Our little band of travelers made it to Jiangsu Province today to visit the gardens where Bi Luo Chun is grown. Bi Luo Chun is one of the most prized Chinese green teas. The growing area is small and this tea is often faked. The real thing however is spectacular.
They are on an island in Tai Hu, one of the largest fresh water lakes in China. There is a mountain on the island is called Dong Ting Mountain and they are on the west side called Xi Shan. That is the side facing the lake. You can see how shaded the tea bushes are by numerous types of fruit trees. Xi Shan produces the sweetest most delicate leave. There are a few day before harvest will begin. Winter in Eastern China has been severely cold this year and harvest time has been pushed back. When I talked to Zhuping last night they were having lunch that included a lot a dishes from the lake, fish, shrimp, and crab. Here are some photos. Notice again the numerous fruit trees. The gardens here are much older than those they visited yesterday. You might have to look hard to see the tea bushes amongst the fruit trees.