Trekking through tea fields in the winter (afternoon) 茶園冬遊 （下午）
In my last post about my hike to Zhang Kung Lun mountain on a cold winter morning , I stopped at my lunch spot, the Ginko Forest and promised to tell you what’s so special about it.
我在上個帖子談在很冷的一天去樟空崙山遠足 。帖子完結前，剛到午餐地店銀杏森林，但沒時間跟你講這地方有甚麼特別。就現在講講吧。銀杏森林這個名字很有趣，應該是農民取的。 這就是銀杏森林。
In case you’re wondering where the forest is, it’s those sad looking twigs dotted in the field. Growing tea is the main source of income for farmers here, but the authorities has dictated that they must grow tress in order to cultivate the land and has offered a subsidy to do so. The
cunning clever farmers choose to grow ginko trees because they are not actually suitable for the Taiwan climate. They don’t have a lot of leaves and don’t bear any fruit. This is perfect for the farmers as they are low maintenance, won’t interfere or shade over the tea bushes beneath it, and most important of all, the farmers can still claim the subsidy from the authorities. Clever or what?
Lunch was at the restaurant next to the Ginko Forest facing the mighty Alishan (Taiwan’s most famous mountain).
We each ordered a hotpot which came with a plate of meat, you can chose between beef, pork or lamb. There was also a big plate of locally grown organic vegetable. Even an unhealthy person like me who don’t usually eat much greens found it very appetizing. I particularly liked the purple cabbage as I hadn’t seen that before, it was very tender and sweet, and just needed less than a minute to cook.
Outside the restaurant was a truck selling vegetables, including the purple cabbage we just ate. The truck owner said this variety is imported from Europe but he couldn’t remember where in Europe. According to him, there are only three farmers in the whole of Taiwan who grows them. I bought some purple cabbage to support the local economy.
The last part of our hike was to go up the Zhang Kung Lun mountain. In fact, from this point we just need to climb a little hill to get to the trig point at the top. Here’s the trig point and the surrounding view.
Finally it was time to head back down to the car park. By the time we got back it was 1650. The weather was only 7 degrees. I did say it was a cold weekend.