Phase 3: Interpreting Information

Updated 3 years 4 months ago

IIn this Phase I will be gathering background information about my topic that I chose in Phase 0, which is farming. Also in Phase 0 I looked over other Microcampus students that have done my topic. While looking over the other people I got a chance to reflect on what I need to know about farming. In Phase 1 I thought about what I need to know about farming and what I want to know about farming before I go to the village. After I do research in this phase I will go back Phase 1 and edit questions to ask in the village about farming.

Background Information (from Phase 1) :

Farmers throughout China grow crops and grains to feed their families such as, rice, wheat, soybeans, and corn. Yunnan has a great soil for growing crops, but its hard because much of the land is elevated therefore farmers could not grow their crops on an uneven surface.

•   China has about 300 million acres of cultivated land. [5]

•   Since 1950 the amount of land owned by farmers has decreased to having less than half of the original land owned. [5]

•   China over time developed very rich soil which is great for farming. [4]

•   Chinese get the rich soil by putting all organic waste into the soil. [4]

•   During the 16th century China's produced crops were lagging [4]

•   China began to experience some economic slowdowns [4]

•   China is one of the top producers of cotton [1]

•   Some of China's cash crops include, cotton, sugarcane, tea, and tobacco [1]

•   Sugarcane is grown in south China like Yunnan  [3]

•   Rice provides 20% of the worlds calorie intake [3]

•   90% of farmed crops including rice comes from Asia [3]

•   China's Costumers want more meat which results in people wanting more grain. [3]

•   During colder seasons wheat, broad beans, and garlic are grown [2]

•   During the warmer seasons rice, melons, and corn are the most commonly grown  [2] 

Information From 3-to-5's :

Mr. T  [6]

Talk to Mr. Zhao our guard who farms on the off season. Talk to our neighbor Mr. Zhao who used to own a farm. Talk to almost anyone in the village because Xizhou used to be a place where everyone farms. Talk to the people staying by the Linden Centre. Many land owners do not work on their own land they pay people to come in and plant the crops. Then, later in the year they have them come  back You harvest the crops. A wile ago 80% of the population was farmers 

Ms. Mai [7]

Talk to Mr. Zhao our Guard he used to work on a small farm. Talk to the owner of the tool show he will know a lot about farming and what tools are needed for what crop. Any farmer in the field would know a lot and make friends with them. Talk to the cheese makers husband. He works on a small field and grows Brat bean. Almost anyone in the village. 

Ms. Zhang [8]

Talk to people staying by the Linden Centre. Talk to anyone living by a field. Many locals know a lot about farming because it used to be a place where everyone farmed. Land owners pay people to work on their farm and the owners don't do much work. Garlic planting season is November.


Information From Local Contacts: 

Mr. He [9]

•   Communist party took peoples land and distributed it evenly. 

•   Government took over Mr. He's land and made it into a construction site.

•   Local Government is bad, they can take over anything they want.

•   Not a lot of income from working on a farm.

•   Sell crops at the market.

•   Paid people to help grow his crops. 

•   He grew rice, wheat, and snow peas. 

•   He uses pig poop to get rich soil.

•   Cut stock off rice then the pigs poop on the old rice then the poop and old rice goes on the soil. 

•   After the government took over his farm he went from having 1600 square meters of land to 400 square meters.

•   Tradition that Dali grows vegetables and Xizhou grows gradable he paid rice to a government

•   Before Mao took over Mr. He worked for a landlord. Then the communist party took over and gave everyone land. 

•   Risky being a farmer because if there is a cold season it ruins everything. 

•   Mr. He would have to pay rice to the government leaving them with no leftovers. 

•   70-80% Of the Xizhou population used to be farmers

Mr. Yong Bao [10]

•   Hard life to be a farmer

•   Very busy during planting and harvesting time  

•   November they grow garlic

•   Harvest garlic during April

•   Gives garlic to other Provence

•   Grows potatoes in January 

•   During planting and harvesting in the fields from 7:00- 6:00 with 1 lunch break 

•   Pays people for help during planting and harvesting

•   Corn and rice grows at the same time 

•   Must let the land rest

•   Put a layer of animal waste on the land and let it sit for 1 month

•   After you let it sit the soil will be richer 

Mr. Dong [11]

•   Neighbors work together so there is enough time to get it all done

•   Sells fresh milk 

•   Dali cheese requires fresh milk 

•   One cow can produce 50 kilo's per day

•   His parent's and grandparent's worked on a farm that's why he is a farmer

•   Owns about 2 Acer of land

•   Takes 5 people to work on the land only 2- 3 days of work

•   Sells rice for 2.5 RMB 

•   Harvest is not very good 

•   Every year produces less and less crops 

•   Uses animal waste to make soil rich

•   Now people are using chemicals to get rich soil

•   Using chemicals is not good fro the land. 


