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There is a kind of potherb called wild carrot locally, whose scientific name is Panax japonicus. It has root whose shape is like Panax. It tastes delicious. It can be eaten raw, and also can be cooked and fried. Local people often prepare this dish to host a feast. It has great life force, being able to bear drought and grows easily. Every year before spring comes and the land is tilled, when peasants plough the land, they always can find many in the field. At present local crop is mainly wheat. Potatoes and peas are grown with comparatively large quantity. National purchase price of wheat is no more than about 0.5 yuan per jin(half a kilogramme). The tilth of each family is no more than 10 odd mu(One mu is 1/15 of a hectare). Every year peasants put plentiful energy into the emblement. But due to drought weather and little rain, at the end of a year, there still is nothing at all. Some families even can’t ensure their grain ration this year. Even though it is a year of serene wind and harmonious rain, farming also can bring in little money.
If part of the land can be used to grow wild carrot, as I have once asked local friends and peasants about it, they said one mu(One mu is 1/15 of a hectare) can yield about 300 to 400 jin(half a kilogramme). If the purchase price is about 5 yuan per jin, potherb of one mu land can be sold to 1500-2000 yuan or so. And this may be the amount of money that is earned yearly by one person working outside. Furthermore, the growth cycle of wild carrot is short. In about 2 months’ time, it can be dug out. Sown in spring and autumn, two crops a year, it doesn’t need fertilization or too much care. If possible, it is even applicable to plant wild carrot and wheat in succession.
There is a report in Beijing Evening News of Sept. 22, 2001. The headline is: 20 kinds of mountain potherb that have no social effects of pollution will come into the market at the end of the year. Therein Panax japonicus, namely wild carrot, was mentioned, whose price was up to 20 yuan per kilogramme. It has been sold in food market of Chongwen Men. If wild carrot is grown instead of growing grain partly, it ought to be of great help to economic income of peasant. At present what is inadequate is the particular research into feasibility of growing wild carrot in large areas and it lacks of plenty of purchase channels.