Spring tea harvest underway in Nantong
Farmers pick tea leaves on Junshan Mountain, Nantong, East China's Jiangsu province, on March 24. It was the first day of the mountain's annual tea harvest season. [Photo/VCG]
With temperatures warming, farmers have begun picking tea leaves on Junshan Mountain, Nantong, East China's Jiangsu province.
The green tea, known as Langshan Chunxiao, enjoys a unique color and fragrance, and is considered one of the best teas in northern Jiangsu province.
According to locals, tea planting on Junshan Mountain dates back to the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644). At that time, monks living in a temple atop the mountain planted tea in a small field for daily consumption. The plantation was left uncultivated as the temple declined.
The mountain's current tea trees were brought in from Dongshan Mountain in Suzhou in the 1970s and now cover an area of two hectares.
Theoretically, the region north of the Yangtze River is not suitable for growing tea trees, according to Liu Lili, an employee at the Junshan Mountain scenic area.
"However, Nantong has a northern subtropical climate, boasting warm temperatures, adequate rainfall, and high humidity. Junshan Mountain also has fertile soil with a pH value between 4.5 and 6, ideal for planting tea," she explained.
The first batch of tea is expected to hit the market around April 1. Due to its high quality and limited quantity, it is usually priced at more than 4,000 yuan ($566.4) per kilogram.