Broomtail millet renaissance

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Taichung’s Dadu Mountain has an arid climate with scarce water resources, and so the irrigation of agricultural crops relies on rainfall. With little economic benefit from poor crops, agriculture has gradually disappeared from the plateau. However, for generations, broomtail millet has been grown on Dadu Mountain to make brooms. Though times have changed and traditional brooms are now used by very few people, Taichung Wensen Community College (臺中文山社大) and The Society of Dadu Mountain (大肚山學社), hope to revive the hill-farming tradition in the region, especially the planting of broomtail millet. Everyone is anticipating the harvest, when students at the community college will have the opportunity of making traditional brooms.

After a chance meeting with expert Changhua broom maker Zhuang Shi yue-pin (莊施月聘), teacher at The Society of Dadu Mountain, Wu Jin-shu (吳金樹), decided to take his students and learn the skill of broom making from the master. Although Dadu Mountain Plateau and Changhua’s Erlin Township are two distinct areas, they share some cultural similarities. Today, only a small number of people still use traditional brooms made from broomtail millet, but this environmentally friendly cleaning utensil is sure to see a renaissance in the not so distant future. 

Broomtail millet renaissance

URL:https://www.peopo.org/news/286721

(以下為中文對照)

番黍四時春

台中大肚山天候乾旱,水資源極為缺乏,農作灌溉用水必須仰賴雨水,所以經濟效益不佳的作物,便逐漸在山頂消失,像番黍這種作物,早期在大肚山是製作掃帚的原料,隨著時代進步,傳統的掃帚現今已很少人使用,臺中文山社大與大肚山學社,為復育山頂傳統農作,特地種植番黍,期望收成後,可以教導社大學生,來製作傳統掃帚。

大肚山學社吳金樹老師,在偶然機會認識彰化二林的莊施月聘阿嬤,阿嬤是製作番黍掃帚的達人,因此帶著臺中文山社大的學生,特地前來拜師學藝。大肚山頂與彰化二林雖然分處兩地,但是在部份文化仍有相似之處,雖然用番黍製成的掃帚,目前已極少家庭使用,但是這種具有環保概念的打掃用具,相信在未來番黍製成的掃帚,將會重新受到世人的青睞。

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