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October 25, 2021

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Luojing hairy crab harvest begins

Harvesting of Shanghai hairy crabs began yesterday to compete with those from neighboring provinces and highlight the city’s rural revitalization campaign.

Farmers from Luojing Town in north Baoshan District began collecting the hairy crabs from ponds and rice fields as part of the 2021 Farmers’ Harvest Festival.

Crab lovers will now be able to taste the seasonal local crustaceans without driving out of Shanghai.

Downtown citizens and expats are invited to enjoy the pastoral scenery and catch the hairy crabs themselves as well as witness how much of the city’s agricultural products originate in the town.

Luojing crabs are known for their size, long legs, tighter meat and rich roe as well as a slight, naturally sweet flavor. They grow within the city’s tap water source conservation area at the mouth of the Yangtze River.

The crabs spawn there every October, and villagers catch the biggest baby crabs and raise them in ponds and rice fields. It takes two years, twice as long as for other hairy crabs, for them to grow to full size. The crabs are fed fresh snails, algae, corn, fish and beans.

“The yield is the same for locally produced hairy crabs this year, despite the continuous rains in summer and high temperature after liqiu, or the autumn begins,” said Bo Huizhong, Party secretary of Haixing Village of Luojing.

“But this year’s hairy crabs are bigger than that of last year with better quality,” Bo said, adding the golden season for hairy crab tasting has begun.

The biggest male crab in the first harvest yesterday weighed 480 grams, compared with 460 grams last year, while the “queen crab” weighed 360 grams, compared with 330 grams in 2020.

The Yangtze River hairy crab has won the gold medal in a national hairy competition for nine straight years to become a highlight of Shanghai characteristic agricultural industry.

More than 300 local families raced through the countryside of Luojing yesterday to experience the natural atmosphere of the open countryside, paddy fields and forest. Runners were also invited to harvest grain while enjoying the fresh air in the city’s showpiece rural revitalization areas near the mouth of the Yangtze River.

The crab bonanza and annual jogging event are part of the town’s efforts to develop tourism to attract gourmands from downtown. It aims to become Shanghai’s pilot town for the rural revitalization campaign.


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