Meet Your Neighbor: Young Chung-Hall

By Ilona Merritt

It was a cool morning when I met Young in the Tillers & Toilers Garden. She radiated warmth and friendliness, and it turned out to be one of the most exciting and informative visits I have had the privilege to enjoy. Sherwin Green and his wife Kathleen Peoples introduced Young to us and called her a “Gardener Extraordinaire.” She is all of that and much more.

In 1979, Young Chung came to America from South Korea for the American dream to get an education and a good job. Her first husband felt that having a son to take care of was all she needed. Young disagreed with that and moved on. She went to work and night school. She worked hard at learning the English language. She started as a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service after attending Cornell University Business School, and worked her way up to Manager for National Programs. She worked for them for 20 years, and then transferred to the IRS, where she worked another ten years and retired. She moved up in their ranks, and part of her job was speaking to hundreds of Americans, and her language skills were so important. She also learned American Sign Language.

She married Larry Hall in 2001, and in June 2017, they moved to SCC. She had never had time to garden, but the lack of finding fresh Asian vegetables got her interested in the Tillers and Toilers. Young decided to grow her Asian vegetables; she went to USF Continuing Education Programs, enrolled in the Florida Friendly Landscaping program, and learned about plants, soil, and the sun’s effect. She works in the garden and plans what she wants to grow and what season to plant. She starts with seeds in small containers at home and staggers their growth carefully. Young also includes flowers in her garden to attract Bees and Butterflies to pollinate the vegetable plants. She never uses chemicals in her garden.

Young enjoys cooking healthy meals and uses everything out of her garden. I finally found out what a Napa Cabbage looks like at our meeting before all the leaves had been taken off. There was a trellis loaded with Christmas Lima Beans, and I fell in love with her Moringa Tree. Besides being a tremendous source of nutrition, it also grows very artistic. She readily shares her harvest with friends. Her friends, Sherwin and Kathleen, said that Young is a very accomplished woman. Kathleen has not had such good luck gardening, but she and Young share recipes. Young also enjoys participating in Archery and loves Sun City Center and the Tiller and Toilers community.

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