From a stony hill to orchard

Date: 13/05/2019 | Source: Pyongyang Times | Read original version at source

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It was once a barren, windswept land, locals say. Now thanks to employees of the Sunchon City Department Store, it has turned into a forest of fruit trees full of scents of flowers and fruits from spring to fall.

The department store is well-known for efficient commodity supply service for local people.

The store staffed mostly with women started reclaiming the stony land in 2011.

It set the goal of planting over 10 000 fruit trees in 10 hectares of land by 2017 which marked the 50th anniversary of Chairman Kim Jong Il’s visit to it and mapped out a phased plan.

“With the thought that the more we exert ourselves, the more people will benefit, we carried out the uphill tasks as we pulled out rocks and stumps, dug pits and carried manures on our backs,” said Kim Jong Ae, manageress of the store.

They managed to achieve the first-stage target in three years and harvested 700 kilograms of fruits from dwarf apple trees in the fall of 2013.

As they found pride of their labour in the happy faces of citizens and children who were supplied with the apples, they planted more fruit trees every year to finish the plan by 2017 as scheduled. So far, they have planted more than 15 000 fruit trees in 12 hectares.

They have introduced different methods to make an effective use of land under cultivation and manure and cultivate trees in a scientific way.

They plant such crops as bean and sweet potato between fruit trees and feed their by-products to domestic animals in winter. They also trim and prune trees and thin out flowers and fruits according to their characteristics. Especially, they prevent plant diseases with the lime-sulphur mixture they make.

They have also planted thousands of Changsong larch and other trees of good species and created a herb garden in two hectares of land. And they produce a large number of saplings and herb seedlings every year at their nursery covering an area of hundreds of square metres.

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