Backyard Politics A column by Christine Hyung-Oak Lee that sees the world through the lens of urban farming and agriculture.

What I Learned from the Master Beekeeper

He prefaces all his beekeeping sessions with a proposal to examine hives without gloves. It teaches a beekeeper to be more gentle. It’s easier to be gentle without gloves.

Oct 29, 2019
Finding a Way Forward After Failure and Heartbreak, in Life and on the Farm

I was single for the first time in eighteen years. I felt unmoored. For the first time in eighteen years, everything was new, including me.

Jun 18, 2019
At My Urban Farm, I’m Growing My Family and Growing Our Sanctuary

By farming, I connect back to my own culture. To, pun intended, my roots. To what it means to be a child of immigrants and help things grow.

May 21, 2019
Learning How to Be Gentle in the Face of Trauma—Others’ and My Own

Bees do not attack—just as trauma survivors do not attack, but rather defend. She will not sting you unless she believes the colony’s life depends on her defense. Because when she stings you, she dies.

Apr 09, 2019
Turning Our Garden’s Bounty Into Community

Nature is never obedient. It rallies forward. This is the reality on a farm: The bounty comes all at once.

Mar 05, 2019
Giving Myself to My Garden and Keeping Enough for Me

The thing my mom told me to do—“Save twenty percent for yourself. Never give one hundred percent to anyone.”—was not selfish after all. Not when thinking about my own survival.

Feb 05, 2019
After Divorce and Postpartum Depression, Work (and Bees) Brought Me Back to Life

It is no wonder that I am so in love with my bees. They fight for their lives.

Jan 08, 2019