"The mist is made into the beads for the bones, and the water essence is the pulp for the jade." In the traditional culture of the Chinese nation, pomegranates have been regarded as treasures and auspicious objects in the fruit since ancient times, and have been chanted by literati and inkers.

It is another golden autumn, and Guanshi Liuyuan in Yicheng District, Zaozhuang, Shandong Province, ushered in a splendid harvest season. On September 9, General Secretary Xi Jinping came to the pomegranate germplasm resource bank of Guanshi Garnet Garden to inspect pomegranate tree species, learn about the local pomegranate planting history, germplasm resource collection and conservation and industrial development, and came to the pomegranate plantation to ask fellow villagers about pomegranate planting, harvest and income this year.

"Learn from the past, follow the general secretary to learn history", take you into the Guanshi Liuyuan Garden, feel the ancient rhyme of thousands of years, and see how the pen of the industry paints a colorful revitalization scroll.

Exotic fruits sent by the Silk Roads

"The grenade, the strange tree of the world, the famous fruit of Kyushu, the taste is instilled, and the fragrance is overflowing." Because of its high ornamental and practical value, coupled with the auspicious meaning in traditional Chinese culture, pomegranates are deeply loved in China.

Speaking of the history of pomegranate cultivation in China, the earliest can be traced back to more than 2,000 years ago. Native to ancient Persia and its surrounding areas, pomegranate was introduced to China by the Silk Road during the Western Han Dynasty, and was first planted in the then capital Chang'an Shanglinyuan and other places, and was once regarded as a rare fruit.

During the reign of Emperor Chengdi of Han, Prime Minister Kuang Heng, the protagonist of the idiom allusion to "chiseling the wall to steal light", introduced pomegranate species from the royal palace garden when he returned to his hometown in the city of Zaozhuang in old age. After long-term cultivation by the local people, this area has gradually developed into a pomegranate orchard of about 12,<> mu.

As one of the oldest pomegranate producing areas in China, Yicheng District of Zaozhuang City has thus become the birthplace of Shandong pomegranate and the famous "hometown of Chinese pomegranates".

Guanshi Liuyuan Germplasm treasure trove

After more than 2,000 years of cultivation and breeding, Guanshi Liuyuan is not only in the forefront of the country, but also famous at home and abroad for its large number of plants, complete color and excellent fruit quality, and is known as "the world's first durian garden". Hence the name.

△Pomegranate Expo Garden in Guanshi Liuan Garden. (Photo by CCTV reporter Zhong Xinwei)

At present, there are more than 500 million pomegranate trees in this "pomegranate kingdom", with as many as 48 varieties, including the first and only national pomegranate species in China - Qiuyan.

In the early years, traditional pomegranate varieties in Yicheng District had small seeds, hard seeds, and often split fruits. After 10 years of hard work, local researchers finally successfully cultivated "Qiuyan", a good pomegranate seed, in 2013, which cured the "split mouth disease" of the local pomegranate industry.

Relying on such hard verification power, Guanshi Liuyuan has the only national pomegranate germplasm resource bank in China, and 432 pomegranate germplasm are preserved, ranking first in the country and the world's first.

△The "Yizhou Red" variety in the pomegranate orchard won the gold medal in the 2019 Beijing World Garden High Quality Fruit Competition. (Photo by CCTV reporter Zhong Xinwei)

In June 2021, more than 6 pomegranate seeds in Yicheng District, Zaozhuang City, traveled in space for 500 days with the Shenzhou XII manned spacecraft. After cultivation, germination and growth, these "space pomegranate seedlings" have returned to their hometowns this year, and are expected to cultivate more new varieties for the "pomegranate kingdom".

The Millennium Durian Garden has yielded fruitful results

In May this year, in Xi'an, the eastern starting point of the ancient Silk Road, President Xi Jinping and the heads of state of the five Central Asian countries jointly planted six pomegranate trees symbolizing friendship, which became another witness of the millennium of friendly exchanges between China and Central Asian countries.

After thousands of years, the exotic "imported" rare fruits have become the fruits of prosperity and happiness that have blossomed everywhere, reflecting the Chinese nation's eclectic open-mindedness and Chinese wisdom of nurturing all things, which is in line with the concept of peace, harmony and harmony in Chinese culture.

△The development of pomegranate has driven the local pomegranate bonsai industry. (Photo by CCTV reporter Zhong Xinwei)

Today's Guanshi Liuyuan is not only an important pomegranate forest fruit production base in China, but also endowed with more cultural connotations, and has been built into an eco-cultural tourism area integrating natural scenery, cultural history and sightseeing.

"The durian branch is graceful and the durian is rich, and the durian film is light and bright." Every year in September, when the pomegranate is ripe, the Guanshi Garden attracts visitors from all over the world. The fruitful fruits of 10,000 mu of durian gardens depict a bright color on the picture scroll of local development and revitalization.

Executive Producer丨Shen Yong, Zhao Xuehua, Gong Xuehui

Main writer丨Liu Huimin Ma Zhe

Reporter丨Jia Lin Zhong Xinwei

Broadcast 丨 Li Chun

Audio production丨Liu Yifei

Visual丨Chenkuo