Young Power Alliance

Lan Kai-han (藍凱瀚), who used to work in China, returned to his hometown Dahu Township, Miaoli County, with his wife Chang Shu-rong (張書榕) and in 2015 established the Grow Tree Forest Leisure Farm, which is engaged in afforestation and restoration of Taiwan's national treasure tree species—Cinnamomum kanehirai Hayata or stout camphor tree in the mountains of Dahu. While the two were determined to devote themselves to running their leisure farm, they met brothers Huang Wen-ye (黃文業) and Huang Wen-yi (黃文詣), who had returned to their hometown to take over their father’s orange orchard. These young people often got together to discuss their shared idea of developing Dahu’s industries, so they formed the Young Power Alliance (返青富民聯盟), which is made up of young returnees to Dahu.
 Lan Kai-han and  Chang Shu-rong, the founders of Young Power Alliance
(Image: FTV)

The purpose of setting up the Alliance is to make their hometown better and to encourage more young people to return home and drive Dahu’s economic development. Although it was difficult to get started initially, they still stuck to their original intentions and seized every opportunity to promote their idea. The Alliance now acts as a matchmaker between young farmers and consumers, helping the young returnees who have taken up farming have a more stable life working on the land in Dahu.

One of the events launched by the Young Power Alliance is the "Eat Well (好好食飯)." It consists of a number of outdoor dining experiences, involving locally grown organic and good ingredients, and a comfortable outdoor dining environment with lush mountains and clean water. The event has attracted people to invite their friends to come along and enjoy together the beautiful scenery and good food. Sitting around the dining table to eat good food is a great way for people to build connections and communicate with one another. 
An event launched by the Young Power Alliance
(Image: FTV)

Moving the dining table outdoors, especially in a rural area, connects people with local ingredients and the natural environment, and at the same time helps build relationships between people. Telling stories through dining together, giving people a chance to meet a farmer during a meal, and eating with peace of mind, have also meant that more organic agricultural products have the opportunity to be purchased by consumers.

Chang Shu-rong, spokesperson for Youth Power Alliance, said that there are “three goods” in the activity Eat Well: The first is "good food" which comes from locally-grown products that are delivered fresh so that the diner can see the original form of the food they are eating and get to know the farmer who delivered it. The second good is “good environment” and the best environment is in the countryside. Unless the farmer cherishes the land, there would be no pure land under his feet. The last good is "good relationship" that allows everyone to have a nice chat with the people sitting next to them, taste the delicious food, and enjoy sheer happiness, all in a beautiful setting surrounded by nature.
Young Power Alliance's preparation for an event
(Photo: 返青富民創意文化Facebook page)

Lan Kai-han, chairman of the Youth Power Alliance, said that through the initiative of local youth farmer groups, combining with government resources, and integrating environmental creation and cultural marketing, they have shown the most concrete example of achieving the goal of revitalizing local communities along Taiwan Romantic Route 3.