The Persimmon’s Of Wei wei jia Tourist Farm In Hsinchu County Taiwan

                                                              Persimmon’s Of Weiweijia Orchard

Welcome to the Weiweijia Orchard, home to some of the best persimmons in Taiwan. Fall has arrived in the mountain villages of eastern Hsinchu County, Taiwan and the villages, no matter how small are alive with excitement, as it is time to harvest and dry the persimmons.

The villages are small, consisting mainly of a main avenue, and things move very slowly and peacefully. Fields are ripe and ready to harvest, with many vegetables, fruit orchards, and rice farms all around each of these tiny villages. But the highlight of them all is the persimmon harvest from late September to late December. The village of Hsinpu is perhaps one of the best known villages during persimmon harvest, as it is the closest village to Weiweijia Orchard, one of the best known Traditional Hakka Persimmon Orchards in Hsinchu County.

So what sets the small village of Hsinpu apart from others, and how does Weiweijia Orchard fit into the puzzle? This is the center of Hakka culture, and here you see history come alive into everyday life. Traditional values are important here and many of the farms are well known for doing things the traditional way. Weiweijia Orchard is committed to bringing the cultural past of the Hakka people alive, and the persimmons are dried and cared for as they have always been. This is Hakka culture and history at work today!

                                  Fall Is The Season Of Traditional Dried Persimmons In Taiwan

The mountains in Hsinchu County grow an abundance of persimmons. Some of the farmers just export them to fruit markets in the USA and throughout the world, others, using traditional Hakka methods, dry the fruit as it has always been done.  At Weiweijia Orchard, and many other traditional orchards, visitors are free to roam and watch all the different steps that goes into drying the fruit. The fragrance of the fresh fruit drying in the sun is heavenly.

In Taiwan, no matter if the fruit is being dried and cared for like the Haka have done it for centuries, or if they are done by modern methods, the fruit is hand picked fresh daily, washed, and the skins removed. Drying persimmons in Taiwan is an art, and the finished product a delicacy enjoyed throughout Asia.

                                    Smiling Faces Greet You As You visit Weiweijia Orchard

So why is the Weiweijia Orchard such a special place for tourists? One, it is one of the few places where you can see each step of the drying process. It is also really close to the village of Hsinpu, making it convenient. Most people find that it takes no more than 10-15 minutes to walk to the farm from the village. That makes it really convenient and pleasurable. Put perhaps the greatest draw of all, is all the smiling faces willing to pose for photos. These beloved workers all dressed in traditional Hakka attire are perhaps one of the greatest assets to the farm, after the fruit itself.

                              Friendly Workers Drying The Fruit With Traditional Methods

If you are a photographer, you will love all the photo opportunities at this traditional Hakka orchard. As you approach the farm, you will see a traditional home with persimmons drying. Everything about this traditional Hakka farm is unique to the way things have always been among the Hakka. As you continue to the main orchard, you will see the bulk of the persimmons drying in the Taiwanese sun. There are many ways to see the drying racks, including a traditional viewing platform that is accessible by a small flight of stairs.

What a special opportunity it is to spend the day immersed in the traditional Hakka culture. There is so much to see and learn. Welcome to the living history of an ancient people, the Hakka.

                                       These Persimmons Represent Centuries Of Wisdom

Centuries ago, the Hakka had many wars and was always on the flight. It was in that time period that they began drying everything. They would either dry or cure all their food, so that if needed, it was easy to transport. The dried persimmons were their main food source during these touch times.  Dried food is light and easy to take with you, when you must flea.

                                                  Thousands Of Persimmons Drying In The Sun

The fall in this area of Taiwan is dry, lacking in rain, and the winds continue to blow day after day. The Hakka, working with the land, the lack of rain, and the wind have for centuries found that this is the time for drying the persimmons. This is the perfect time, the perfect place, and the right people to make drying persimmons a success story.

                                                          Persimmons Drying In The Sun

So have you ever wondered what you would do with so many persimmons? One of the most unique teas is made from persimmons and ginger with spices. Let’s give this amazing tea a try!

                                                             Amazing Persimmon Tea

Take about ten dried persimmon slices with a 4 inch piece of ginger sliced. Add to a pot with 2-3 cups of water (for stronger tea use less water).Then add the following spices: 1-2 tsps peppercorns, 1-2 sticks of cinnamon, 1 star anise,  1 pod cardamon, 1 tsp fennel, and 1-2 cloves. Bring to a boil and simmer 15-20 minutes.

Strain off the spices and serve black or with milk and a touch of honey. Delicious!

Note: This tea was inspired by a recipe from Mountain Field Farm Supply and changed to make the perfect cup by a member of the Explore Traveler Team. Everybody has their own idea for what makes that perfect cup of tea. 

                                 Dried Persimmon Cakes Are A Sweet Traditional Dessert In Taiwan 

What a magnificent sight as you comb the hills in Hsinchu County for the famous persimmons drying in the Autumn weather of Taiwan. Autumn is the perfect time, as it is dry and the fall winds blow. This is the perfect time of year for making mouth watering Persimmon Cakes. On their own, they are delicious, and they can be served in so many ways.

