On average, a hectare of onions, okras, herbs, etc., gives an income from 300.000 VND to 400.000 VND
Late night of the second day and early in the morning of the third day of Lunar New Year, the fields in Thanh Trung village (Quang Thanh, Quang Dien) were full of the flare of torches, together with the clatter sound of scissors when the farmers were harvesting vegetables.
Not far away, in the intersection of Tay Ba market, there was the tumultuousness of the traders who were waiting to collect the fresh and green bundles of fresh vegetables which still had the Spring raindrops stagnating on them to be taken to Phu Hau wholesale market.
Taking a nap for a few hours, at about 11:00 p.m., on the 2nd day of Tet, Mrs. Nguyen Thi Huong woke up to prepare tools for the harvest time. It was so dapper to call them tools; in fact, they were just simple with some baskets, a scissors, a low chair and a headlamp.
Stepping out of the house, Mrs. Huong stretched her hands toward the sky for a few seconds, then hurriedly came back and went out again with the rain suit. “Just for sure, it is not only the late night but also a day of Tet. It will be so sorry for not being able to welcome the guests if I get sick,” she shared.
Arriving the concentrated vegetable growing area, including the one of Mrs. Huong’ family, one was easy to see many farmers working hard to uproot the vegetable. In the quiet night, their presence
s just could be recognized through the light from the headlamps, together with the clatter sound of the scissors.
Seating on the low chair, as other farmers, depending on each type of vegetables, sometimes Mrs. Huong gently shook the soil, but sometimes she cut the roots then carefully put them in the baskets. Everything happened in silence and it often finishes in 2 or 3 hours.
For vegetable growers, the harvest is a year-round mission, which often takes place from late night to very early morning to get the “beautiful ones” and sell at good price. Therefore, staying up late on Tet days is not anything strange to them. “It’s just simple that on the first days of the year, everyone heads toward the smoothness for an easy year, so the harvesting and purchasing are often faster than normal days,” said Mrs. Huong.
Although the work of growing vegetables is strenuous, but in turn, it makes quite high income. On average, a hectare of onions, okras, and herbs, etc., creates an income around 300.000 VND to 400.000 VND per day. It is the thing that helps to improve the lives of not only people in Quang Thanh, but also that of people in Quang Tho, Quang Phu, Quang Thai, and Quang Loi, etc., of Quang Dien district.
However, that is the story of the favorable weather
Due to the inherently harsh weather in Hue, vegetable growers always face droughts, storms, and floods, which means that sometimes vegetable can’t grow, and sometimes it is crushed or the roots get rotten. Each bed of red amaranth sold on the days of Tet can make a profit 4 or 5 times higher than the normal days. However, after the cold and rainy days near Tet, it is unsure whether this amount of money is enough to compensate for the spending for growing crown daisies and lettuces, which couldn’t be harvested after being sown three times.
Still being diligent but they still strive to hold out with the fields and vegetables no matter how hard it is
Following are some pictures of harvesting vegetables at night:
Mrs. Huong and many other vegetable growers often leave their homes at around 11:00 p.m., to harvest vegetables
In addition to the headlamps, some people also bring rechargeable lights to harvest easier
Baby mustard is one of the fastest-harvesting vegetables. It takes around 15 days from the sowing day to the harvest time
Although it is not as hard as farming, the hardship that Mrs. Huong and many other growers have to suffer is partly shown through their fingers
In the early morning, in the adjacent bed of crown daisies, Mrs. Thu is harvesting in a hurry in case it will rains
Depending on each kind of vegetable, the growers will choose to cut the root, such as crown daisy…
… or hold it as celery
On the days of Tet, red amaranth is bought from 70.000 to 80.000 VND per kilogram by the traders, 4 times more expensive than the normal days
After harvesting, it comes to the step of rinsing the mud
Then, some people use wheelbarrows…
… While others carry it to the gathering place
The place to gather vegetables is Tay Ba market intersection
The traders coming to check and bargain right after the vegetables are set down
Making the deal and weighing
… paying the bill
Around 2:30 a.m., the vegetables are transported to Phu Hau wholesale market
By Han Dang