This year we have met a new Dancong producer family, the Xie Family. They own a very small plot of land in the low to mid mountains, (around 300 meters) just a few kilometers up windy mountain roads from the Phoenix Village.
Their tea fields are inter dispersed between bamboo forests and vegetable gardens, thus even though they have a few acres of tea, they all manifest in small pocket gardens on ridge lines and mountain valleys.
The harvestable tea is relatively small, only around 30 Mu (just under 5 acres), so the family is able to pick most the tea themselves, with the help of a few neighbors. The Xie family is a 5 generation tea family, and they have been living in these mountains for longer than they can trace back.
Even during peak production time, they try to keep all the tea picking and processing in house, meaning that the son, the mother, and the father are all equally responsible for picking and producing the tea.
The son, Xiaoxu, told us that they primarily make maocha and sell to producers without their own farms so that it can be roasted and further refined. They do however hand-sort and charcoal roast a small portion of their teas themselves.
The Xie family is a clear example of a modern household farm, a true 家庭农场, as the land, the labor, and the profits are all kept in-house.