BaeNachi Korea Trip 2023, Mission Accomplished! It was an excellent introduction of BaeNaChi to the world and a great first step toward our bright future. What's next? 2024 will be our first full year that will be packed with exciting pilot programs. It will be the year to finally test some of the unique program ideas we've been developing over the years. All the program concepts introduced below are designed as sustainable, long-term projects that will continue for years to come. While each can be easily a stand-alone project., we see the interconnectedness among these concepts and will try to connect the dots as much as possible.
2024 will be the year to run a few pilot programs to test some of the key BaeNaChi social agritourism concepts and the connections that grew out of the BaeNaChi Korea Trip 2023. We will be traveling to "Kangwondo" in May. Kangwondo is a province in northeastern South Korea. It is bounded to the east by East Sea and to the north by North Korea. If you can picture the Appalachian Mountains with an ocean view, that’s a pretty accurate image of Kangwondo, our destination for the BaeNachi Korea trip 2024. It will be an exploratory trip and a pilot of our new program: BaeNaChi Kitchen, which is designed as a global volunteer tourism program for chefs, foodies, and anyone passionate about food topics. Please see the concept poster next for various descriptions of this program.
BaeNaChi Kitchen, which is designed as a global volunteer tourism program for chefs, foodies, and anyone passionate about food topics. The BaeNach Kangwondo trip will include lots of food related activities: • Cooking lessons from Korean Grandmas in rural villages • Cross-cultural cooking camp with a local youth group • Foraging and agroforestry activites. This year’s Korea trip also includes a 2-day teaching kitchen & community feeding tour program in Seoul, in collaboration with a nonprofit providing social services and community support to the Korean ethnic minority families in the Seoul area.
A popup cross-cultural village school created by traveling volunteers. The venues for this program will be the BNC Villages that are our community partners, typically small rural towns or inner cities around the world. Edu-voluntourism, social agri-eco-rural tourism, and urban-rural heritage exchange all wrapped in one. Holistic community development and regeneration will be the core mission. The program duration can be as short as one week or as long as one month or longer. Volunteers and host community work together, supporting each other and sharing all available tangible and intangible resources. Each village school program will be unique, offering new possibilities and exciting opportunities for both communities and volunteers.
"Namul" is a collective term in Korean meaning wild edible plants and dishes made with them. “Arirang” is the name of a traditional Korean song, meaning a spiritual journey in search of one’s true self. Kentucky Namul Arirang was born out of our desire to share with the world the 1,000-year tradition of the Korean “Namul” culture (foraging). As one of the key BaeNachi programs, it will focus on creating cultural and spiritual connections between Korea and Kentucky and beyond, promoting local food cultural diversity through nature and wild foods. We would like to show the world the beauty of Kentucky nature and people, especially the Appalachian Mountain heritage through education, tourism, and food enterprise projects.
Kimjang (also spelled Gimjang) is the communal act of Kimchi making and sharing, typically done in November in preparation for winter. This cultural practice, embedded in Korean identity and tradition, symbolizes Korean community spirit. It was recognized by UNESCO (Intangible Cultural Heritage) for its cultural significance in 2013. Our friends from Sunchang, who hosted us in October, will visit Kentucky in November 2024 to lead the first BaeNaChi Kimjang festival. This is a group of acclaimed Kimchi and Gochujang masters, skilled farmers who grow Kimchi ingredients, and possibly traditional Korean music artists. The Kimjang festival project will include a garden project in which selected local farms and community gardens would grow Korean cabbages, radishes, and other Kimchi ingredients for the event.
Farmers markets exist and thrive in many countries around the globe featuring both some common market structures and unique cultural characteristics. We believe that there are amazing opportunities for different farmers markets around the world to learn from and share with one another for many mutual benefits. Farmers Markets in Seoul and other urban areas in South Korea have been rapidly growing, gaining popularity from the public. For the pilot program, we plan to take a group of Kentucky farmers market vendors, organizers, activists, and supporters to get to know some Korean urban farmers markets. The participants will work with Korean urban farmers and farmers market managers on an actual market day, interacting with market visitors, promoting Kentucky agriculture, and sharing Kentucky cultural heritage.
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