Jilin's house of corn promises a golden winter for villager

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-17 17:00:55|Editor: Xiang Bo
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CHANGCHUN, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- Glamorous is the only word to describe the "golden" house that glitters before the brumal backdrop of rural Jilin Province, China's winter wonderland, already nestling under its hiemal blanket of snow.

In Ehexue Township, a house is not a home unless it is covered with around 30,000 corn cobs.

"It took 14 farmers a month to build the golden house. Each cob, replete with fully grown niblets, has been fixed lovingly in place with fine wire," said Li Zhicheng, an Ehexue farmer and chief architect of the edifice.

Ehexue Township owes much of its fortune to corn, its principal agricultural product.

Li plans to build an ice playground in front of the gilded house, in typical Jilin farmyard style.

But it is not just about the house. Ehexue's innovative farmers have also decorated the courtyard walls with yet more cobs and created corny art objects including a windmill, a wishing well and a traditional Chinese plough to welcome the anticipated flurry of tourists.

The corn house is already something of an online architectural wonder. Photos of it have circulated fast since the farmers uploaded them on social media and, according to Li, netizens are worried that the newly-harvested corn might become mildewed or be eaten by rats before they can make the pilgrimage to China's frozen far northeast and preserve the glittering spectacle forever with a blizzard of selfies.

"A posse of stray cats in the yard will keep out the rats. Hanging it on walls is the traditional, and best, way to dry corn. I'm sure that they can fetch even better prices in spring when they are fully sun-dried," beamed Li.

Li plans to sell farm produce and local specialties from the house and his vision has been an inspiration to other villagers.

Village official Sun Haoran advised Li to plant loofah seeds around the house in spring in hope that it will be naturally covered with greenery and exfoliant gourds in summer. In autumn, the house can be festooned with red maple leaves, making the winter wonder into a year-round money spinner for the village.

Tourism has become an important source of income for farmers in Jilin. Before winter had even begun, in the first nine months of this year, the sector brought in 16 billion yuan (2.4 billion U.S. dollars), up 43.7 percent year on year, with 29.3 million tourists hitting country roads to enjoy the unspoilt rural splendor of the province.