Sunday, August 15, 2010

Gao Get Yourself One of These Pears

In Hebei Province, there once was a mastermind who crafted all of the pears in his tree to grow into little hanging Buddha's. Doesn't this sound like an enticing fairy tale? It's actually a reality for Gao Xianzhang, a farmer from a small village outside of Beijing.

It took him about six years to perfect, or pearfect, this special horticultural technique which was inspired by the book, "Journey to the West", in which immortality can be obtained by consuming imaginary baby-shaped fruits. “It was more difficult than I expected," Gao has reported. "You have to test when the best time is to put the molds on the pears, and when to take them off again. If you leave the molds on for too long, the pears start to rot inside."
Eventually, Gao was able to grow enough of these magical molded fruits to sell at market for a hefty price, approximately eight U.S. dollars per pear. Now Gao is doing quite well for himself, especially compared to the other farmers in his region. Gao has already begun considering what a Western market might expect from a molded pear. He believes Bible characters could be popular, as well as Charlie Chaplin. I can see myself purchasing any or all of these, as long as the pear tasted delicious of course!