Foreign Exchange Program

Hannah Nordby - IFYE Participant - Taiwan/Thailand Part 1

Hannah Nordby posted updates of her IFYE Experience to her own Facebook page, which we are sharing with you here. This is Part 1 detailing her experience in Taiwan during the month of June.

June 22, 2018

Day 3 in Taiwan, I helped out on a Bamboo farm!

We were digging up bamboo sprouts to cut and later sell. May-Sept is the prime season for harvesting bamboo sprouts in Taiwan. The sprouts are dug up, cut, cleaned and then cut up to be eaten cooked or raw!

This bamboo farm is a widely known organic farm in Taiwan that is always trying to practice progressive farming technologies. One thing I’m learning while abroad is although we come from different continents and cultures, the goal of producing the best product possible and the passion behind that goal is the same!

June 23, 2018

Today I got to visit Taiwan’s version of a farmers market! Hope Plaza is unique in that farmers come from all over Taiwan to market and sell their produce, share ideas and make connections. You can find everything from fruits and vegetables to coffee and tea. There are designated sections for organic and new (18-45) farmers. This market is sponsored by the Taiwan Agriculture Bureau, every year they have 200+ applications from farmers across Taiwan to sell their products but there are only 140 spots. Another “neat” aspect is that farmers do not need to pay for the awarded spot.
It has been interesting to learn how the government and other agriculture businesses come together to support local Taiwanese farmers!

June 24, 2018

For anyone who took Dr. Lee’s horticulture class at NDSU you might remember learning about the huge flower auctions in Asia. Taipei Flowers Auction opens early in the morning (3 or 4) for buyers to bid on the type of quantity of flowers. Later these flowers are taken to specialty vendors in the Flower Market area to be sold to shop owners and everyday people! While some flowers are imported the vast majority are grown in Taiwan!

June 25, 2018

I got to visit a rice farm around Emei Township, Hsinchu City.
Disclaimer For all the concerned ranchers around Amidon: no snakes were encountered!
Something interesting about growing rice in Taiwan is harvest season will begin soon, starting in the South and working its way up to Northern Taiwan. Within a month(ish) all of Taiwan’s rice will be harvested and the drying process will commence. Similarly to wheat and other crops commonly grown in the US, Taiwanese farmers must wait for the moisture level to drop (12-14% for rice) before harvesting can begin.

June 26, 2018

Ohhh the places you’ll go!
China and countries influenced by the Chinese culture are known for their ceramic dish ware, specifically porcelain. While the high quality and value of ceramic has remained the same, the designs and colors incorporated have changed. These changes reflect influential outside relations with other countries, including India as well as western cultures. Going from simple white designs to incorporating hues of blue- blankets of green, purple red etc.- western flower designs and shading.

June 27, 2018

Surprise surprise...Hannah found a library!
Beitou Library is Taiwan’s first “green library”. The building is designed to utilize runoff rain water for its toilettes, large windows reduce the need for artificial light, and a ventilation system limits the need for air condition- among many other eco friendly modifications. I was personally just excited to feel at home again among the shelves but learning about the architectural uniqueness was an added bonus.

June 28, 2018

After 10(ish) days in Taiwan I have never been more grateful for my diverse educational background. Having a broad understanding of different ideas, concepts and agricultural practices make piecing together more complex ideas using “simpler terms” a million times easier for me and the other person...it is so rewarding to see their face light up when I catch on and start filling in the blanks! Side story: I would have never figured out the the pink and white flower was the result of a successful graft if not for taking a horticulture plant propagation class at UW...not quite sure if it outweighs the $120 required textbook but I’ll take what I can get...

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