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南投縣

Smart People Knows About Plum, Slow Travel and Fruit Picking in Nantou Shuili

The word “槑”, which comprises two Chinese characters of “呆(slow-witted)”, is the archaic form of the Chinese word “plum” that pronounces “mei” in ancient times. Normally people do not learn or see this word. Built along Chenyoulan River, Tai-21st Highway is where all visitors go for plum viewing in winter: the white plum blossoms on the sloping fields are as charming as the winter snow. The inhabitants of Shangan Village have walked through the prosperous period of plum industry, which adds memories and poetic flavor to “Mei Agriculture Leisure Area” in Nantou Shuili.<br/><br/>Since diversified development of farm produce has become indeed common nowadays, many interesting experience programs, such as tea panning, tea sampling and etc., are bred. Mushroom industry is one of the local industries as well: visitors are allowed to partake in mushroom eco-tour and DIY activities. If you visit the spot in April when the growing season of plum takes place, you can also participate in green pickled plum DIY and plum vinegar DIY program. <br/><br/>The season of plum harvesting has passed when we arrive. There is one souvenir on the spot that arouses our curiosity as it had once been custom-made into gifts for the clients by some airline company: the “mei pencil”. It is a DIY activity which will not be affected by the change of seasons and allows everyone to gain a firsthand experience of plum industry. If you wish to gift presents to your friend, it is recommended that you make a mei pencil by your own hands and enjoy the fun of handcrafting for about half an hour.<br/>

Smart People Knows About Plum, Slow Travel and Fruit Picking in Nantou Shuili
▲ Without the uniformity in that of an industrial product, each mei pencil is an one-of-a-kind handicraft.

“As the branches of a plum tree are usually in twists and turns, how can we use them to make pencils?” is the question most often proposed by the tourists. Lu tries to instruct everybody the steps of making mei pencil in detail while revealing the secrets hidden behind the plum trees, together with the intricate, demanding process of selecting shafts. Through fascinating interpretation and hands-on practice, we are all deeply impressed. Come quickly to experience the pleasure and learn more about this local produce.

Smart People Knows About Plum, Slow Travel and Fruit Picking in Nantou Shuili
▲ Succulent sprouts tend to grow on plum trees every year. It is required that these succulent sprouts be pruned in winter so as to improve the quality of plums that fruit in spring. Through brainstorming and creative thinking, these pruned branches become the source materials of mei pencil.

While it is not difficult to make mei pencils, picking out a shaft that is pleasing to the eye can be the most time-consuming process. After that, drill a hole on the branch by aiming at the center point, glue on and involve ink stick to make the lead before sharpening the pencil attentively by using a knife. If there should be any special meaning in your gift, you can also inscribe lettering on the shaft of the pencil.

Smart People Knows About Plum, Slow Travel and Fruit Picking in Nantou Shuili
▲It is not hard to drill the hole for one can simply finish the process within seconds for each pencil.
Smart People Knows About Plum, Slow Travel and Fruit Picking in Nantou Shuili
▲Have you ever tried to sharpen a pencil? The hardness of a plum branch is higher than you would imagine. If you are apt at sharpening pencils, you are welcome to take up a challenge in dealing with plum shafts.
Smart People Knows About Plum, Slow Travel and Fruit Picking in Nantou Shuili
▲The sweet-and-sour plum vinegar is mouthwatering and body cooling. You can even make your personal, tailor-made mei pencil!

Inside Mei Agriculture Leisure Area is a must-visit vineyard designated by foreign tourists. “Kan Shi Farm” adopts natural agriculture that no fertilizer and pesticides are applied within the site. The farm is open to visitors to allow them enjoy the pleasure of picking grapes in person. You can save shipping fee and feel totally confidence to collect grapes at the place of production.

Smart People Knows About Plum, Slow Travel and Fruit Picking in Nantou Shuili
▲Tourists from Malaysia are attracted to the farm by its reputation. They come to experience the fun of picking grapes on the spot.

The denomination of Kan Shi Farm comes from the name of the farm owner and his wife. Whereas the name Kan derives directly from the farm owner Zhang You-Kan, who has been given the nickname of “A-Kan” ever since childhood, “Shi” is one of the word originating from Lin Bi-Shi, the name of the farm owner’s wife. The story is sweet and touching, just like the flavor of those grapes planted inside the orchard. Mr. Zhang, holding the printed billboard in his hand, explains the steps and matters needing attention to everybody. Then it’s time to choose targets upon trusting your gut and piercing eyes and enjoy the pleasure of “cutting” grapes by using scissors. The grapes of your own choice are definitely the most palatable.

Smart People Knows About Plum, Slow Travel and Fruit Picking in Nantou Shuili
▲The denomination of Kan Shi Farm comes from the name of the farm owner and his wife.ㄒ

There is a professional grape producing area named “Heiziyu”, where everybody is able to savor and recognize the difference between Kyoho grapes and other varieties, in Shangan Village. Do not miss this site on the way. Purchase grapes at the production area, experience the heavenly taste of the freshly-picked grapes and get acquainted with different types of grape varieties including Honey red, Italian grapes and etc. grown inside the orchard. Another advantage is to gain a firsthand understanding of the environment of the vineyard, which can be more reassuring.

Smart People Knows About Plum, Slow Travel and Fruit Picking in Nantou Shuili
▲The variety includes Italian, Honey red and Kyoho from left to right. Only by visiting the area of production can one get to know so many types of grapes.
Smart People Knows About Plum, Slow Travel and Fruit Picking in Nantou Shuili
▲This professional grape area increases its brand awareness by producing “Heiziyu”.
Smart People Knows About Plum, Slow Travel and Fruit Picking in Nantou Shuili
▲The owner takes out many materials, through which he tries to introduce and explain us about grape cultivation and variety. He even shows us “Compendium of Materia Medica”.
Smart People Knows About Plum, Slow Travel and Fruit Picking in Nantou Shuili
▲ Delivery service for grape purchase is available. Get your freshly-picked grapes on the farm to save the shipping fee.
Smart People Knows About Plum, Slow Travel and Fruit Picking in Nantou Shuili
▲ Located in the vicinity of Mei Agriculture Leisure Area service center, the magpie bridge is where visitors can linger over the view of Shangan Village.

What are you waiting for? Pick up your phone and make a reservation for fruit picking and mei pencil DIY program to experience the unusual rural customs for you and your family at once. If you wish to receive a more customized tour planning service, feel free to contact the service staff at Mei Agriculture Leisure Area.

Mei Pencil DIY & Mei Agriculture Leisure Area

Booking Number: 049-2821011<br/>Contact Person: Liu Si-Yi<br/>Address: No.29, Sanbu Rd., Shangan Vil., Shuili Township, Nantou County, Taiwan (R.O.C.)<br/>

Kan Shi Farm

Schedule on Fruit Picking: From June to August in summer; from November to January in winter. Moring session is preferred, afternoon session is also acceptable. Reservations must be made in advance.<br/>Fee: no admission fee will be charged. Fruit picking fee will be charged according to the weight of the harvest volume (priced by per catty)<br/>Reservation Number: 049-2821613、0937-748023<br/>Address: No.148-7, Ancun Ln., Shangan Vil., Shuili Township, Nantou County, Taiwan (R.O.C.)<br/>