Sketch of Archilife Study Tour, October 2018
Author: webmaster Published:2018-11-20 Read: 58 reads

  For the study tour of October 20, 2018, Ms. Lu Ming-yun led 20 ARF interns and their parents on a tour to learn about dried persimmon in Xinpu and experience making grass jelly in Guanxi. At the start of the day's activities, team leader Ms. Lu Ming-yun reminded everyone about things to note and what to observe, and gave the interns some background knowledge.

  The morning's itinerary brought everyone to Jinhan Dried Persimmon Education Farm where the farm owner was the tour guide. The tour began with the introduction to the different types of persimmon and their characteristics and growth environment. The tour guide explained that fruits of the same persimmon tree will vary in shape depending on whether they are pollinated. Those with a more pointed bottom are pollinated while those with a rounder bottom are not pollinated. He then invited everyone to try a small piece of astringent persimmon to experience the sensory impact of the "astringent" taste. He explained that astringent persimmon contains soluble tannic acid which causes the astringent taste. Eating it directly will cause mouth dryness and puckering. The only way to get rid of the astringent taste is "sweetness". Once everyone took a bite of dried persimmon, the astringent taste immediately disappeared, proving that sweetness and astringent bitterness complement each other. Using the experience, the tour guide explained that astringent persimmons growing at low altitude can only be eaten after the astringent taste is removed. There are three ways to remove the astringent taste, i.e. peel off the skin and dry out the fruit, soaking the fruit to make crispy persimmon, and placing it together with apple to ripen and soften it. He particularly emphasized that the white powder on the dried persimmon is crystallized sugar that comes from within the persimmon. It is not mold and has the restorative effect of stopping cough and lubricating the lungs.

  After lunch, the tour group made its way to Guanxi Mesona Museum's ecological farm. The farm owner, who acted as the tour guide, began the tour by bringing everyone to learn about fruit trees, particularly pointing out the easy-to-miss mesona. He talked about the origin of the mesona's name, and its restorative effect. While showing everyone what the dried mesona looked like, he explained that the plant has to be harvested by uprooting the plant using a hoe, wind dried in the field and placed in the warehouse for about a year. To make into jelly form, it has to be washed and boiled, and starch has to be added to the strained liquid. The final part of the study tour was a trip to Chin-Yong DIY Recreation Farm where over 30 species of tomatoes are grown. The tour guide explained that the species are mostly imported from overseas and are uncommon in Taiwan. She also compared the differences in their shape, color and nutritional value. Everyone tried their hands at harvesting tomatoes and learned to observe their different characteristics, expanding their knowledge of everyday fruits and vegetables. At this point, the day's itinerary came to an end. Everyone took a group photo before heading back and looked forward to the next study tour.
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