ow works in the village as a manager of the dendrobium planting base.
“It’s wonderful that our village has an industry now, so I don’t have to leave my hometown anymor
e. Life is much more comfortable than in the past,” said Chen, adding that she now earns a monthly salary
of more than 3,000 yuan ($446). She can also cycle to work in just a few minutes and can take care of her two children and elderly mother-in-law.
“Without competing with agriculture, planting the dendrobium can liberate good fields,” Chen
said. “Without harming the grass or trees, we can achieve harmonious coexistence. High mou
ntains and deep forests do no harm to the plant, but can help restore authentic herbs.”
The period for flower gathering lasts from April to June every year, and the fresh branch picking period is from Novemb
er to March. Residents from the neighboring area can all come to work at the base, and a skilled worker can earn up to 500 yuan a day.
“Last year, the salaries we paid totaled more than 4 million yuan,” said Ruan, adding that the
re are always job vacancies at the base. During the peak picking period, more than 200 workers are needed every day.
As the cultivation features “zero chemical fertilizer, zero chemical pesticides, zero hor
mones, and zero transgenics”, dendrobium produced in Zhegui finds a ready market.