King Ming Chang Leisure Farm (金明昌鹿園) is an interesting leisure farm at Maling Recreational Farm Area in northern Taiwan’s Keelung City. In addition to producing quality velvet antlers, wild bee honey, as well as organic pomelos and other fruits, it is also famous for conducting interesting DIY projects.
For more photos of this multifunctional farm, please watch the following video:
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King Ming Chang Leisure Farm garden
The garden is composed of a Formosan sambar deer ranch, the honey cultivation area, a newly-renovated DIY building, a carp observation pond, and an area for growing fruits and vegetables.
King Ming Chang is one of the most famous deer ranches in northern Taiwan and was certified by the government as a Premier Deer Ranch three times in a row. It currently raises 36 Formosan sambar deer and produces about 5,000 taels (413.4 lbs or 187.5 kg) of velvet antlers per year.
With over 20 years of experience, the quality of the velvet antlers produced on this leisure farm is very good and has won a high reputation nationwide. The velvet antlers are mostly sliced to sell for additional tonic herbal nutrition. It is believed that velvet antlers can support growth, boost strength and stamina, improve the immune system, and prevent various ailments.
As velvet antlers are harvested from stags between March and June every year, visitors who want to see magnificent velvet antlers on Formosan sambar deer or purchase fresh velvet antlers should not miss this period of time.
To feed those Formosan sambar deer, besides importing alfalfa grass from other countries, King Ming Chang also plants pasture grass in three grasslands in different locations nearby, with a total area of 0.6 hectares (1.6 acres).
Organic honey cultivation
There are scores of wooden rectangular beehive boxes scattered around the leisure farm’s garden. As honeybees collect pollen and nectar from wildflowers in the untilled forest in the nearby mountains, the organic honey produced on the farm has a unique flavor and aroma.
If you are lucky enough, the operator of the farm may treat you to fresh propolis so you can taste the amazing substance produced by bees and experience the original flavor of fresh honey inside. But those who have an allergy to honey or bees should avoid trying it, as they may have a reaction to propolis.
Covering an area of 0.78 hectares (1.9 acres), the leisure farm has planted over 160 pomelo trees in two separate orchards. Most of the pomelos produced on this leisure farm are Wendan pomelos, which originated in Taiwan, and have a juicy and delicious flavor.
In addition, the farm also planted some Peiyu (Citrus grandis Osbeck, 大白柚), Xishi pomelo (西施柚) and grapefruit (葡萄柚) trees in its orchards. Peiyu is a rounder and juicier version of the pomelo. Xishi pomelo features sweet and juicy champagne pink-fleshed fruit, and is nicknamed “honey pomelo,” while grapefruit is a hybrid of oranges and pomelos.
Furthermore, the organic pomelo trees in the leisure farm are open for the general public to reserve one year beforehand at the cost of NT$2,500 (US$90) per tree. When pomelos are ripe around the Mid-autumn Festival, those who had made reservations in the previous year will be informed to experience the joy of picking pomelos on the trees reserved by them. The guaranteed minimum harvesting number per tree is 60 pieces. If the actual harvesting number is lower than that figure, the leisure farm will make up the gap.
Surrounded by some pomelo trees loaded with pomelos and wooden beehive boxes, the carp observation pond is situated below the square in front of the main building in the garden. There are many variegated carp, including Kinginrin, Taisho sanshoku, and Kohaku, along with two large black carp (black Chinese roach 烏溜), and some geese in the pond. Visitors can stand on the bank to feed the fish, so as to watch the magnificent scene of a school of colorful carp and the huge black carp fighting for food in the water.
There are a variety of homemade products exhibited and sold in the main building of the leisure farm’s garden, such as honey, propolis, pomelo jam, kumquat jam, cervi cornus gelatinum, fresh fruits, vegetables, and antlers, and products thereof.
Interesting DIY activities
The leisure farm also offers a variety of joyful DIY activities, such as picking fruit, making soaps, candles, lip balms, pomelo jam, etc. But they are only for group visitors, and advance reservations are required.
Undoubtedly, the King Ming Chang Leisure Farm is a wonderful destination not only for fun, but also for learning. It is especially awesome for families with young kids.