10月17日，來自香港的Peter and Stella 一家六口，到頭城農場參加3天2夜傳統農村生活體驗之旅。
Toucheng Leisure Farm is located in Toucheng Township , Yilan County , Taiwan . There are mountainous scenery and streams around the farm which gives it a refreshing natural environment. Our aim is to preserve the natural habitat, therefore we offer our guests an insight of the Farm products and the development of farm life. Students who visit the farm will have many opportunities to experience different studies and culture of the farmers.
Toucheng Leisure Farm was awarded as an educational farm due to its teaching methods and ecological approach to preserve nature. Ecology is the basis of the farm’s development, and sustainability is its aim. We preserve the natural environment by minimizing the impacts of development around the surrounding. For example, the ground of most places in the farm are covered with stones instead of cement, to make sure the water flows into the ground and sustain the lives of the underground animals and tiny insects. The preservation of the natural surrounding is very important for the young ones to learn by observations and experimentations.
Most of the activities and operations in the farm are closely related to ecology. The objectives of Toucheng Leisure Farm are to educate the young generation to appreciate nature; to be familiar with our Mother Nature and to understand the interactions between Mother Nature and society. Thus, Toucheng Leisure Farm introduces rural history and culture which are related to the natural environment. At the same time, we hope that students would be able to gain knowledge, cultivate confidence, creativity and survival skills through our activities. Overall, Toucheng Leisure Farm intends to carry on teaching environmental education and sustainability concept aiming to protect our Mother Nature.
Toucheng Leisure Farm is only 50 minutes away from Taipei by car through the new Taipei-Yilan Freeway. Where as by using the northeastern coast highway, it takes longer. It is about 2.5 hours by car, but there are beautiful and unique coastal sceneries along the way. Toucheng Leisure Farm has a land area of 110 hectares which is divided into three areas: the forest and orchard area; the farm life experience area and the leisure area.
There are different kinds of fruits and vegetables during the different seasons such as oranges, peaches, wax apples, Chinese dates, pomelos, bamboo shoots, sugar cane and temperate zone vegetables. Thus, every different season, students can explore different kind of plantation.
Farm Life Experience Area:
(a) At the DIY classroom, students can learn how to use bamboos to create toys and decorative items such as simple flutes, bamboo insects, bamboo dragonfly and many more.
(b) At the farm animals area, students can experience feeding animals such as chickens, ducks, cows, pigs, geese and many farm animals. Besides, students can also collect freshly laid eggs.
(c) On the other hand, students can experience the rice paddy cultivating process where all activities are guided by experienced farmers.
(d) Freshly grown vegetables and fruits are picked with our teachers' guidance. They can be brought home for the whole family to share or let the farm’s chef cook it for all guests to eat.
(e) At our vast bamboo forest area, students can gain knowledge related to bamboos. Other activities include surviving skills, hunting, making traps, tasting fresh bamboo shoots, and many more.
Leisure Holiday Area:
The Farm has a network of trails leading you to scenic spots around the farm. One of the attractive spot is Ching Yun Platform, where you can watch the glorious sunrise and the magnificent view of the Turtle Mountain Isle, while breathing the fresh morning breeze. It is one of the Eight Attractive Sceneries in Yilan County . Another spot is the tree house area, where we make use of dry woods to make tree houses. This place is especially for children to enjoy their playtime. In addition, you may choose many more activities like fishing at our large fish pond or join the river or jungle trekking adventure.
Food and Beverage
Traditional breakfast is served with home made products such as freshly ground soya milk, man tou (steamed buns), fresh vegetables, luo buo gao (white radish cake), ground peanuts, fried eggs, sweet potato congee and preserved vegetables (kimchi).
Lunch is served with drinks, traditional Yilan delicacies, farm house-style cuisine, boiled free-range chicken, boiled eggs, meat rolls and many other healthy, nutritious and delicious dishes.
Dinner is served with appetizers, bamboo rice, a salad bar and an outside air barbeque where one can choose from an array of all-you-can-eat meat variety.
Besides the three meals, the farm also provides varieties of snacks which are home-made. These snacks are wholesome Asian delights which are preferred by many guests. It includes green bean soup (mung bean soup), glutinous rice ball (tang yuan), QQ soup, bubble tea balls soup, taro rice noodles and noodle soup. These snacks are great refreshments.
