The sun in southern Taiwan is always merciless, but when you walk into the “Jang Yuan Century Leisure Farm” in the Wandan Township of Pingtung County, the heavy shade of the decades-old eggplants, mangoes, and longan trees bring comfort and coolness to the farm.
At first, “Jang Yuan Century Leisure Farm” was a livestock farm that bred sheep and produced goat milk. Over 10 years ago, it began to transform into a sightseeing leisure farm that focused on papaya. The papaya garden adopts pesticide-free and organic fertilizer farming methods. Up till today, cute lambs can still be found on the farm, attracting the attention of tourists.
Li Ziman, the owner of the farm whose husband passed away due to illness, had to shoulder the burden of transforming the farm when her life was at a low point. To care for her daughter who suffered from indigestion since young, Li Ziman tried to make her own papaya enzymes, and so started planting papaya on the farm. From more than a hundred papaya trees at the start, there are now almost five to six hundred papaya trees in the orchard.
At present, more than 90% of the papaya trees planted in “Jang Yuan Century Leisure Farm” are of the “Red Concubine” variety. These papayas are used to make papaya enzymes. Therefore, papayas of the “Red Concubine” are selected for planting due to their hardy flesh. The orchard is filled with huge and firm green papayas. At this time, you don’t wait for the papaya to turn red before picking. You harvest it before it is ripe, because the immature green papaya has twice the amount of enzyme as a papaya that has turned red. As the papaya ripens, so does the papaya enyme decreases.
“Jang Yuan Century Leisure Farm” is one of the few farms that does not charge entrance fees. The sheep shed used to breed sheep in the past has now become an educational classroom. Besides listening to the farm owner tell stories, you can also experience making DIY green papaya enzyme and DIY Mexican mint mosquito repellant, among other activities.
The farm launches a “Farmer for a Day Experience Camp” based on vegetables and fruits available for the season. Parents and children dig sweet potatoes and grow fruit and corn in the field together, and savor the taste of pesticide-free vegetable dishes, before returning to the farm to harvest and enjoy a sense of accomplishment.
No. 59, Ln. 160, Zhuwei St., Wandan Township, Pingtung County 913007 , Taiwan (R.O.C.)