Roy reports on his experiments with probiotic fertilizer and green-tea-making in Hunan:
Yesterday, after a bone-jarring four-hour ride, I got to the Xue Feng Shan (Snow Peak Mountain) area in Hunan. We tested a plot of tea with the probiotic fertilizer provided by my friend Conrad. The test plot looks good, with clear indications of better growth, better-sized tips, and thicker leaves. Comparing the test plot and the rest of the farm you see clear signs of improvement. Due to the colder weather and high altitude the full harvest won't happen for another day, but that didn't stop me from trying my own hand in making someMao Feng tea by hand. It is less challenging than making Dragon Well but boy am I glad I already have a day job! I don't think I would want to share my handiwork with anyone anytime soon.
The probiotic fertilizer was provided by my friend Conrad Kulik, who owns a patent in this technology. The idea is to use an all-vegetable-based fertilizer to entice healthful bacteria growth in the soil, attracting useful creatures such as earthworms to feed on the soil, essentially making the soil alive with its own ecosystem. It is very exciting and seems to work. We have tested three plots and will have samples from all of them at the end of the month. Maybe we can invite people to come taste the first probiotic tea ever made!
I am off to Beijing to see a relative and then will return to Hangzhou again for more tea...