Farming Fun in Taitung: AShan’s Organic Shack
Recently, taking a stroll through the countryside has become a popular way to decompress. However, actually farming is no easy feat. On top of the labor-intensive sowing, fertilizing, weeding, and harvesting, farmers have to toil under the sun and in the rain. Chang Heng-rui, a young farmer who goes by the nickname “AShan,” not only enjoys farm work, but is determined to grow organic and chemical-free produce. Chang created “AShan’s Organic Shack” to cultivate a green escape for everyone to enjoy.
From Motorcycle Mechanic to Farmer
Our first impressions of Ashan were his tan skin and friendly demeanor. Even though he had just been sweating under the hot sun, he still had the energy to welcome us to his farm. His big smile made us feel like we were close friends that he hadn’t seen in years.
How did AShan, who didn’t grow up in the countryside, decide on becoming a farmer? His family moved to Taipei when he was in the third grade. His family only went back to Taitung during breaks from school to help AShan’s uncle on his farm. Through this, AShan learned how to grow tea and bananas. When AShan graduated from school, he became a motorcycle mechanic. Even though he was a mechanic for eight years, he always longed to go back to the beautiful fields of Taitung. After discussing it with his family, AShan decided to return to his hometown and take up farming.
AShan treats all of his guests like close family friends. He has always grown everything spray-free, so AShan named his farm “AShan’s Organic Shack.” He grows his pumpkins, sweet potatoes, turmeric, and tea without the use of harmful fertilizers or herbicides. AShan sells what he grows directly to his customers. He hopes that everyone can enjoy healthy, delicious, and high-quality produce.
Step into the fields! Have fun picking tea and melons
AShan started out just growing tea. Over time, he slowly started planting other produce, such as sweet potatoes, corn and bananas. After years of farming, AShan’s red oolong tea finally won four gold and two silver medals in this year’s Taitung County Red Oolong Tea Competition. During your visit, you’ve got to try Ashan’s special products like his turmeric red oolong, red honey oolong and Jin Xuan turmeric powder! AShan’s red oolong tea leaves have an amber hue and a light fruity fragrance. This variety tastes great brewed hot or cold. Sipping on tea isn’t the only thing you can do when you visit. After drinking a few cups, everyone straps on a bamboo hat and follows AShan into the fields!
“Doesn’t it look like a beautiful painting from afar?” AShan said proudly during our tour of his farm. We walked barefooted through the tea fields and learned how to pick tea like a pro. We saw tiny holes in the tea leaves, which were proof that AShan’s a real organic farmer! Next, we learned to sun dry tea leaves and how to process tea. It became quite obvious that a lot of work goes into each sip of tea! Afterwards, we went to a different field to pick our own sweet potatoes! We dug around in the sweet potato fields with shovels. Then we pulled out whole clumps of sweet potatoes out of the softened up soil. This was an exciting experience for us city slickers! AShan laughed as he shared a story about one of his earliest group of visitors. When he first started the farm, some kindergarteners came to offer their help when they heard peanuts were being harvested. He never imagined how much these kids would love harvesting peanuts. This inspired AShan to continue to host pumpkin and roselle harvesting events. At AShan’s farm, guests get to connect with the land, learn about plants, and go home leaving happy. (Please note: Harvesting events are seasonal)
（Photo Credit：AShan’s Organic Shack FB）
- Address: No. 546, Yongan Rd., Luye Township, Taitung County
- Phone Number：0937-881-091
- Hours of Operation: 09:30–18:00 (Closed on Sundays, phone call reservations required)