Time to get picking Malu grapes

Grapes in Malu are ripe and the picking season is expected to run through October.
Ti Gong

 A vine bear five kinds of grapes.

Grapes in Malu are ripe and the picking season is expected to run through October. More than 60 varieties from the “Land of Grapes” will go on the market during the period.

Twenty-five cooperatives and 570 families produce around 6,500 tons of grapes every year. Last year more than 300,000 visitors picked the grapes.

Using the technology of the Internet of Things, smart greenhouses carry out automatic environmental monitoring, intelligent irrigation, light, air control, ozone disinfection and water and fertilizer integration to make the ripening period of the early maturing type about two weeks sooner.

The smart greenhouses save labor costs and make management easier compared with the traditional ones. Through sensors, data centers can learn key data such as air, soil, light and carbon dioxide. Hence, the grapes’ everyday growth is monitored by the data center.

Grapes will be ready for picking during the Malu grape festival but they are also available online. Farmers sell them through online stores such as Malugrapes.com. The website has had 21 shops, with all the products sold traceable through its tracking system.

Delivery companies provide refrigerated transport to ensure the quality of the grapes. Capacity for sameday delivery is expected to rise by 20 percent.

QR code is printed on stems so buyers can scan it to check the identity of the grapes and even learn details of their varieties and their growth.

Vine with five kinds of grapes

A farmer can let a vine bear five kinds of grapes through grafting. Su Guilong grafted four more varieties on a vine four years ago. His 10-year-old vine, which covers an area of 120 square meters, bore 170 bunches of grapes this year and is expected to have 300 next year, Su said.

Because of its size and with the extra demand for nutrients, Su tailored fertilization for the vine and took measures to limit the number of single grapes each stem bears to ensure each bunch has enough space and nutrients.

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