Fun for the whole family — A-yang’s Sugar Apple Orchard
Sugar apples always come up when talking about the best gifts from Taitung. Every time people come to Taitung, they leave with one or two boxes of sugar apples to give to their friends and family back at home. Been missing out on the fun? Then you might as well pick your own sugar apples during your next trip to Taitung. On this tour, you’ll visit a sugar apple orchard and experience the fun of picking your own fruit!
An Orchard Free from Pesticides
Donning a dashing flight attendant’s uniform is a dream of many young Taiwanese people. However, A-yang, who saw his parents growing sugar apples when he was a kid, thinks being in touch with nature is more important than anything else. Therefore, A-yang and his wife moved back to their hometown to grow sugar apples after quitting their jobs at an airline.
I’ve had my fair share of sugar apples before, but this was my first time seeing where they’re grown. A-yang’s orchard spreads out over an impressive 2.5 acres. Therefore, when we arrived, A-yang and Yi-jia picked us up at the entrance. We sat down on stools set up in the back of their pickup truck and then they took off. As we were driving up, the rows of sugar apples that lined the road welcomed us into the orchard.
After putting on bamboo hats, we went into the orchard. The grass sprouting up under our feet felt like a thick carpet. A-yang is adamant about not using pesticides when he’s growing sugar apples. His weeding, done by hand, even goes a step further than most. He only uses a rake to tamper the weeds down. This keeps the soil soft and healthy while optimizing water conservation. Speaking of water, the orchard uses fresh mountain spring water to irrigate its plants. This helps promote a rich and healthy ecosystem on A-yang’s orchard.
Sugar apples grown with soul and my first time picking sugar apples
It’s not easy to grow the sugar apples that we enjoy every day. I only realized this after A-yang explained everything about sugar apple cultivation. In particular, all the fine details about harvesting, getting rid of pests, laying down fertilizer and taking care of his trees. It’s easy for sugar apples to attract pests because they are very sweet. Many farmers turn to convenient methods such as spraying pesticides to get rid of bugs. Despite this, A-yang insists on not using pesticides. “We need to coexist with the pests!” Even if a sugar apple is covered with ants and aphids, these bugs don’t actually get into the fruit. A-yang told us after a quick rise, sugar apples are good to eat. What we think of pests are actually the all-natural proof of healthy organic farming.
Since the sugar apples here are organic, you won’t inhale a bunch of chemicals when harvesting them. Even though you could pick these sturdy fruits right off the tree, using sheers to trim them off saves a lot of energy. In addition to sugar apples, A-yang’s orchard also grows different types of bananas as well as passion fruit and dragon fruit. There’s plenty of room to move about the trees here. A-yang intentionally left plenty of room between each tree so they could stretch out their branches. After hearing this, we admired A-yang’s hard work even more. He wasn’t doing everything he could just to maximize his profits. Rather, he sincerely wanted to do what was best for the land. Also, his sugar apple harvest is relatively late because his orchard sits in the cool foothills of Taitung. A-yang has to wait patiently for his sugar apples to get ripe. If he picks them early, they won’t be the super big and sweet sugar apples that everyone expects from A-yang’s orchard!
Organic sugar apples are rich, sweet and creamy. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about consuming pesticides when eating organic. If you were to ask how A-yang’s orchard tastes you’d get a sumptuous answer. People would say it’s a sweetness that melts away the petty worries of everyday life and brings out the best in us and the land.
- Address: No. 309, Neighborhood 13, Beinan Township, Taitung County
- Phone Number: 0928-878-022
- Hours of Operation: 9:30–16:00 (Please make an appointment by phone)