**Looking for something exclusive yet educational? We have an exclusive Winery - Restaurant uphill, prepared for guests who want to learn about gastronomy, wine and culture. This place offers a classy environment where a la carte meals are served. Students who want to learn more about gastronomy are very much welcome.
** Do you have any special request? If you do, we can also cater special request for food such as Halal. Toucheng Leisure Farm also provides Halal food for its guests. We serve strictly no-pork meal for our guests who ask for it. Please inform us in advance to avoid any embarrassments. There by assuring that everyone can enjoy their meal!
Sky lantern is one of the most famous activities in the world. In the Asian culture, it is believed to imply prosperity and good luck. Sky lantern was invented during the World War II when Chinese troops used this lantern to signal safety to each another. It was the best way to send a message because it could be sent into the air and just have enough time to get the word pass around before it fell down to the ground.
Students can experience the process of making a sky lantern and write their wishes on it. Besides, they could also understand scientific theory while releasing the lantern into the air .The lantern is made of light material such as oiled rice paper and bamboo frame. To allow the lantern ascend into the sky, it has to be inflated with hot air while lowering its density.
Kilning is an opportunity for students to learn the traditional way of cooking or roasting food. During the hard ancient times, sweet potato was a basic food, however, they are unfamiliar to the new generation. Thus, the farm includes this activity to give them an opportunity of recalling childhood memories at the same time savoring the aromatic and delicious kilned sweet potatoes, corn on the cob or chicken.
Here, students are taught how to build a kiln by experts. A kiln is made out of mud (clay) rocks and built into a small chamber or oven. Then, it is heated by bamboos, firewood and newspapers in order to increase the inner temperature. It is not easy to build a kiln, but after a successful try, the satisfaction is indescribable. Lastly, students will be taught how to roast sweet potatoes and taste the cooked thing.
Starting a barbeque fire
Barbeque is an activity where the students learn while they are having their dinner. Here, they will learn how to build a fire by using charcoal and matches. It is an opportunity to learn survival skills and experience the old method of how people before cook their food. Students will grill raw food over a flaming charcoal for their dinner.
Arts and Craft (DIY activities)
Bamboo is one of the most favorite plants among Chinese people. Bamboo is considered as an important spiritual and material plant since the past until today. It was a symbol of the status of an individual and represents a unique and irreplaceable culture.
By gaining knowledge about the bamboo, students learn how to fully utilize bamboos. Here, they learn how to make bamboo gourmet such as bamboo shoots salad, bamboo shoots soup and bamboo rice. Besides they will also learn how to make bamboo handicraft such as bamboo dragonfly, simple flute and many other bamboo decorative items.
Apart from the bamboo handicraft, students will also learn how to make animals and pretty handicrafts from betel nuts. These betel nuts are dried under the sun till its color changes from green to brownish yellow. Animals like dog, mouse, pig, tiger and many others could be made out of these betel nuts. This is where students can utilize their creativity.
T-shirt / Caps / Scarf Printings
Other than handicraft, students can also make use of art by printing T-shirts using leaves or stems of trees with colorful dyes. They can also draw on their shirts their favorite logos thus leaving memorable memories of Toucheng Leisure Farm. These T-shirts can be brought back home and keep as a souvenir from the Farm.
As a matter of fact, these handicraft activities are not only for students to create beautiful decorative items but also to learn how to fully utilize natural resources and the skills of carving! Let us all create the one and only handicraft ( of yours) in the world!
Besides planting and farming activities, students can also get a chance to learn how to fish in our large fishing pond. Here, students can sit calmly while fishing and enjoy the moment along with the beautiful and scenic surrounding of lakes and mountainous topography. Fishing could help students to learn one of the surviving skills to get food. Students can also test their levels of patience and tolerance by undergoing these activities. Fishes caught are served as additional side dish during the barbeque dinner!