Mr. Yin [12]

•   Organic fertilizer like human and animal waste and also store sold fertilizer mad the rich soil

•   Got the land later then most did after land reformation

•   Farming went from being a big community posses to a small community posses 

•   Pays people to help with the farm 

•   People who finish farming first go out and get paid to work on other people farms

•   Farming was passed onto him by his parents

•   Sold land to developers 

•   Developers have not collected the land yet so they can still grow crops 

•   Whatever brings them income and whatever they can do they will do and that makes them happy 

•   Worked as a migrant worker in another city 

•   In the future there will be less farmers

•   In the future there will be on rich guy and pays people to work on his land

•   Go on the street to find people to pay them to help with the crops Mr. Zhao [13]

◦                     His families social class was "poor"

◦                     During the land reformation his family did not get land because his dad was working else where and mother worked at home

◦                     He owns land, but leases it to people

◦                     Grew rice and broad beans

◦                     Raised pigs on his farm 

◦                     He fed the pigs the food that he grew

◦                     In the 1960's it was common for people to raise pigs on their farms

◦                     Uses animal waste to get rich soil

◦                     After people stopped raising pigs that's when he chemicals started to play a role in farming

◦                     During farming season it is very busy, but other then that it is ok

◦                     Brat beans are easy to harvesting

◦                     Hard to harvest rice because if it gets wet it wont be good

◦                     Needs to pay people to help with the crops

◦                     People now do not want to be farmers

◦                     A good harvest made him happy 


Mr. Zhao  [14]

•   Grew corn, and wheat

•   Corn and Brat beans were feed to pigs 

•   Provide food for themselves first then sell the rest

•   Kept pigs and chickens on his farm 

•   Family eats eggs from the chicken then when family comes home they would kill the chicken and it would e considered a treat 

•   Used animal waste to get rich soil 

•   Now they use patricide to kill the bugs 

•   Now they use store bough fertilizer 

•   Farmers life is much easier now 

•   Now people use machines instead of their hands 

•   Crops are harder to grow back then- all crops equally hard 

•   Land reform is wheat he rich people's land is taken over and given to less wealthy people

•   His family was not rich, but not poor so the land reformation did not effect him in any way

•   For him not much change before and after the land reformation 

•   Now people are given private land 

•   Now it is a easier job to be a farmer "

•   Now their are machines to plow the fields and plant and harvest the crops 

•   In the past neighbors would work together 

•   Farmers now need to pay people to help them with planting and harvesting 

•   Not as many farmers now, in the past almost everyone was a farmer 

•   Farmers are at the bottom of the income rate

•   After the great leap forward people were divided into farming groups 

•   Being a farmer was very hard 

•   Give people who help on the farms and helped he government would get a ticket and that ticket would give them food 

•   People who did not help had to pa to get food 

•   After new china was founded farmers were able to pay rent for their land 

•   His parents were farmers 

•   Never went to middle school 

•   Farming will be more organized 

•   In the future a rich guy will own a lot of land and pay people to grow whatever crops the owner wants to grow "

•   People from other places are coming in and buying the land 

Mr. Yang [15]

•   Grew rice, wheat, rape seed, and brat beans 

•   Rape seeds provide oil for us 

•   Rape seeds are not very common 

•   Keeps the amount of rice that will last him and his family then sell the rest 

•   Feed the cows with the brat beans 

•   After they got rid of the cow they sold the brat beans 

•   To fertilize the land he used the com waste 

•   Government took away all of their farming land 

•   House was taken and turned into a cafeteria during the great leap forward 

•   After people came down and asked the locals if the family was fare. The locals said that they were fare and paid well. 

•   Got house back because the locals said good things about their family 

•   Grandfather was a landlord 

•   Farming was easy for him because if he needed he could pay people 

•   Now land is rented out to others. 

•   Not big change between generation 

•   When his dad was farming there were bot many machines 

•   Now it is half machine and have human work 

•   Machines are hard to use here because small pieces of land 

•   Machines wont totally take over it will be people and machine in the future 

•   Also you need a person to control the machine 

•   After new china was founded being a farmer was not a good thing  

•   Now people don't care what you do

•   Now highly educated people can become farmers

•   Now farming is high ranked based on their social class 

•   Used to be better to go to school

Mr. Du [16]

•   Grows vegetables like Peppers, Tomato’s 

•   Uses all natural formalizers 

•   Grows crops for himself and his family and then sometimes gives crops to his friends 

•   Raises chickens 

•   Eats the chickens eggs and then after eat the chicken 

•   Feed the chicken organic foods 

•   Uses the chicken waste to fertilize his land 

•   During he land reformation they were not poor, but not rich. 

