- Gordon Dumoulin
Lotus root planting in North China's oldest prefecture...
𝘓𝘰𝘵𝘶𝘴 𝘳𝘰𝘰𝘵 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯 𝘕𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘩 𝘊𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘢’𝘴 𝘰𝘭𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘧𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘩…
Though hardly known today beyond China, 邢台市 or Xingtai city is the oldest prefecture level city in the North of China with about 3,500 years, being a capital city during the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC). During the Yuan Dynasty, Ming, and Qing dynasties, Xingtai was called Shunde (Shundefu) and functioned as a prefecture in China.About 400 km south-west Beijing in the south of Hebei province, the prefecture borders Shandong province in the East and Shanxi province in the West. Xingtai prefecture today with about 7 million people and an area of 12,500km2 is transforming since last decade from a polluted coal industry driven area to a region of sustainable industrial practices and agriculture. Agriculture in Xingtai has been the main source of income at the plains of the East since ancient history.
Zepan village in Xingtai’s Longyao county (邢台市, 隆尧县, 泽畔村) is renowned in the area and beyond for the cultivation of lotus roots. Early May is the season for planting lotus roots for the harvest well into Autumn time. Lotus plants and its roots grow in muddy shallow water fields.
Lotus root (Lian Ou, 莲藕) is a popular vegetable widely used in various Chinese cuisines. Although named as “root”, it is in fact the rhizome, a continuously growing horizontal underwater stem, of the lotus plant. It comes in connected, cylinder-shaped segments (like giant linked sausages). There are either seven or nine holes that run through the entire segment.
The root includes a wide pallet of diverse nutrients with excellent health and immunity properties. In traditional Chinese medicine lotus root is especially known for its benefits to a healthy digestion, stop bleeding and dissipate blood stasis.
Pictures : China Daily, Global Times