Rice Paddy plantations
“Sow in the spring, weed in the summer, gather in the autumn, store in the winter” is the process of planting rice. Here, students can experience rice cultivation at the rice paddies, taught first-hand by experienced farmers. It is fun to learn how to plant at the rice paddy, sun- dry the grains or removing husk in a traditional Chinese farming method. Harvesting rice at the paddy is something great to learn about, because it is not learned anywhere else but only in a farm. This experience will give students an insight of the intricacies and difficulties that comes with cultivating rice. Besides, it gives the student abetter understanding of the rice paddy culture in Taiwan ’s history.
Toucheng Leisure Farm is the best place to explore and learn about plantation. With the more than 100 hectares of land, we provide the best natural environment as well as a wide range of flora and fauna. In the farm, there is a large area of bamboo forest, vegetable gardens and fruit orchards. During the different seasons of the year, students are able to harvest different kinds of fruits and vegetables. Here, they are also given the opportunity to taste great varieties of fruits and vegetables.
Here, students will have an opportunity to plant vegetables. They will be provided with garden space, equipment, seeds and farmers will guide them to plant organic vegetables by using the correct methods. They can plant mint, chilies, white cabbage and many more.
Different fruits are harvested according to the seasons of the year. For instances, peaches are harvested during spring, pomelos during fall, kumquats are harvested during winter and passion fruits are harvested during summer. Here, guests will have a chance to taste large varieties of fruits such as wax apple, Chinese dates, bamboo shoots, sugar cane, etc. It is a great experience to pluck and taste many different fruits at a time.
Picking fruits or gathering vegetables with one’ own hands, is a satisfying experience for children from the city. The Farm’s principal, generously allow children to gather farm products joyfully thus leaving in them a lasting, amusing and memorable memories.
Our farm animals area, is another fun and exciting place to be. Here, students are able to interact with domestic animals. They are given chances to pet and feed the animals such as chickens, ducks, geese, cows, sheep, pigs, turkey, goats and many more. Besides, they also have opportunities to collect freshly laid eggs at the chicken coop.
Other leisure activities
When was the last time you were around a natural environment? Or take a walk with Mother Nature after a stressful day at work? Here at Toucheng Leisure Farm we provide many leisure activities dealing with the surrounding natural environment. You are very welcome to join us. We have activities like playing bubbles, swinging and taking a short nap on a hammock, going up and down a small tree house, etc.
At Toucheng Leisure Farm, tree houses are built on a tall and sturdy tree which strongly supports the house. Besides, hammocks are built by bamboos which give a strong support for people who want to swing and sleep on it. It is very relaxing to lie on the hammock while listening to the birds chirping, bees buzzing, watch butterflies fluttering around and also not to forget the cool breeze while taking a nap.
River at the Farm is basically the main water source for farmers. It is used for cooking, drinking, food sources and leisure. The water here is fresh, cold and clean because it is comes from the mountain top.
River trekking is a water sport that most of the kids look forward to. The splashing sound of the fountain is so tempting that guests always like to dip into the cool pool while catching small crabs, small fishes or shrimps. Trekking on the stream and river that pass across the farm is adventurous and fun. While trekking in the cool, fresh and clear water, students will be able to understand the ecological nature of the river. They also have a chance to observe living creatures in the river such as crabs, baby shrimps, small fishes, frogs and many more. Moreover they are given the chance to swim and play in the river. That’s a bonus!
At Toucheng Leisure Farm, students are able to experience the past decades history as well as living lifestyle experience of our ancestors. Students will experience cultural activities ranging from mud hut making, favorite pastime activities, cooking equipments, tasting traditional delicacies, traditional games and handicrafts.
A mud hut is a kind of farm house in Taiwan with a history of about 70 years or more. It is a house built by the farmers by using mud, bamboos, dried grass and wooden beams. Mud is the main material to build its walls, floors and staircases, where as dry grasses are used to build the roof of the hut. Mud hut is built with several techniques, but needs to be repaired from time to time. A mud hut is basically cool during summer and warm during winter. This is due to the materials used to build it. Here, students are taught the technique to build a mud hut by our farmers. It is not easy to build it, but by having a chance to try out, is worthwhile!
