:::

Photo Essay—The Home of Vegetables: Xiluo Township

Xiluo Township in Yunlin County is one of Taiwan’s most important vegetable growing areas, relying mainly on leafy vegetables for income. (photo by Jimmy Lin)

Xiluo Township in Yunlin County is one of Taiwan’s most important vegetable growing areas, relying mainly on leafy vegetables for income. (photo by Jimmy Lin)

Hard at work inside the greenhouses.

 

When small farmers have sold their produce they quickly return to their farms to replenish their supply.

When small farmers have sold their produce they quickly return to their farms to replenish their supply.

vegetable(1)

 

vegetable(2)

 

Xiluo fruit and vegetable market

 

Deft and nimble porters offload cabbages as soon as the delivery trucks arrive at the market.

Deft and nimble porters offload cabbages as soon as the delivery trucks arrive at the market.

A buyer rides a small scooter among vegetable sellers as he places orders.

A buyer rides a small scooter among vegetable sellers as he places orders.

Once buyers have purchased enough produce to meet their needs, the vegetables are packed to keep them cool and trucked to destinations across Taiwan.

Once buyers have purchased enough produce to meet their needs, the vegetables are packed to keep them cool and trucked to destinations across Taiwan.

Xiluo fruit and vegetable market (photo by Jimmy Lin)

Xiluo fruit and vegetable market (photo by Jimmy Lin)

Xiluo Township in Yunlin County is one of Taiwan’s most important vegetable growing areas, relying mainly on leafy vegetables for income. When you come into the fields you can see net greenhouses covered in green plastic mesh, as well as people doing the endless workaday chores of farming: weeding, fertilizing, and harvesting. Even before sunrise, small farmers are already hard at work inside the greenhouses. They want to send fresh vegetables to the nearby Xiluo fruit and vegetable market as early as possible.

Just after 6 a.m at the Xiluo market, large trucks transporting cabbages from high-­mountain areas such as Lishan are waiting in line to offload their cargoes. This is the largest wholesale fruit and vegetable market in Taiwan, and produce from all over the country comes here before being distributed to retailers islandwide, who finally sell it to people like you and me.

The amazing journey of fruit and vegetables from farm to dining table is played out here every day. It is only thanks to the hard work of so many people that we can eat the freshest fruit and vegetables, a fact at which one can’t help feeling a sense of gratitude.