The Home of Vegetables

Xiluo Township

2019 / August

Jimmy Lin /photos courtesy of Jimmy Lin /tr. by Phil Newell

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.           

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