The gamgyul or tangerine is one of Jeju’s most famous products. Many types are grown on Jeju, and each season has a specialty. While the “noji gamgyul” is grown in open fields, others like the “Hallabong,” a fat and juicy citrus created especially for Jeju, and the “cheonhaehyang,” a fragrant and sweet fruit, are grown in greenhouses.
Although these varieties are geared toward the tourism market, and are accordingly priced, they are sweeter tasting and more fragrant than regular tangerines.
The benefits of tangerines for Jeju people aren’t limited to taste. The industry has been a mainstay of the local economy for generations and fruit sales helped many rural families pay for their children’s education from the 1970s to the 1990s, and even today. Local people even say that people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s have the crop to thank for their education.
However, after prices dropped greatly in 2002, farmers had to diversify. The province even provided subsidies for farmers to reduce the number of acres of the crop to stabilize prices, and many entered the tourism industry with “experience” programs.
Photo courtesy Jeju Provincial Government
Tangerine picking experience: Best tangerine farms on Jeju island
With such an important role in the island’s economy and culture, it is no surprise that more and more tourists want to get out and experience tangerine picking themselves, and there are many places to do so, often at a low price.
If you go, you not only get to eat as much as you want, but you take home whatever you pick. The basic price normally includes one or two kilograms to take home, with any more being of additional cost.
Baengnokdam Farm (백록담 체험농장)
557, Beonyeong-ro, Jeju-si, Jeju-do (제주시 번영로 557)
(30 minutes drive from Jeju International Airport)
9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
3,500 won per kilogram
Get bus #720 or 730 to Bonggae-dong and get off at the “Bonggae Water Park” bus stop. Walk back north and cross the road, and the farm is next to Bonggae Church (봉개교회).
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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