High-tech greenhouses lead to bountiful cherry harvest in Yantai

By Li Jiaying and Liu Zizheng| (chinadaily.com.cn)| Updated : 2024-03-20

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"The cherry blossoms are all in full bloom as spring comes, and we really expect to reap a bountiful harvest this year." In Shanzhaolijia village of Yantai, East China's Shandong province, a group of cherry growers are hard at work in their greenhouses.

Wang Weizhi, owner of 12 high-end greenhouses, said cherry growing has led to a significant increase in local farmers' income. They once harvested large cherries with a diameter of over 32mm and sold them for a high price of 220 yuan ($30.58) per pound.

When asked about the secrets to success, Wang said the farmers use advanced technologies to strictly control the temperature, humidity and light in the greenhouses.

"We've provided the cherry trees with the most favorable growing environment," said Wang. "We keep the temperature difference at a 'golden 13 C' to make the cherries taste sweeter. The sugar content of our products is generally around 24 to 25 percent, with a maximum of up to 29 percent."

Wang said all the fertilizers they use are organic and high-quality, and thereby the cherries have a great taste and are nutritionally complete.

The greenhouses can be divided into "cold greenhouses" and "warm greenhouses" based on their different locations and the natural lighting received. Cherries grown in "warm greenhouses" will be available for sale in early April, while the ripening time of "cold greenhouse" cherries can be artificially adjusted in accordance with the actual market demand.

Wang has recently introduced a new form of cherry tree called "one stick" to his greenhouses. Endowed with short fruiting branches, these trees can enter a highly productive period earlier than normal ones, with no harm to the quality of their fruits.

Embarking on a new journey of rural revitalization, Wang Weizhi and other local fruit farmers are well poised to further expand planting scale and improve the quality of their products, as well as to increase their brand awareness.