The Peach Farmer of La La Mountain

June 16, 2010

Peaches of La La Mountain

We were heading to Fuxing district on La La mountain, near Daxi county just about a three hours drive from Taoyuan. We all met at the shrine to the memory of former president Jiang Jie-she (Chiang Kaicheck) in Daxi. There was also a fruit and vegetable market and this is were Mr. Chen Long-gui has a stall to sell his peaches. His daughter Ajoan was already waiting for us and off we went.

Fruit stalls near the shrine in Daxi

Prof. Jim Riddell, Prof. Yen Ai-ching and me

The winding road lead us up into the La La mountains, a region inhabited since “time immemorial” by the aboriginal tribe of the Atayal. After about two hours we reached the small hamlet where Mr. Chen Long-gui and his family resided. we met at a small local restaurant were we had a delicious lunch. We were a large group, as you can see from the photo below.

Mr Chen, the peach farmer (in red shirt), and our group

After we had our fill and the stomachs were satisfied, we headed for the home of the Chen family. Mr. Chen is Mr. Peach, because he was the first to introduce the cultivation of peach trees to this area. Today he has about 300 trees planted on the hillsides at about 2000 m above sea level.

Harvested peaches

Packing of the fruit for sale

Prof. Yen and farmer Chen and his wife and the appreciation for outstanding performance

We had tee in the Chen family home where we also discussed land, agricultural, economic and cultural issues in a very relaxed atmosphere. because of the heavy rain, we could not go out and see the fruit orchard and the trees. We tasted some of the fruit of the early harvest. As you can see, all work is done by hand. Apart from the peach trees Mr. Chen is growing vegetables for home consumption and sale. he is also a minister of the local church. In parting we wished him plentiful harvests and good prices for his crop. We have to come back. I was told that there are breathtaking views to enjoy from Mr. Chen’s home and his village. But the weather of the La La mountains had no mercy with us that day.