On June 15, the 6th China Lishui Blueberry Festival will kick off at Red Li Lane, Shitouzhai Village, Baima Town. Blueberries planted by the German "foreign farmer" Marx family have gone into maturity recently. During his 11 years in China, Marx has planted blueberries in Lishui for two years. Marx said humorously that rural areas in Nanjing have undergone great changes and especially, its construction speed of "path to get well-off" has struck me.
On the morning of 11, the reporter arrived at Shitouzhai Village, Baima Town, Lishui District when Marx, holding a sun hat, was taking care of blueberries. Organic blueberries in the garden have borne fruit and some have matured. Marx, born in 1984, excitedly introduced his experience in growing blueberries and his story with Shitouzhai Village.
Marx is in the Blueberry Garden in Shitouzhai Village. Correspondent of Nanjing Daily Wang Jing Reporter of Nanjing Daily Xu Qi
In March 2008, Marx made his first visit to Nanjing when he encountered his wife, a native of Nanjing and since then, he settled there. Marx's parents run a farm abroad and he also has held a dream of running a farm. In 2017, following the advice of a friend, Marx came to Baima Town, Lishui and fell in love with this place at his first sight. On the recommendation of a friend, Marx subleased 20 mu of blueberry land from a large local planter, set up a farm and tried organic cultivation.
"Two years ago when I came here, I had a rough journey all the way," he raised his hands to represent the bumpy scene. "As you see, roads around my farm now are spacious and flat. In particular, in less than a year, roadsides are adorned with tall trees and beautiful flowers. It's really something!" Marx said that rural roads in Shitouzhai Village have been better than those in Germany. "The Chinese speed has brought great changes to my career."
Marx opened a bakery in the Confucius Temple area. He often delivers his blueberries to the bakery to make cakes and then sent them back to the Blueberry Garden to serve guests. "It took me more than half an hour to send cakes to the village for the bumpy road and I always feared that cakes would melt. But, now, it takes only 10 minutes."
Blueberries by Marx are fertilized by organic maters without the use of pesticides and chemical herbicides. In spite of the increased cost, the quality of blueberries is guaranteed. "Bad roads would make it hard to transport quality blueberries." Marx said that in the ripening season of blueberries, bookings are made almost every day and there are appointments for picking on weekends. Last year, Marx reached a cooperative relationship with JD.com and fixed a sales plan of 400,000 yuan. All these would be impossible without the "Path to get well-off".
Marx now invests 100 mu of mountain land and 50 mu of land in Baima Town. These 50 mu of land will be for developing organic blueberries, while these 100 mu of mountain land for creating a multi-purpose farm through crowd funding to enable more children of his own children's age to keep away from electronic products, go outdoor and experience the green and healthy natural life." "I don't want my son and daughter to just play with mobile phones!" In January this year, Marx's father also came to Baima Town to help him run the farm.
According to Zhou Jianming, secretary of Shitouzhai Village Party Branch, Shitouzhai Village is located in the hilly mountainous area and nearly 30 kilometers away from the urban area of Lishui. In the past, villagers were plagued with many inconveniences in travel, production and living. As Pudu Line, Fengshi Line and Shiyou Line are put into service and upgraded, backied by the unique agricultural advantages, Shitouzhai Village does excellent work in the blackberry and blueberry industry, deeply search for and integrate resources and vigorously promote rural tourism. In particular, the new Fengshi Line has broken the bottlenecks to develop "Red Li Lane".
Now, the Blueberry Picking Festival held annually attracts tens of thousands of tourists and Shitouzhai Community is reputed as China's "No.1 Blackberry and Blueberry Village". The per capita income of the village was more than 18,000 yuan in 2015 and reached 25,873 yuan in 2018. The collective stable income of the village was 1.514 million yuan, a four-fold increase over 2015.
According to Xu Guolin, Secretary of the Party Branch of Lishui District Highway Management Station, from 2015 to 2018, 1,500km rural roads were upgraded in Lishui District. This year, the construction of the "Four Good Rural Road" demonstration area in Jiangsu Province will be launched in a bid to break through dead end highways among towns.