Traditional Cooking and Preserved Food Making
Here students can taste typical Taiwanese traditional delicacies such as noodles, desserts and other dishes. Most of the ingredients used are freshly gathered from Toucheng Leisure Farm’s garden. Besides tasting traditional cuisines, students can also learn and understand more about the food’s history and the meaning of these dishes served. This is in fact a way for the younger generation to appreciate and understand the Chinese tradition.
On the other hand, students can also learn how to cook dishes such as noodles, taro rice noodles and dumplings. This is a great opportunity for them to learn so as to preserve the Chinese customs and traditions, and hand it over to the next generation.
The process of preserving vegetables and fruits are also taught here. They prepare their own preserved food and keep it in a bottle. It’s fun to learn how to make preserved food as there are so many kinds of vegetables and fruits here at the farm. It is fun and worth doing!
Toucheng Leisure Farm is the best place for the young generations to be acquainted with nature on a first-hand experience and understand its harmonious balance. These kinds of experiences could not be attained from books. But here, we can feel nature through smell, taste, sound, sight and touch.
These more than 100 hectares of land, is a place where "the mountains are green, the skies are blue, the waters are clear, birds and flowers abound". A pollution free, ecologically rich piece of vast land can provide the children of the city a rare opportunity to observe the colorful and numerous insects, beautiful and rare flowers, beloved birds and animals, as well as many other unique creatures.
Toucheng Leisure Farm is ecologically rich. With its bountiful fruit bearing trees, many species of birds lives here, including the most loved bird, the Taiwan ’s national bird: Formosa Blue Magpie, which makes Toucheng Leisure Farm’s forest their home. Here, you get to observe the living pattern of Taiwan Blue Magpie, they usually build their nest on a tree, and begin to raise their family. They lay three to five eggs at a time, and feed the chicks, but only the female incubates them. However, despite of their attractive appearance, they could be fierce to any human disturbance towards their nests, beware!
Moreover, during the tour and explorations, students are taught to identify plants which are explained by experienced farmers or experts including their characteristics and uses. They also learn several survival skills by using different leaves and plants to heal wounds, drink safe water as well as natural food resources.
Toucheng Leisure Farm is home to different kinds of bugs that are unique and colorful. For example, different kinds of butterflies, caterpillars, beetles, bees, spiders, grasshoppers and many others. Here, students are taken on a tour to catch bugs by our farmers. Students can also explore and learn about their unique characteristics, their lifecycle, habit and their interesting survival skills to protect themselves from predators.
In addition, Toucheng Leisure Farm has designed a night activity for guests to closely observe many nocturnal creatures. Observation is usually a way to understand an insect. Daytime and night time observations are totally different. City dwellers rarely see a moth or a bug closely. We provide a big, white movie screen with spotlights to attract these nocturnal creatures. Try to imagine how the children are amazed by observing a real moth at a close-up.
Overall, at Toucheng Leisure Farm students can experience many different, yet unique living habits of the Mother Earth such as the sight of the most beloved Taiwan Blue Magpie flying; the sound of frogs croaking; or the aroma of grasses and flowers blooming. It is a bountiful reap after touring around the farm. In addition, students will also learn to appreciate different flora and fauna, as every living being has its own value.
Toucheng Leisure Farm offers a modest and quiet farm-land architectures and buildings. The surrounding can offer an ecological environment that students can experience such as bird chirping, fragrances of floras and lives of faunas.
There are 4 different types of accommodations offered. Each accommodation is uniquely designed to suit guest’s preferences.
(a) Shan Hai Building
Offers a Deluxe 2 double beds for 4 persons. The ones with a 2nd floor, it can accommodate a group of 8 to 12 persons. This building is situated beside the mountain pathway with a scenic mountainous view. It has a toilet, cable television, mini refrigerator and an air conditioner.
(b) Zhao Ri Building
A Deluxe room with 2 double beds for 4 persons. This building is located at the welcoming sight at the entrance of the farm with a tranquil view of the lake. It has a toilet, television, a mini refrigerator and an air conditioner.
(c) Hsing Ming Building
A Suite room for 4, 12, or 20 persons. It has a toilet, television and an air conditioner. The interior is designed with wooden flooring.
(d) Ming Building
A Suite room with 2 double beds for 4 persons, with a toilet, cable television, an air conditioner and wooden flooring.