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  • Hi everyone, my name is Tong

  • and today we are at Longci District of Tainan City.

  • After coming to Longci District,

  • you can immediately feel the quietness of Longci,

  • away from all the hustle bustle of downtown Tainan.

  • There are various mountain paths here that you can go on

  • and what's really special about this place is that

  • there is an area of badlands caused by river erosion.

  • Let's go on an adventure right now!

  • Once you make a turn at Longci block,

  • you will immediately see a green walking path.

  • It's a walking path in Huxingshan Park.

  • It only takes a few steps to feel the breath of the mountain

  • and reach the scenic suspension bridge.

  • The trails here are very well planned,

  • it doesn't matter if you're here for long hikes or short walks,

  • this place is perfectly suitable.

  • I really envy the people who live here,

  • they get to enjoy nature so close to them.

  • Speaking of the neighboring Guanmiao District,

  • many people associate this place with pineapple, its local specialty.

  • Actually, these pineapples come from both Guanmiao and Longci.

  • In addition, bamboo shoots, bamboo,

  • and bamboo related products and handicrafts

  • are all local specialties of Longci.

  • Promotions for pineapples and bamboo shoots

  • are held every year in Longci.

  • For local agricultural production, marketing groups and farmers

  • promote their superb products.

  • The promotion includes many fun family games as well.

  • The fresh green bamboo shoots are attractive

  • in front of Longci Farmer's Association

  • marketing group's vegetable booth.

  • The vendor who is selling the fresh bamboo shoots

  • is a farmer from Longci District's, Xuan Mei-lan.

  • She is famous in Longci District

  • for growing the best bamboo shoots.

  • Let's follow her to better understand

  • the prestigious bamboo shoots of Longci!

  • Right now I'm here in Longci's bamboo field owned by Ms. Xuan.

  • And I'm going to learn about how bamboo is planted

  • and how to pull them out from the earth.

  • Thanks Ms. Xuan for having me today!

  • Is now around (May to June)

  • the harvest season for bamboo shoots?

  • Yes, we are at the peak of harvest.

  • It all depends on climate and rainfall,

  • with these two factors, bamboo shoots will grow very fast.

  • The temperature right now is perfect for bamboo shoots to grow,

  • so they grow very fast right now.

  • I'm curious, why is Longci famous for bamboo shoots?

  • Because Longci has both mountains and valleys;

  • we plant bamboo shoots by the valleys.

  • When rainwater and nutrients pour into the land,

  • they make sand and soil blend together,

  • which is great for growing bamboo shoots.

  • So Ms. Xuan was just telling me that

  • growing bamboo shoots depends largely on rainwater

  • Unfortunately, this year there hasn't been that much rain water.

  • Supposedly right now, it's supposed to be

  • a large production of bamboo shoots,

  • but this year's production is not as much as previous years.

  • So we are really hoping that we could get some more rain soon.

  • Longci doesn't have a lot of factories,

  • mostly part-time jobs only;

  • yet part-times aren't stable at all.

  • Longci mostly only produces bamboo shoots

  • and because jobs with bamboo handicrafts have died out,

  • the only way was to turn to growing bamboo shoots.

  • My father-in-law also grew bamboos

  • and he told me general labor jobs don't earn much,

  • so I followed in his footsteps.

  • When we're trying to find a bamboo shoot,

  • you see there's a crack in the holes,

  • and there's kind of a discoloration on the ground.

  • This is the pointy head of the bamboo shoot.

  • When we're cutting bamboo shoots,

  • we should be aware that there are different size and shapes;

  • and we should try to find the yellow part, which is for discoloration.

  • This is the part that you cut

  • and you must cut perpendicularly to the bamboo shoots.

  • Ms. Xuan was telling me that since growing bamboo shoots

  • is a very laborious work and it takes a lot of energy,

  • this year, there's been less and less people

  • devoted to bamboo shoot growing,

  • which is sad

  • because you want to keep this tradition going

  • but the elders are dying

  • and there's no one in the younger generation

  • that wants to take over.

  • But in Ms. Xuan's case,

  • she came back to take over the family business 13 years ago

  • and that is why she's still planting today.

  • The bamboo shoot will grow back usually within a month

  • and with plenty of rainwater it will actually grow even faster

  • so we're praying for that.

  • So Ms. Xuan told me earlier that picking bamboo shoots

  • is actually a really laborious work.

  • Even though I knew it is hard but I didn't realize it is that difficult.

  • I actually have to use up all my strength and exert on this shovel

  • to actually cut the bamboo shoot

  • with some help from her also.

  • So I'm glad that I did it and I get to experience

  • part of this bamboo shoot picking adventure,

  • but now I'm going to go home

  • and make myself a big bamboo shoot meal!

  • This is Longci's second marketing groups bamboo shoot factory.

  • Every morning, freshly picked bamboo shoots

  • are collected here for further packaging.

  • Here, the bamboo shoots are also categorized into

  • different groups based on their sizes.

  • And then, they are further cleaned with cold water.

  • Ms. Xuan's bamboos are also sent here

  • so let's go in and see how the process is done!

  • What is this place for?

  • Here, we wash the bamboo shoots

  • and cut out where the fibers are too thick.

  • The freshly-picked bamboo shoots sent here

  • to the processing factory

  • are categorized by weight and sizes,

  • from level one to level six.

  • It is a difficult process

  • and farmers cannot sort their own bamboo shoots.

  • These categories are used for shipment to Taipei for sell.

  • If the bamboo shoots are unqualified,

  • they are categorized into another two levels

  • and sent to processing factories.

  • They are responsible for categorizing the ones that aren't qualified.

  • Do these look like horns?

  • That's why they are called horned bamboo shoots.

  • These two look the same

  • but actually this one, the top of the bamboo shoot rose above the ground,

  • making it less valuable.

  • It will be sent to the processing factory.

  • After sorting the bamboo shoots,

  • they will be weighed and calculated for price.

  • Then, they are cooled down and washed in a big bucket of cold water.

  • The process of cooling keeps these bamboo shoots fresh

  • and also wash off the dirt to show their glow.

  • Finally, the farmers would carefully package these plants.

  • From harvest, to sorting, cleaning, and packaging,

  • each step is done rapidly

  • to ensure the freshest taste

  • perfectly presented for the customers.

  • Next to the bamboo packaging factory

  • you see rows and rows of bamboos here,

  • but they're unfortunately not for any pandas.

  • They're going to be turned into bamboo charcoal.

  • Bamboo charcoal gets rid of odor

  • and they are especially environmental friendly.

  • That's why they are a popular choice today.

  • What you do is you put these bamboos

  • into these brick ovens behind me, called a kiln.

  • This shelf is to exhibit all the different types of charcoal in Taiwan.

  • So this means that these longan charcoals

  • are burnt from longan trees?

  • Yes, that's how they're made.

  • Mr. Young was just telling me that these different charcoals

  • mean that they were burnt from different kinds of wood,

  • and that's why you see different kinds of charcoals here.

  • And sometimes they also differentiate from their temperature.

  • These are all from Taiwan,

  • and they're actually all burnt in Longci,

  • especially this one, the bamboo charcoal.

  • What kind of experiencing zone is this?

  • Here, we learn about the different properties of bamboo charcoals.

  • When bamboo charcoals are burnt up

  • to a specific high temperature,

  • its properties are fixed.

  • These bamboo charcoals are actually conductors of electricity.

  • This bamboo charcoal is turned into

  • this piece of cloth through the entire process

  • and actually you don't sweat as much

  • and you will feel much more comfortable.

  • This is the popular choice that people want to have.