China Folk House Garden

Research & Conservation on Heritage and Traditional Value

“Reading history makes people wise.” Whether in the East or the West, history is being forgotten, and the traditional legacy is facing a crisis of being uprooted. We hope that by funding this field of project, people can appreciate the traditional spirit from history.


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Dao Feng and Angela Foundation is the leading grantor of China Folk House Garden Project. Before approved the project, DAF funded a survey to examine the feasibility as follows.

China Folk House Garden Survey Report pdf

About China Folk House Retreat


The China Folk House Retreat (CFHR) is a non-profit 501c(3) organization providing experiential learning programs for students of all ages, families, and life-long learners in the greater Washington DC region.  CFHR offers a range of experiential learning opportunities, from day visits to the house site as a “living museum” to weekend workshops on sustainability and cultural programs, to a series of intensive two-week apprenticeships during the summer craft school.


About China Folk House Garden Project


The garden is the Phrase II of the major construction project of the CFHR Center. In July 2021, CFHR has completed the garden project’s map surveying and feasibility assessment, and completed the garden planning in December 2021.

The aim of the garden project is not only to beautify the environment around the China Folk House Retreat but more importantly to develop gardens that will educate people about the history of agriculture in rural China, the rich biodiversity resources of Yunnan, and Chinese perspectives on the natural world. The gardens at CFHR will serve as a critical teaching tool for lessons in the historical transformation of agriculture, foodways, ethnobotany, and healing in rural China. CFHR plans to both document traditional local knowledge about farming and the use of plants, and to highlight the evolving historical trends that threaten organic farming traditions and harm the rich biodiversity of the Chinese countryside. The goal is for visitors to CFHR to not just see but experience the gardens as unforgettable texts of rural Chinese folklife. Most importantly, telling the story of rural people in China will help foster mutual understanding to address the problems of ignorance and rising anti-China sentiment in the U.S.

CFHR would establish two specific types of gardens: an ethno-botanical garden, and a substantial vegetable garden with written interpretive guides. The garden construction would also contribute the general improvement of a paved courtyard, its enclosure, and its immediate surroundings, to include: revealing attractive views of the pond, creating stone stairs with garden beds in the front of the house, creating a parking area, and making for a more appealing site overall. As an ongoing educational program, students on CFHR programs will play an active role in creating and maintaining these gardens.

CFHR aims to make the project educate visitors about

1) the rich history of traditional agriculture in China by having a demonstration garden with a rich diversity of Chinese varietals and using the close interplanting methods of Chinese intensive agriculture;

2) raise awareness regarding the rich biodiversity of southwest China, and its deep connections to Chinese medicine by showcasing key plants from the region in our ethnobotany garden;

3) highlight the forces undermining the old agricultural lifeways with carefully constructed informational literature;

4) demonstrate aesthetic aspects of Chinese gardens and what they reveal about concepts of the relation between humans and nature in China in the overall layout of the grounds.


The main reason why Dao Feng and Angela Foundation (formerly known as Daofeng & Angela Foundation) is willing to support the CFHR Garden Project is that, it is impossible to understand contemporary China without understanding the historical transformation of the Chinese countryside, but Americans are largely ignorant of the tremendous transformations that have occurred there over the last one hundred years. DaoFeng and Angela Foundation supports CFHR’s efforts to complete the courtyard and the garden—essential parts of every Chinese rural home—and to explain how the main house, courtyard, and gardens serve as agricultural tools.

On December 18, 2021, the Dao Feng and Angela Foundation, Bedrock Foundation and China Folk House Retreat held a signing ceremony in the office of Dao Feng and Angela Foundation. Dao Feng and Angela Foundation and Bedrock Foundation approve the Garden Project grant in the amount of US$310,114 divided over three years. Dao Feng and Angela Foundation plays the role of leading donor in this grant with the amount of US$180,114.

Major Accomplishments

Thanks to Pam and John’s hard work and volunteers’ contributions, CFHR has made major accomplishments from 2022-2023 as follows:

  • Viewshed around the pond improved
  • Shed replaced
  • Vegetable garden built and made productive
  • Stairs and planters to the main house built & planted
  • Stone courtyard completed
  • Select areas of the perimeter fence built
  • Moon gate entrance completed
  • Main planter in the courtyard built and planted

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