Jiri Mountain Tea line, week two

At the end of week one we were introduced to the remarkable Mr Yang Jong-ho, who for most of his life has been a deep sea fisherman, but who longed to work as a gardener in the earth. Six years ago he teemed up with his friend to start a landscape gardening company. He arrived with his friend and he negotiated with JHK, never once even looking at me. The long and short of it was that he said he knew how to transplant those tea bushes which were about to be destroyed by the council to build a car park. He said that each bush must be dug out being careful not to damage the roots, then wrapped in hessian to protect them and had to be planted into a ditch 60 cm wide by 70 cm deep, and this would all have to be done by hand. He said that he would not give us a price for this, but we would have to tell him what we would pay.

Negotiations were carried out on the phone by Mr Lee, who purposefully kept Professor Kim out of it, as he would have panicked. Anyway much to our surprise a very reasonable price was negotiated, provided we all mucked in and helped. It turned to that Mr Yang really liked the whole project and very much wanted to be a part of it and to work with me. So his diffidence was in fact shyness. So this week, with his 3 workers, all in their late 60s and seventies we dug out 60 odd tea bushes, wrapped them in hessian, hefted them up an 8′ bank into two small pickups and brought them to the site where we dug this very deep and long trench by hand in what was relatively hot weather, and planted the bushes – in two days! Every inch of my body aches, but the work looks great.

At the weekend we will cover the flat area with a membrane and granite gravel – all to be done by hand again. Then we will be finished.


Meanwhile JHK got his car stuck in a ditch while trying to manoeuvre it around a hairpin bend – a small diversion in proceedings


finally we cleaned up the site.




Jiri Mountain Tea line, week two | 2016 | Uncategorized