The Peach Garden—Another Paradise
By Qiu Shan
As a saying goes, “If you harbor a dream of paradise, then wherever you go will be paradise”, people with such a dream can bring it into reality. Xiangyang Farm is an example. I had long heard interesting stories about the farm and its owner before I really approached it. It is the “peach garden”, the paradise, located in Dayi County in Chengdu.
I call it paradise for both its beautiful scenery and large-scale farm where various types of plants and fruits grow and animals inhabit.
Xiao Fan is the owner, whose father is among the first road explorers in China. As a kid Xiao travelled to Ganzi and Aba Autonomous Prefectures with his father and witnessed in first hand his father’s contributions to poverty-stricken areas. Inspired by his father and faced with poverty in Yanjing village, he decided to build a farm here and expand it to benefit more people. For Xiao, such a plan was a new starting point. However, in 2000, he was diagnosed with cancer. Xiao didn’t surrender and stuck to his dreams. After years of therapy, he recovered and poured more passion into new life. His story reminded me of a Chinese movie, Hundreds of Birds Worshipping the Phoenix, in which a master of the Chinese traditional musical instrument Suona said, “Those who can inherit the spirit of Suona are people who feel the essence of it.” I can’t help wondering what kind of people can truly build a paradise.
When you step into the farm, different types and a large amount of sunflowers, which indicates the optimism of the owner, will greet you. As you walk inside, grape yards and juicy purple grapes will feast your eyes. Each mature grape is green inside, crisp and juicy. The picking period lasts till the middle of October.
I was told that this kind of grapes originating in Israel is cultivated in Japan and then planted in China. Such grape is not common and can be picked from September to October. Another type of purple grapes will be on sale in August. Besides, the garden plants plum trees, kiwi fruit, winter jujubes and grapefruits, covering about 100 hectares. Fruits are available all year round.
Founded in 2012 with 8 million registered capital, Sunflower Farm is dedicated to comprehensive and modern farm business including infrastructure, sightseeing, recreation, science and technology, ecology, innovation and scientific education. Situated at Yanjing village in Yualai Town in Dayi County of Chengdu, it covers about 87 hectares with an investment worth 220 million yuan. It is now in its soft opening and will be welcoming customers in 2018.
The farm is just 52km from Chengdu and near a national scenic spot, Mount Xiling, the cradle of Taoism. It takes a hour and half driving there.
The farm is of large scale and employs nearly 100 people. We can’t see them working here except in summer vacations when college students majoring in agriculture spend their internship on the farm and they quite enjoy it. It is delightful to sit in the garden, bath in sun and have a chat. The farm is well equipped and surrounded by winding roads and clear rivers. Distinctive types of grapes are popular among tourists.
The development of the grape corridor attracts me a lot. Cycling lanes will be built nearby. Surprising still, nine ostriches are fed here, all with docile temperament. As a kid I wondered if they could fly and till today when I approach them I realize they are too huge to take off. The orchard is planned to cover 42 hectares, including 13 hectares of grape yard, 6 hectares of walnut and waxberry yards respectively, and 17 hectares of plum yard, all of which are of top quality and under careful nurture. Besides, a poultry farm will be built to feed chicken, geese and pigs. On a piece of grassland, purple vervains grow so wildly that makes me worried about the appearance of vampires. Such fantasy doesn’t linger for long. I truly appreciate the natural beauty on the farm. Ancient people said that a mountain is famous not for its height but the saints dwelling in it, and the water is divine not for its depth but the dragon hiding in it. The mountain here is not high but rolling. The water here is not deep but green and clear. Abundant natural resources and fresh air help you escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
In Yanjing village there was a temple founded for Li family in Qing dynasty. As the center of the farm, the temple carries culture and history. In hot summer, if you could eat juicy grapes, rest in trees and breathe in the life of nature, won’t it be a great pleasure?
Tips: market hours in Yuelai town: 5 markets in 10 days (the first, third, fifth, seventh and ninth day.)
Itinerary for driving: Dayi County—Dashuang Road—Yuelai Town—the 8th group of Yanjing Village
Itinerary for coach travelling: line 12 from Dayi Bus Station to Yuelai Town