A 51-year-old architect in Nantou, Taiwan, used to be in the construction business. In 2011, he decided to give up construction so he could go full-time into dragon fruit farming.
He is Xie Xinke (photos above), owner of Xinke Dragon Farm. He is very glad he gave up his previous business which could be very taxing at times. Now he is very happy tending his 1.1-hectare dragon farm. His plants which are organically grown are very robust and high-yielding. Last year, he estimates he harvested no less than 50 tons of red-fleshed fruits.
In the last season, harvesting lasted from June 2015 to March 2016. Usually, the fruiting season lasts only from June to the following November. But the warm winter months of last December to February favored the long harvest period of ten months. Contributing to that was the provision of electric lighting at night.
Mr. Xinke sells his harvest locally at NT$100 per kilo, equivalent to P150 in Philippine money. During peak production, he organizes a fruit picking festival whereby visitors pay NT$100 for the privilege of picking and eating one fruit. If they bring home some, they have to pay NT$100 per kilo. During the last picking festival, some 300 people participated.
The delegation from the Philippines.
On August 3, 2016, Xinke Dragon Fruit Farm was visited by a group of Filipino journalists and travel agents invited by the Taiwan Leisure Farms Development Association. These included Eric Cheng of United Daily News, Jane Chen, Jude Bacalso, Leia Bartolome, Kane M. Hui, Jaison Yang, Allan Sze, Yaman Sioco, Jose Lim Letran and your blogger, Zac B. Sarian of Manila Bulletin.