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  Chinese Way>Life

Villages of persimmons

2013-11-24 16:47:27

(China Daily)


The leaves have all fallen, leaving just the red gold fruits attached to gnarled branches.

In this region, the villages are famous for their quiet, undisturbed lifestyles, and their persimmons. Even though the peak has long passed, we managed to catch the last brilliance of the autumn harvest.

Narrow tracks to the villages are the only approach and the roads become more and more precipitous the higher we climb. Our 30-year-old driver, with seven years of driving under his belt, is giving the roads his full concentration.

"I dare not look down," he says.

Half an hour later, we reach Shangshao village in Wangfen town, and the scenery changes from beautiful to breathtaking. There are rolling mountains in the distance and a sea of clouds hovering over the trees.

Here, century-old persimmon trees are as tall as 6 meters. The leaves have all fallen, leaving just the red gold fruits attached to gnarled branches.

Zhang Yunwu, a resident at the village, was busy harvesting the last persimmons.

"The 50 odd persimmon trees I planted can produce around 5,000 kilograms of persimmons each year," Zhang says proudly. "The dried persimmons are exported to other countries," he adds with a big smile.

According to Zhang, persimmon trees are planted everywhere in the hundreds of valleys in the southern area of Qingzhou, making it a famous persimmon production base in Shandong.

"We have been planting persimmon trees for generations. Persimmons produced here have been selected as gifts to the courts since the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907)," Zhang says.

In early winter, harvested persimmons have already been strung together and hung up in front of almost every house, creating a spread of color.


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