joined the industrialized world (and is on its way to its own post-industrial era). It now has quite a few of the same debates that you find in nearly every other well-off nation. Do we support small farmers? What do we do about big agribusinesses? How much do we want to rely on imported food?

The fact that Korea is tiny makes this all the more complicated. They have 50 million people to feed in a country a bit larger than Indiana. Laws are supposed to keep farmland from being developed into housing and retail, but they don't always work.

What you see above is part of what they do for the little guys. They don't make a fuss when private farmers dry their rice on the guardrails next to the highway, and home gardeners dry peppers on the city sidewalks.

Is this a good thing? Yes and no. I'm not so sure I like the idea of my food sitting in the clouds of exhaust and dust from passing cars and trucks. But maybe this isn't for human food use, and at least they're using solar energy. And remember, it's a crowded country. Where else are they going to put it?

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