“Green hills are golden hills. Our land here is quite suitable for planting apple trees, and that’s why we have such large orchards here,” Jiang Liangbiao said proudly, pointing at the hill under his foot.
Jiang is the Party head of Gaoxigou Village, Yulin City, Shaanxi Province.
Having worked in the village Party committee since retiring from the army in 1981, he has dedicated his life to Gaoxigou.
For decades, the village has managed environmental protection well, but the economic benefits of forest maintenance were not as good in the 1980s and 1990s.
In 2006, Jiang learned that farmers in Luochuan County were planting apples for profit, which prompted him to invite agricultural technicians from there to visit Gaoxigou.
They determined that the village was also a good place for growing apples because it had suitable soil, sufficient sunshine and a large enough temperature difference between day and night, which could help fruit grow. sweeter.
That’s how the village’s apple orchards came into being, and they’ve been doing quite well ever since. Gaoxigou has further capitalized on the success of growth by offering fruit picking as a leisure activity, and the village honors top apple growers each year.
Last year, villager Jiang Liangwen received the honor after planting 11,333 square meters of apple trees and earning 60,000 yuan ($8,908).
In September, President Xi Jinping visited Gaoxigou on an inspection tour to find out how the village had worked to develop an ecological civilization.
Jiang Liangbiao remembers talking with Xi.
“He listened to our report with a smile. He even said that he got to know our village when he was in Liangjiahe in the 1970s,” Jiang said.
Xi was quite familiar with agricultural field work, Jiang recalled. Xi spoke highly of Gaoxigou, saying it is a model of environmental protection near the Yellow River and the village is on the right track. Jiang said Xi’s words warmed his heart.
By planting apple trees and forests, Gaoxigou not only increased villagers’ income, it also preserved its environment and prevented more clay and sand from flowing into the nearby Yellow River.
Gaoxigou easily established itself as a comprehensive agro-tourism area, with over 666,000 square meters of apple trees planted. The average disposable income per person reached 18,860 yuan last year, 4,378 yuan higher than the county average.