Let''s turn now to an organic agriculture expert in Changhua, who''s still contributing to the field in his 70s. Former head of MingDao University, Chen Shih-hsiung is retired now, but he is keeping as busy as ever. The Changhua County commissioner recently asked Chen to act as adviser on organic issues, after taking a tour of his mini coffee farm. But Chen has some more surprising projects on the go. Let''s see what they are.

Chen Shih-hsiung can still blow a mean sax, well into his 70s. The former dean of MingDao University taught himself to play, and finds time to practice whenever he can.

Chen Shih-hsiung

Former MingDao University Dean

Playing the saxophone increases your lung capacity. Secondly it’s pretty fun. So long as you can read music, then basically you can play. So right now I’ve learned just two keys, E-flat and B-flat.

He’s got a jazz drum kit too, which is his favorite new pastime. Sometimes keeping to the beat is tricky, and he might get in a muddle occasionally, but he enjoys himself and can entertain his friends.

Chen Shih-hsiung

Former MingDao University Dean

Learning the drums isn’t so easy when you’re my age. The drums have all kinds of different things going on and lots of techniques. In the bridge – well, there’s a little drum in between the two big ones, and then a big drum in between two little ones. That’s all very tricky.

Since retiring as head of MingDao University, Chen has picked up lots of gadgets, like this coffee roaster. In his fields, he planted 100 coffee trees, and wants to follow the whole process from growing the bean to roasting it. He’s making a research project into coffee fermentation.

Chen Shih-hsiung

Former MingDao University Dean

You can use the skin too, as a drink. When you hull it, this bean is very special. See, it’s such a dark color, isn’t it? This is fermented coffee.

Changhua County Commissioner Wang Huei-mei made a special visit to the farm, and recognized Chen’s contributions to organic farming. She’s asked him to consult for the county government, to develop the quality of local organic produce.

Wang Huei-mei

Changhua County Commissioner

The most important thing is to teach our young farmers how to develop sustainably. I just saw how, with only a tiny plot of land, the professor was able to produce millions of dollars’ worth of produce. I think that’s something our young farmers should come back to Changhua to learn from.

Whether it’s jazz, agriculture, or even beekeeping, Chen puts his heart into everything he sets his mind to. Making the most of retirement, he’s sharing his knowledge with all who want to learn, and making every day count.