Through the Internet, a group of women clad in headscarfs printed with Hakka traditional floral patterns, holding bamboo sieves filled with semi-dried persimmons while turning them, became the iconic image of Liu’s orchard, earning them the name “persimmon cake grandmas” (柿餅婆婆).
Another opportunity for Liu emerged nine years ago when an outsourcing contractor hired by the Ministry of Economic Affairs visited the orchard.
The delegation was surprised to discover a wooden beam that had been dyed brown by the persimmon juice left on the hands of Liu’s mother — a finding that blazed the trail for the development of persimmon dye in Taiwan and led to the establishment of the Hsinchu County Persimmon Dye Cultural Association.
Long regarded as a waste product, persimmons’ reddish-orange skin is rich in natural tannic acid and collagen, and dye extracted from it has good color fastness and can create a leather-like quality.
The beam was named the “Memorial Column of Parents” (懷親柱) and is now on display at Liu’s tourist orchard.