Fonglin

Member of the Taiwan National Network

Geographical area
Fonglin is located in eastern Taiwan, between the Central Mountain Ranges and the Seashore Mountain Ranges. This town has a total area of 120 square kilometers with a population of 11,325 people. The economy is based on agriculture which produces such things as rice, corn, watermelons, and bananas.

History
Eastern Taiwan was the last area to be developed in Taiwan. Settlements began development in 1853 by the Chinese. In 1895 the district was colonized by the Japanese with the Treaty of Shimonosela. Many Japanese people migrated to the area and set up the tobacco industry, employing local people and contributing significantly to the local economy. The Japanese surrendered in World War Two and the Japanese colonists returned to Japan, leaving the local inhabitants to run the tobacco industry. There is very little left of the colony today, except historical buildings such as the tobacco drying sheds, Japanese style houses, the old police building and the school.

Projects
Natural Farming Project: Rice is the main crop in Taiwan. In this project, farmers are supported by families to use natural farming techniques, without the use of chemicals and GM to grow rice. Consumers buy crops directly from farmers and make sure the farmers maintain a stable income by using this environmentally friendly way.

Local products promotion: Local products include peanuts, soy bean milk, peeled chili peppers, and dyed fabric in a traditional way with natural plants. This project is organized by Fonglin Townhall.

Slow Food Movement: Food is connected to the life and culture of this town. Traditional cuisine here mainly includes rice. Examples of this are Rice Ball (Tang Yuan), Pumpkin Cake (Nan Gua Gao), Red Turtle Custard (Ong Ku Koe), Rice Bowled Cake (Wan Gao), Sticky Rice Balls (Ma Shu), Hakka Vegetable Bum (Hakka Cai Bao), Steamed Sponge Cake (Fa Gao), Radish Cake (Luo Bo Gao). Most of them is made depends on different season or festival. There is a sharing recipe organized by local farmer's association.

DaRong and BeiLin Elementary schools have been fore runners in the slow food movement and they have introduced a slow food program into the schools. We offer courses for those interested in learning about the slow food cooking methods.

There is also a restaurant using a garden to kitchen concept, Four Generations Farmers(四代務農Si Dai Wu Nong) is owned by a local family. There is no menu and all the dishes depend on seasonal availability. They offer creative country style dishes.

Another local business operates a restaurant and B&B from an historical tobacco drying shed, Old Trees (芳草古樹 Fang Cao Gu Shu). The building is surrounded by hundred-year old trees from which the business derives its name. They offer traditional dishes such as Hakka Pork Hock and Pounded Tea.

Events and Festival
January: Chinese New Year, Sakura Bloom
February: Tian Chuan Ri (天穿日Hakka traditional Festival)
April: Hakka Tung Flower Festival, Tomb Sweeping Day
May: Dragon Boat Festival
June: Watermelon Festival
July and August: Aboriginal Harvest Festival, Ghosts Party Festival
September: Confucius Ceremony (Traditional ceremony to celebrate Teacher's Day)

Representatives of Cittaslow: 
Yu Pei Chang - yupeichang2012@gmail.com