Dr. D's Dynasty Blog
Hello from Dr. D's Dynasty! Today we experienced everything from organic seafood to disco. We started the day at the Wholesale Market. This market provides Beijing with 80% of its vegetables and 70% of the fresh fruit. Each day 30,000 truckloads of produce come into the market knowing they will sell everything within a day or two. There is no cold storage so everything must go! This means all of Beijing's restaurants get there food from the market and it is very fresh. If this huge market were to ever close it would cut off much of the food source to the 18 million residents of Beijing. The group was taken back by the way that the meat was handled. Meat was displayed in open with no cold storage or packaging. The smell was remarkable. Anyone who walked by had free chance to interact with their meat. This means touching or chopping off cuts. Overall it was very eye opening. The ladies of the group loved to hear Ni hao may nu (Hello pretty girl) which was usually accompanied by free fruit.
Next we were off to the beautiful botanical gardens of Beijing. There we saw plants from around the world. Exhibits included tropical paradise, desert, and vegetable garden that showcased innovative farming methods. Much to our enjoyment we got to see Chinese brides and grooms taking their wedding photos. This sparked many questions and we discovered that Chinese weddings are a mix of traditional and western. The gardens were great and we even found Doritos in the gift shop!
Then we loaded up the bus and headed an hour south to the largest organic farm in China. After the nice rest on the bus we got off to find a very different scene. We unloaded the bus in a village of 860 people. The only restaurant served us very very very authentic Chinese organic food. Few were brave enough to sample all the dishes. Dishes ranged from whole fish to tofu and deep fried seaweed to corn on the cob. After the filling meal we followed the local guide to tour the greenhouses. The produce in these houses are fertilized with chicken manure that is left over from the bio fuels extraction process. The smell was new to us but seemed to be welcomed in the village because of all the fortune it brings. The manure not only degrades to make natural gases, but it grows the crops that allow the farmers in the village to make twice as much as the average worker in China. The United Nations recognized this farm as one of the top 500 organic farms in the world and we were honored to get a VIP tour.
Chance Saw Snow. (He's from Florida, Its a BIG DEAL).
Eager to warm up on the bus we started our journey to the next stop. The next place we were to visit was the Fu-Shu Cattle Farm. The accuracy of the name may be off slightly. But the point is that this farm provides Beijing with 70% of its beef consumption. They had Chinese Yellow Cow, Simmental, and Limousine breeds. We were pleased to see very high quality facilities and even happy to hear the word silage. This farm houses about 4,000 bulls at a time with 80,000 head moving through the plant in a year. We found that a Chinese Tradition was to pray before every slaughter. We found this very interesting and headed to our once in lifetime dinning extravaganza.
Our meal was very extravagant and we found out that they make automated lazy Susan's that spin on a motor. We had a meal called "Hot Pot Beef" this is where each person has their own pot of boiling water and veggies that they drop raw meat into to cook. We had the great joy of having 17 female servers. They told us this was because our group was of great importance. Soon, the TV screens started rolling karaoke music videos and mics were passed around. In traditional Chinese fun a disco ball was lowered, disco music blared, and the farm kids started getting down. I think we were quite the site for all the servers ha ha.
Now we are back at the hotel and EXTREMELY jet lagged. We will be looking forward to the great wall tomorrow!! Buenos Noches.......Yeah no one speaks that language here. Thanks for stoppin' bye....
Dr. D and Gang
Tom Dormody, Group Leader, New Mexico State University
Will Amick, South Carolina
Chris Atkins, Virginia
Doug Giles, Tennessee
Annarose Hart, Kansas
Chanse Huggins, Florida
Justin Krell, Minnesota
Annie Larson, Illinois
Lauren Perry, Nebraska
Chase Rose, Montana
Cain Thurmond, Georgia