The Land of Abundance, The Blessings of Nature

Authors: Go Chengdu

2015-11-17

The Land of Abundance is one of the most well-known nicknames of Sichuan.
According to Records of the Three Kingdoms in Western Jin Dynasty, Zhuge Liang once stated: "Yizhou is well protected and has much fertile soil. It is the land of abundance, hence Emperor Gaozu established his empire from there." About 2,000 years ago, Sichuan was described as "natural warehouse". According to Records of Shu Kingdom from Chronicles of Huayang, it reads: "When the land is afflicted by drought, people channel water to irrigate it. When it rains, the sluice will be shut. By controlling floods and droughts, people have no taste of famine, and suffer no lean year." Chengdu Plain, benefiting from the Dujiangyan Irrigation System built by Li Bing, became known as "the Land of Abundance". It is exactly the favorable climate, geographical advantages and the people's support that have brought thousands of years of prosperity to the land of abundance.
Since ancient times, the blessings of nature have been directly reflected in the daily life of the people in Chengdu. The generous offerings from nature are transported from farmland to market, to thousands of Sichuan restaurants and family dinner tables, and even to other provinces and foreign countries. This has become the name card of Sichuan.
In this issue, HELLO Chengdu brings you to learn about the natural conditions and agricultural products in "the Land of Abundance". Now it is autumn already and the traditional harvesting season is approaching. Let us go to the market and you will find out one of the major reasons for local people's laid-back lifestyle.
CLIMATE
Sichuan is in the subtropical monsoon climate zone, where it is often cloudy and humid, with moderate sunshine. However, within Sichuan, the climate varies greatly from place to place depending on the terrain: the eastern lowlands are warm in winter, dry in spring, hot in summer and rainy in autumn, and has more clouds, less sunshine but longer growing season; while the western part experiences long winter, short summer, lots of sunshine, and distinctive dry and rainy seasons. The climate also varies according to the altitude, which is favorable for comprehensive development of agriculture, forestry and animal husbandry.
TERRAIN
Sichuan Basin comprises half of Sichuan and Sichuan can be divided into two major topographical regions: mountain and basin. In fact, Sichuan is high in the west and low in the east: The western high plateau neighboring Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and Hengduan Mountains has an average elevation of more than 3,000 meters. While the eastern lowland is mainly basin and hilly areas. Chengdu Plain is located in the west of Sichuan Basin and is known as one of the largest and richest plains in China.
HYDRAULIC ENGINEERING
Located on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, Sichuan boasts a complex river network consisting of the tributaries of the Yangtze River namely Minjiang River, Tuojiang River and Jialing River. The surrounding areas used to be plagued with floods. Then came the world's oldest water dam. The great Dujiangyan Irrigation System, built by Shu Kingdom magistrate of the Qin Dynasty Li Bing and his son, has relieved the region from floods and droughts and has maintained the stable production of agriculture in Chengdu Plain ever since. It made Chengdu the "Land of Abundance", a name we still use today.
SOIL
The Sichuan Basin, also known as "Purple Basin", is mainly covered by purple soil, which is formed by purple or purple red sandstone and shale deposited and weathered since Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. The purple soil, rich in calcium and other nutrient elements such as phosphate and potash, is suitable for farming.
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