Sat, Dec 04, 2010 - Page 13 News List

Hualien’s “Good Old Chap” grows huge sugarcane
阿公那麼好 種出甘蔗那麼長

Tseng Teh-tsai tends to the 10m-high sugarcane that grows in his garden in Kuangfu Township, Hualien County in this undated photo.

Photo: Hua Meng-ching

An Amis aboriginal from Hualien County who goes by three names has impressed his neighbors by growing a three-storey-high sugarcane. Tseng De-tsai’s aboriginal name is Namohow, which means “well-behaved boy,” but in his hometown of Kuangfu Township, almost everyone knows him as “Good Old Chap,”which in Chinese is a near-homophone of his aboriginal name.

Tseng’s sugarcane now stands 10m tall, the height of a three-story building. It grows along side a betel nut tree and is now seven years old, a remarkable age for this type of plant.

In order to protect the sugarcane from typhoons, Tseng has tied it to a bamboo scaffold. Every couple of days he climbs up his ladder and helps the sugarcane “undress” by picking off its old leaves, and spreads rice bran fertilizer around the base. He says that the sugarcane is almost seven years old now, and that shoots around the main trunk can be picked, fried and eaten.

A sugarcane expert said that regular sugarcane or edible red sugarcane are typically ready to harvest after about one or one and a half years. Usually they grow to between two and three meters tall, depending on the amount of fertilizer used. The expert added that he had never seen anything like Tseng’s seven-year-old sugarcane.







1. homophone n.

異義同音字 (yi4 yi4 tong2 yin1 zi4)

例: The phrase is a homophone for an obscene word.


2. fertilizer n.

肥料 (fei2 liao4)

例: The tariff on fertilizer exports will rise next month.


3. shoot n.

嫩芽 (nen4 ya2)

例: The tasty snacks are made from bamboo shoots.


4. edible adj.

食用的 (shi2 yong4 de5)

例: We bought some edible insects at the night market.



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