Growing Vegetables In Garden With Mandarin Oranges And Ginkgo Tree
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The Ginkgo Tree in all its splendid autum colors made us stop the car and get out to have a closer look. The sun made the golden leaves of the Gingko Tree stand out against the water of the Yuan River, but blended well with the color of the yellow earth in which a Chinese family were growing vegetables in the garden, amongst trees of mandarin oranges. Looking down from the roadside it was difficult to decide which vegetables were growing in the garden, so we ventured down the sloping bank to the riverside, to take a closer look. Grandma holding her young grandson in her arms was surprised by our arrival, but welcomed us and then wanted to make tea for us; a very important Chinese custom with visitors.
We explained to Grandma that it was the sight of the golden leaves of the Gingko Tree that had prompted us to stop the car, and that it was not until we had crossed the road that we had a better view of the garden in which they were growing vegetables, between the young trees on which were a few mandarin oranges. When we mentioned the mandarin oranges she wanted to give us some!
The growing vegetables in the garden were for the own use of her family, but they grew mandarin oranges to sell to the wholesalers, and this was a means of earning money. She invited us to have a look in the small building nearby, and in one part of the building was a large pile of mandarin oranges that had been harvested. It was a splendid sight to see so many mandarins piled up together, completely different to the net bags of ten or so oranges sold in the UK supermarkets! The fruit not only looked fresh and beautiful, but the air was filled with their scent.
In another part of the building were boxes of mandarin oranges that had already been sorted, and the boxes would eventually be collected by the wholesale merchants. One of the boxes was still open so it could be seen that all the fruit in view was unblemished. Grandma again wanted to give us some of the mandarins! When we were leaving to continue our journey to the ancient city, grandma was still holding her grandson in her arms. The grandson would be about 2 or 3 years old, and probably had never come across such a strange looking westerner. When the westerner waved goodbye to the grandson, he promptly waved back !
''''' Mandarin Oranges
The Mandarin orange or mandarin is a small citrus tree (Citrus reticulata) with fruit resembling the orange. The fruit is oblate, rather than spherical, and roughly resembles a pumpkin in shape. Mandarin oranges are usually eaten plain, or in fruit salads. Specifically reddish orange mandarin cultivars can be marketed as tangerines, but this is not a botanical classification. The tree is more drought tolerant than the fruit. The mandarin is tender, and is damaged easily by cold. It can be grown in tropical and subtropical areas. Src: Wikipedia.org '''''
''''' Ginkgo Tree
The Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), frequently misspelled as "Gingko", and also known as the Maidenhair Tree after Adiantum, is a unique tree with no close living relatives. The ginkgo is classified in its own division, the Ginkgophyta, comprising the single class Ginkgoopsida, order Ginkgoales, family Ginkgoaceae, genus Ginkgo and is the only extant species within this group. It is one of the best known examples of a living fossil, because Ginkgoales are not known from the fossil record after the Pliocene. Src: Wikipedia.org '''''
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4th February, 2008
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