•   His family got to keep his house and they were given a farm 

•   People were sorted into different social classes 

•   A lot easier to be a farmer now 

•   Work done by a machine in 1 day is equal to work done by 100 humans in 1 day 

•   Harder to be a farmer in the past 

•   He can do everything by hand and not get to tired 

•   When the machines come in it will be a huge turning point in a positive way 

•   Farming season is a short time of the year 

•   The life of a farmer is much better now 

•   Women in the past could not afford shoes 

•   Now farmers have a ok education 

•   Farmers are still at the bottom 

•   Farmers like was non stop work back then 

•   Got to keep his home 

•   Did not have to share their home with anyone during the great leap forward 

•   Summer is corn growing season 


Answers To Previous Questions (From Phase 1) : 

What crops do you grow on you farm and in what seasons if you do not have a farm what food do you eat in what season?
In November it is garlic growing season. Growing garlic is a new crop to be grown in Xizhou. In the summer, July they grow corn. In the winter time I grow brat beans, and wheat. In spring I grow rice, and melons. 

Do you eat the crops you grow?
I keep the crops I need, I will keep a certain amount of the crop that I know will last my family and I. Then I sell the rest or give it to some of my friends. Also I feed the animals with some of the crops I grow. We like to feed our animals all organic foods because I will  help them stay healthy and produce more food for us. 

Do you also raise animals on your farm if so why? 
Yes, I raise chickens, pigs and cows. I use the waste from all of them to get my rich soil. I use the pig to eat once it has grown big. I use the chicken to eat its eggs then eat the meat. I use the cow for milk and cheese. 

What is your most produced crop and why?
Rice, because many people in the village want and need rice. Many people here eat rice with every meal. Also people from other villages come here to collect some of our rice because we produce a lot of it and it is an important thing that we succeed with growing rice. 

 In your family who works in the fields and what are their ages?
Much of my family is living elsewhere. I produce the food and sometimes if they are home during planting and harvesting then they may help.  Most of the time I need to pay people to help me plant and harvest the crops I grow 

Do you wish you had grown up to be something other than a farmer?
I was born into a family of farmers. My parents were farmers, their parents were farmers. Farming is in my blood. I dropped out of school young and am realistic with my dreams. While growing up I knew I was going to be a farmer. I was born to be a farmer.

How often are you in the fields?
During farming seasons I go into the fields at 6:00 AM and do not return home until 7:30 PM. During my day I have a lunch break, but the rest I am doing work. When it is not farming season I get a job elsewhere. If I can't get I job I look over the field and make sure they are in good shape for next season. 

Who sells the crops you grow and why?
My wife works in the market and after I pick out the food that will last my family and I. I then give her the rest and she sells them in the market. She also sells other things in the market. She may sell the things we get from the animals we raise like cheese. 

How much money is the crops you sell?
It depends how good the crops are which depends on how good of a season I had. Also it depends if I know the person well or not. Sometime I give my friends free food because it is the right thing to do and I hope they would do it for me. 

What season is the most work and why?
Anytime it is planting and harvesting time for any crop it is a ton of work. It takes hours. I normally have to pay people to help me or have my family help me. But during the off-season it is a pretty easy job to be a farmer. 


1. "Cotton." Britannica School.. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 2015. Web. 17 Nov. 2015.
2. Richard, Dyson."First State taps in to China through farming." mail on Sunday 13 May 2012:83.Newspaper Source. Web 17 Nov.2015.
3. FLINT MARX, REBECCA."The riches Of Rice." Rodale's Organic Life 1.3(2015): 41-44. Health Source- Consumer Edition, Web. 17 Nov. 2015
4. MLA"China." Compton's by Britannica. 01 Aug. 2011 : n.p SIRS Discover. Web. 17 Nov. 2015.

5 . N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2015.
6. Tafel, Craig, Interview conducted by Shannon- 12/19/15
7.Mai, Haisam, Interview conducted by Shannon-  12/19/15

8.Zhang, Cecily, Interview conducted by Shannon-  12/19/15

9. Mr. Yang Bao, Interview conducted by Shannon- 12/23/15

10. Mr. Dong, Interview conducted by Shannon- 12/23/15

11. Mr. He, Interview conducted by Shannon - 11/24/15

12. Mr. Yin, Interview conducted by Shannon-  11/26/15

13. Mr. Zhao, Interview conducted by Shannon- 11/26/15 

14. Mr. Zhao, Interview conducted by Shannon- 11/26/15

15. Mr. Yang, Interview conducted by Shannon - 12/1/15

16. Mr. Du, Interview conducted by Shannon - 12/1/15

In this Phase I have Found information to help me understand my topic. I then asked my teachers for suggestions on who to talk to. After getting some suggestions, I went out and got to talk to those people.  They told me a lot about the land reformation and how farming has changed. In Phase 4 I will pick what is going to be my final product. Phase 4 will happen all in 1 day.  When I finish Phase 4 I will move on to making my final project and reflection on my final.

I moved to Shanghai from Michigan almost 2 years ago. Although I miss my friends in America, I love it here. In my free time I play sports. I especially enjoy soccer and rugby. I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters. I'm totally the middle child!! One of the things I really enjoy about living in Shanghai is all the vacations and great places I have been. My favorite so far is Boracay, but am excited about New Zealand in December. If I could change one thing about myself I would want to be taller. I am now back in Shanghai. Xizhou It was amazing and was the best 28 days of my life.