Teadoff, indeed, I will.
William, I've been in the shop lately and will send you some photos if I can before I leave of the recent work.
I have talked by email with some producers in the Nantou region and am hoping to get up into Shanlinxi. I've also talked with Petr about taking the Central Island Hwy. and getting up into the Lishan area to visit the surrounding peaks. I have many questions about the process there in regards to the gaoshan harvest. For instance, a Taiwanese gentleman whom I connected with at last year's World Tea Expo, whose family are forth generation tea growers said that any true high peak gaoshan teas will have some pesticides on them at some point, no matter what, because the crop is too valuable to risk and the harvests too few. This is an example of something I'd like to look into and verify for myself.
I have purposely been holding off on seeing the movie and will buy the DVD when in Taiwan. My former training is in Deep Ecology and there is an ecological awakening taking place throughout the island evidenced in the many LOHAS spaces that sell and promote organic products and in a deepening Taiwanese consciousness awakening to the beauty and value of Isla Formosa. Even the Taiwanese Buddhist organization Tzu Chi really pushes an organic and sustainable approach to living. As well, there are professors writing on the ideas of island sustainability that are borrowing, ironically, from authors such as Gary Snyder, George Sessions, Wendell Berry and others. There is always talk of the destructiveness of various agricultural products on the land and the effect that erosion plays in the frequent mud/landslides that occur during fierce Typhoons. Taiwan, given its seismic activity and loose landscape seems prone to the effects of erosion and I am curious to walk some of the upper gardens myself. I have seen the slides myself when in Taiwan during Typhoon season. I have visited various mid-elevation gardens in the past around Alishan and other areas but never the high gardens.
I have many focused intentions around this trip and am grateful for any other thoughts or questions others might have that might enlarge my own inquiries while I sit with my teacher and others on this trip.