Master Guan’s Leisure Farm

Introduction of the Spot

Rice field experiment by the Lanyang River grows Tiandong Rice by protecting birds’ habitats.

The landscape of the paddy fields at Xinnan, Zhuangwei is impeccable. The reflections of the blue sky, white clouds, and flocks of waterbirds dance on the tranquil water surface. The low-lying land is flooded whenever a storm or typhoon passes, so few utility poles and “houses” are built here. In autumn and winter, the paddy fields and birds’ habitats stretch endlessly. Such beautiful scenery is quite rare in Yilan.

Kuan, Chin-Yao grew up to establish Master Guan’s Leisure Farm here. He has a fierce name and a soft heart. In 2013, Lin, Che-An observed diverse birds here and indirectly sought him for help. Kuan, Chin-Yao immediately promised to lend land to him for pesticide and chemical fertilizer-free friendly farming. He also built habitats and convinced Uncle A-nong to join him.

The originally 2-3 Ha. paddy fields have now been expanded to 6 Ha. The great quality rice produced by the group is called “Tiandong Rice.” During 2014 and 2018, 168 kinds of birds were recorded in this area, nine of which are on the IUCN Red List.

The experience of a childhood dream of “having a joyful life despite the hardship” by rowing a barrel boat and bamboo raft.

The Farm also serves food by Mama Tian Restaurant. Besides Tiadong Rice, the most popular fermented bean curd, rice alcohol, and melon pickles are pickled by Tiandong Rice. With these ingredients, the Restaurant serves several melon flavor dishes, such as melon chicken soup, melon minced meat, melon steamed fish, etc.

Watercocks also appear in the friendly habitat. Tiandong Rice earned the Tse-Xin Green Conservation Label.

“Forty to fifty years ago, I often heard the sounds of birds “gok-gok-gok” in the paddy fields, but I had never seen them. Later on, Lin, Che-An built a waterbird habitat at Xinnan, Zhuangwei under pesticide and chemical fertilizer-free farming. Watercocks have appeared again. This is the first time I have seen them.” Kuan, Chin-Yao’s wonderful childhood memories have finally reappeared.

The paddy fields in Xinnan Village are natural habitats for Pacific Golden Plovers, lapwings, wild geese, watercocks, and other waterbirds. In recent years, the paddy fields in Lanyang Plain have diminished quickly. The habitats thus decline, and so does the number of birds. Lin, Che-An and others hope to protect the rapidly disappearing precious resources and have founded Xinnan Tiandong Rice at the region to the east of Wuhan Road.

The partners would leave some of the rice when harvesting rice in the summer. This “double-cropping rice” becomes the food for the migratory birds in the winter. They also grow butterfly gingers and banana trees as shelters for the birds. When the environment is good, the birds come.

In addition to protecting the habitats of waterbirds and growing safe rice, they have recently passed 381 pesticide tests and Tse-Xin Green Conservation Label certification. The paddies are slowly dried at low temperatures and kept refrigerated. The rice is freshly milled and packed rather than stored for a long time. Consumers can then cook more delicious rice with a sweeter and pleasantly bouncy taste.

The group has also developed popular traditional products, including powdered rice brans, fried brown rice, brown rice crackers, etc. Guided tours to the paddy fields, ecological observation, dibbling of rice seedlings, rice harvesting and threshing, etc. attract many young people as well.