Saturday, September 24, 2011

Weekend Bike Ride

Bridget and I went out riding last Sunday.  We rode about 30 km (We're totally into the metric thing) northwest of where we live through some farmlands and rice fields.  A couple in the neighborhood has been hear a while and bikes a lot so we had a guide.  There is quite a bit of farming in Shanghai but witht he massive development it has moved further and further out.  This guy here was standing in about 2 feet of water harvesting crop.

Anyhow once out of town we rode on these small paths that wind through farms and peoples homes following canals and waterways.  Eric and Mariam (These are parents of a friend of Quinns) led us through  these roads some were new to them as well.  It seems like you could get lost quite easily but as Eric says, just head back East and you'll hit the highway soon enough.

We saw plenty of make shift homes where the laborers live.  Not the most ideal living conditions.  Ya get a good sense of the population density out here.  Structures on farms with many families and many generations living in them.  Bridget had a low BG at one point and we stopped for a snack outside someones home.  Slowly the family comes out to say hi and see who the newcomers are.  Soon a fellow shows up on his truck-bike with a delivery of fresh garlic for the family.  They little boy comes out and gathers a large armful of garlic from the peddler, some cash changes hand, friendly gestures our way and he moves on.

 No one seems concerned about tress passing, you just go where you want. Eric says, well the state owns all the land, but at the same time you see people who have financially benefited quite a bit by selling some of their land - or at least I hear of this...improv communism.

Besides lots and lots of rice, we saw corn, spinach, cucumber, gords, lettuce, some fruit trees, and more rice.  Not to many machines though.  Most of the work looks like it is done by hand round here.  Workers out in the field squatting down.
We found a farm that we like for ourselves.  It is completely organic.  They deliver a big bunch or organic chinese vegetables to our door every Monday for about $15 a week.  All kinds of funky potatoes, lettuce, onion garlic, peppers, okra, eggplant (lots of okra and eggplant), beans, peas, and it varies from week to week.  It really is not a bad deal.  The farm is in Pudong and it's called "tony's farm."  Bridget met them and said the farm workers didn't look like anyone named Tony.  Creative Marketing.  The other funny thing is that you pay a year in advance.  So we forked over like $750 for a year's worth of vegies.  Some dude who doesn't speak chinese showed up at my door two weeks ago on his bike with a ton of vegies and I sent him on his way with a ton of cash.  I guess the organic chinese farmers with american names are very trustworthy 'cause he showed up this week too.  

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