Agriculture in China doesn’t look all that different from agriculture here in America. China is a massive country with climates ranging from tundra to tropic and terrain from mountains to deserts to wetlands. These factors allow them to produce a wide variety of agricultural products.

Chief among these are grains. Yes, rice, but also wheat, corn, millet, and oats. They also grow a lot of oil producing crops including soy (for oil, soy sauce and tofu), peanuts and sesame. Cotton is another big crop. And you can’t forget Mandarin oranges and tea. Both are products of China.

Maps of China, Agricultural Regions, Boundary ...

Maps of China, Agricultural Regions, Boundary representation is not necessarily authoritative, 800635 (544061) 5-86 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the animal side of things, they produce a lot of poultry and pork. Peking duck and pork steamed buns were two of my favorite foods over there. Sheep and goats are also popular, cattle less so. Many Chinese are lactose intolerant so diary isn’t a big agricultural industry. For a girl would could live on cheese alone, surviving 9 months in a land without it was an impressive feat.

Another big industry is the silk industry. I tend to forget that it is agricultural, but it is. It’s kind of like bee keeping. The farmer must raise the silk worms up to the age where they form their cocoons so that the silk can be harvested. Each worm produces about 1 mile of silk filament. Multiple filaments must be combined to create a thread. It is very intensive and delicate work. This type of farming is called sericulture.

21-day-old silk worms between mulberry leaves ...

21-day-old silk worms between mulberry leaves in the Suzhou No. 1 Silk Mill (Jiangsu), China (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you find yourself in Chinatown at some point, pick up some lychee, dragon fruit, pomelo, lotus root. You’ve probably had, or at least heard of, bok choy, daikon, and leeks all of which are staples in Chinese dishes. And the next time you get Chinese take out, branch out from fried rice and General Tso’s (which doesn’t actually exist in China).

A Chinese painting depicting an agricultural s...

A Chinese painting depicting an agricultural scene probably during the Ming Dynasty. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3 thoughts on “China

  1. Peking duck – check.
    Steamed pork buns and dumplings – check.
    Brie and camembert every morning at breakfast – check.
    Watching the star ferries go back and forth between Kowloon and Admiralty in Hong Kong – currently checking that off now.
    Hunger Games – leaving that off the checklist.

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