Kenting Traditional Culture: Fenggang Charcoal and Chinese Chastetree Broom

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Kenting Traditional Culture: Fenggang Charcoal and Chinese Chastetree Broom

The unique aroma of the whole plant of Vitex negundo, “Pu Jiang Zai” or Huang Jing (Chinese Chaste tree) is a natural spice widely used in Taiwanese folk.
For those who plant mangoes in Kenting area, usually picked mangoes are put into the urn together with branches and leaves of Huang Jing (Chinese Chaste tree) and after two or three days, the aroma and flavor of the mangoes can be doubled.

People in Kinmen island pickle the branches and leaves of Huang Jing (Chinese Chaste tree) together with fermented black soybeans, and the fermented black soybeans made is incomparably scented. In addition, the flowers, branches, and leaves are also used to extract aromatic oil.

chinese broom in kenting with butterflies

In rural Taiwan, Huang Jing (Chinese Chastree)  is used as the traditional insect repellent material, and when the hens hatch eggs during summer, the chicken nests are often covered with the branches and leaves of Huang Jing (Chinese Chastree).

They can relieve heat for chickens, and they serve to expel worms and snakes.

Cowherd child mostly knows the way to fold some branches, to help cattle in expelling flies and in fighting insects.

Huang Jing’s fragrance is similar with the camphor aroma. People who like it will be planting a whole row of “Pu Jiang Zai” in front and behind of the house. On the one hand, dense plants can replace the fence

the light aroma can be emitted when the wind blows, and it can prevent snake invasion. After the cut-off branches and leaves are dried, the products are drinkable.

In addition, when bundled with straw and burnt in fire, they could be fragrant and effective natural repellent. When they are placed next to the pigsty and chicken coop, mosquito repellent effects immediately appear.

In the long summer nights, if you want to get cool in the forecourt and backyard, of course, these magical mosquito fragrances would be needed.

Huang Jing which can be seen everywhere in Hengchun Peninsula, is also a traditional charcoal wood. As early as in the middle of the Qing Dynasty, there were people who took risk to enter Lang Qiao to build charcoal kilns for burning charcoal on land of their own choice.

 The “Wind Harbor” (now Fenggang) contains the most charcoal kilns; those sold to other places are known to be originated from the “Wind Harbor”. The charcoal made of Huang Jing is tough and particularly burn-resistant. Gradually, this kind of Huang Jing charcoal is commonly known as “Wind Harbor (Fenggang) Charcoal”.

If you happen to be in the Fenggang – be sure to visit Fenggang Wave Point (楓港浪點) – check out 360° video below. 

Also, did you know, that current president of Taiwan Tzai Ing-Wen grandfather actually came a Hakka school in Meixian County, Guangdong Province, and moved to Taiwan to settle in Fenggang?  

Learn more about this, and Tsai Ing-Wen family in Fenggang in this article. 

It is sure that Tzai Ing-Wen should be familiar with a smell of Chinese Chaste tree in summer. 

Wind Harbour - Fenggang in kenting

Wind Harbour is a direct translation from Chinese – 楓港 Fēng gǎng. 

Huang Jing is not only a “good quality charcoal fuel” with the properties of toughness and not-easy-broken, but also a good material for making brooms.

After drying the harvested thinner branches, tie them into bunches. Then tie five bunches together, it would then become a broom that can be used to sweep the floor.

Fenggang resident preparing to dry huang jing

Fenggang resident prepares to dry Huang Jing. 

broom made out of chinese chaste tree in kenting

This broom is made from chinese chaste tree

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