Wednesday, February 22, 2012
2011 TOST - Visit Tse-Xin Foundation (10/17/2011)
We like the idea, and we respect the effort that Tse-Xin Foundation has been working on their Pure Spring Reservoir Protecting Project - to educate the tea farmers of the importance of growing tea organically, not only to get better and purer quality tea, but also to preserve the water in the Feitsui reservoir which is polluted by the chemicals and pesticides farmers use in their tea gardens that surround the reservoir. Apparently, here in Taiwan, Tse-Xin's project is beyond going organic for the sake of health and sustainability.
It takes a good amount of education to convince tea farmers to convert to organic farming. The Foundation realizes that it takes about at least 3 years to convert the whole Eco-system and they offer the funds to help the farmers to support the project. One of the volunteers in this Foundation is my college classmate, so two years in a row, we have included Tse-Xin in our program. We believe with our members here to eye-witness the project will eventually help their organic tea to be marketed on the other side of Pacific when timing is right. Actually, I was shocked to see the new construction, and learn that they are getting close have their NOP Orcganic Certified.
After the presentation, we were provided the most delicious and healthy organic vegetarian lunch – almost all dishes made with tea in one way or the other. (rice prepared in tea, tea powder for topping, and oolong tea jello...) Tommy did take great photos on those dishes.
We got opportunity to cup ad taste 3 organic teas from their farm: organic Pouchong, organic Jade Oolong and Organic Ruby 18, before we were led to tea fields to see the conventional tea gardens and transitional tea gardens... Our members were dressed up again in the field. (What a day...twice in a row to be dressed up...on only the first day of our 2011 TOST. This is very unusual.)