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County News
2014 Chishang “Strolling the Flower Field Footpaths in the East Rift Valley”
Date: 2014-01-17    
Each year, numerous extraordinary events are held in the Eastern Rift Valley, starting with marathons in spring, the hot air balloon festival during the summer, the rice and daylily season in fall and the hot springs during the winter. However, during winter, you can also see fields and fields of canola flowers. The meaning of canola flowers in the language of flowers is “abundance” and “encouragement to persist”. They are bright yellow, and set off by the green of the footpaths between the fields, a simple beauty of the rural villages of eastern Taiwan is painted. This aesthetic cannot be found anywhere else as the Taitung-Hualien region is the only place in Taiwan with a seemingly endless array of such fields. With the smell of soil and flowers, the sound of buzzing bees and dancing flights of butterflies, this type of natural rural village feel can only be seen here. So, come and give the hard-working farmers here some support!

In recent years, various places have been developing their local features, and as a result, Taitung has become a must-see for international tourists. With rice fields that were the inspiration of a Cloud Gate Dance Theater performance as well as the “tea-serving” tree on Mr. Brown Avenue, another window has been opened up for the scenery in these rural area. The development, preservation and passing down of the resources of farming culture and the local scenery have turned the canola flower fields into one of Taitung’s tourist attractions. This in turn furthers the tie between local industry and tourism. Bringing agricultural industry in the direction of tourism through the five senses has become the common goal of the East Rift Valley National Scenic Area Administration, the Taitung County Government and the Chishang Township Farmers Association. They are looking to cooperate with local farmers in promoting and developing sales and exhibition events of local products, making canola flowers into the best green resource to attract tourists.

On January 19, the Chishang Farmers Association kicked off the “Strolling the Flower Field Footpaths in the East Rift Valley” event at the flower fields in front of the Chishang Tourist Rice Mill. The event includes a lot of activities that are an integration of celebrations in the region as well as the culture of agricultural indistry. Visitors may learn about the humble respect and passion those of the past had for the land in an event that is also like a trip. In addition to having invited locals to perform, there will be a lot of other activities such as tasting of canola flowers, glutinous rice ball making, hulling with a hand-driven rice huller, dyeing with canola flower dye, weaving with rice grass, making dolls with rice and more. At noon, visitors may try out food prepared by the Chishang Farmer Mama’s Restaurant as well as seasonal canola products that make use of the stems and flowers. Moreover, canola flower dumplings and rice noodles will be available that are made with only locally produced rice flour. On January 19, the cost per plate was NT$50. And in echoing the tradition of eating edible “ingots” during the New Year, the Farmers Association began selling seasonal frozen canola flower dumplings with canola flower rice noodles. Each order is on sale for NT$120. They will be available until January 31, so hurry and get them while they’re here!

Under the leadership of Director-General Xu Yue-E and monitoring by the board of supervisors and the administrative committee of the Chishang Farmers Association, they have made a step-by-step transformation in creating the most natural scenery of flower fields that bloom all year long in the area surrounding the Tourist Rice Mill, working hard to make the best environment for relaxation. With rice as the theme, they have developed a lot of tourist activities that take place before and after the harvesting of the rice. Through education related to the eating of these agricultural products, they encourage children from a young age to learn about farming villages and the industry. This is a step in furthering the preservation of this culture and making the Tourist Rice Mill something that offers both knowledge and relaxation, thus providing people another choice for activities that are both educational and fun. The Tourist Rice Mill was quite special to begin with, but now it boasts an even better value of “edutainment” and is an example of an even newer mode of operation.

The Chishang Farmers Association stated that this year, they have developed a “Year-Round Flower Fields App” with a link to the association’s FB fan page to better serve tourists. This makes things convenient for tourists, and is easy to use. It not only allows people to browse all of the association’s flower fields, but if you complete tasks set up in the app, you can even get a lot of free goods and discount coupons!

Those who wish to visit the Chishang Tourist Rice Mill may call the promotional unit at 089-865-936. Those who wish to purchase goods may visit the Chishang Farmers Association delivery website at www.csfa.org.tw. Everyone, come on a fun trip to Chishang!