One of the mouth-watering ways to eat these persimmon cakes are to make a simple two ingredient snack. Take a large dish that is then lined with parchment paper  and slice however many persimmons you desire to bake. It is best if you slice them nice and thin. Cover the pan with the sliced persimmons and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. Place in the oven at 350 degrees. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Take out of the oven and let cool slightly. Serve while warm.  This is a well-loved snack among children and adults alike. It is delicious! It is fast! It is amazing!

                                                         More Persimmons Drying In The Sun

This is the land of the Hakka, and there are many farms that dry the persimmons the traditional way. Have you ever thought about what is the best way to eat one of these Persimmon Cakes? By far the favorite seems to be, to just get a spoon, and spoon out the lovely custard in the middle. Certainly that is a marvelous way to eat one of these delicious dried persimmons.

Another easy way that many like is to spread the fruit on a pan and let it dry some more. Then cut in strips and roll up. The children call them fruit roll-ups. With no added sugar, it certainly is healthy. Others like to make juices and smoothies with the fruit. One delicious option is to take persimmons and ginger and put in a blender. Blend and serve. Can you get any easier and still be delicious?

                                                         Making A Delicious Persimmon Wine

In looking for a good, but easy, Persimmon Wine Recipe, I found this one by “The Inn at the Crossroads.” It was taken from their website just as it was shared: http://www.innatthecrossroads.com/readyish-tart-persimmon-wine/

                     Tart Persimmon Wine Recipe

Makes 1 gallon

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs. ripe persimmons
  • 7 pints Water (enough to fill)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoons Pectic Enzyme
  • 1 tsp Yeast Nutrient (optional)
  • 1 pkg wine yeast
  • 1 Tbs. saffron (optional)
Equipment:
  • 1 large glass jug, at least 1/5 gal. (two jugs are ideal, for moving wine back and forth between them.
  • airlock
  • cheesecloth
Cut your persimmons into chunks, removing any seeds. Place the fruit chunks in a large stewpot and add just enough of your 7 pints water to cover. Simmer for around a half hour, or until the fruit is mushable. Add the mushed fruit and the water it was simmered in to a large glass jug.
Add the remaining ingredients and close the jug with an airlock. Allow to sit for one week.
Pour your wine through a filter, such as cheesecloth or a clean stocking, to remove the fruit pulp. Allow to sit for a couple of days, then rack into a clean bottle. Add saffron for color. Continue this process of racking until the wine turns clear and stops putting down any lees.
After about 2 1/2 weeks, ours was clear and a gorgeous color from the saffron. We racked it into bottles, and let it age.
*After about 3 months, it’s drinkable, but tart. You may want to add some honey.
*After about 5 months, it’s actually turning quite lovely!
This is an easy recipe that anyone can make at home. If you like wine, why not give it a try. Some people prefer to add a small amount of honey to the finished product.

Persimmon And Papaya Trees Growing In The Mountains Of Hsinchu County, Taiwan
The mountains of Hsinchu County, Taiwan, are the place to be, if you are looking for fresh persimmons and papaya. Here in the mountains you will find them growing together. Mainly in this area you will see the Hakka picking the ripe persimmons to take back and dry the traditional way. However, you will also see Herbalists forging for this highly sought after fruit for medicinal reasons. Many physicians in Alternative Medicine believe persimmons to be effective for the control of High Blood Pressure. The leaf makes a good tea, as well as the fruit. It is also used to lower body temperature in cases of high fever.
Many Japanese physicians use both the fruit and the leaf to control fluid retention, high blood pressure, constipation and stroke. It is also thought to control blood flow and helps in reducing body temperature.
In the USA and Europe it is also considered to be a good aid for use in lowering blood pressure and helping to control fluid retention. Teas are often made from the leaf and the dried fruit. Because it is thought to control blood flow, it possibly is a good aid for controlling strokes.
Regardless of it’s medicinal uses and effectiveness, it is highly sought after by the Hakka for drying the traditional way and is prized throughout the world.
  Smoked Persimmons And Friendly Faces At Weiweijia Orchard In Hsinchu County of Taiwan
So are you ready for an unique fall adventure in the mountains of Taiwan?  Fall is the time that the persimmons are drying and Wei Wei Jia Persimmon Tourist Farm in itself, is an adventure in Hakka life and culture.
If you are not driving out to the Wei Wei Jia Persimmon Tourist Farm, then the easiest way is to take the train to Jhubei Station in Hsinchu  and then take a short walk to the bus station. The most direct bus line is bus 5618 to Hsinpu village. Just get off at the church and climb the hill to the farm.
This is the time to book your Hsinchu County adventure. Wei Wei Jia Persimmon Tourist Farm is the place to be. What an opportunity to smell the persimmons as they dry on their racks. The possibilities for outstanding photos are endless, and the workers are a delight. The workers at the Wei Wei Jia Persimmon Tourist Farm are the friendliest people around. You can not help but love the Hakka costumes and the bright and friendly smiles. For your convenience there is a small store where you can buy persimmon products to take back home.
So why not pack your backpack, grab your passport, and head on out to Hsinchu County, Taiwan!

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