Saturday, November 26, 2011

Harvesting City Trees in Korea

Recently, many of the trees that produce things have been doing just that. Producing things. It's generally pretty great except for the ginko trees which produce a small orange nut surrounded by an orange pulp that smells like a combination of vomit and feta cheese.

It's pretty disgusting. And unfortunately they are everywhere. My school has a row of them on the way into the school and almost every street has, at least, a couple.

But I digress. They produce a foul smelling but edible nut. Jamie and I have both eaten them-they get served in rice, in soup and just recently we got a Ginko Nut Bread. Without the gross pulp, the actual nut is quite tasty. It tastes like soft mellow chestnut. Which is why I have a post about harvesting city trees in Korea. The ginko nut is tasty and people harvest the city trees.
Just recently I was walking along a ginko nut strewn street trying my best to avoid stepping on the nuts. Behind me comes a brazen middle school boy with complete disregard for the thousands of nuts on the ground. He tromps through and steps on quite a few of them. Both myself and the little old lady near me give him looks of horror. I know that his shoes are going to smell all day and his mother will probably kill him. The lady next to me has been harvesting the nuts from the sidewalk and she's angry that he has stepped on her supply.

If you look closely, by the tree in the middle, you can see the lady collecting Ginko Nuts. This is also a great picture to illustrate how the nuts cover the sidewalks.

In the past, I've only noticed people harvesting the Ginko Nuts but this year my powers of observation have gone up because I've noticed people at all the trees in our area. A little old lady in our apartment complex brought a massive stick to beat some nut down from the tree in our apartment playground.

I saw a man climbing into that same tree a few days later and recently I saw a man stop his car in the middle of an intersection-grab a net out of the car trunk and go to the side walk to get these huge, inedible yet sweet smelling fruits. His son also got out of the car and tried to help by round house kicking the trees (it was ineffective).