Life Life

27/11/2021 - 08:41

Ups and downs with flower crop for Tet

These days, at the famous chrysanthemum farms in Hue, farmers are busy taking care of flower crop for Tet. Cultivating and cherishing each pot of flower that is growing up high, the farmer has never stopped worrying and feeling upset about the Tet flower crop...

Farmers in Thuy Van Village taking care of flowers for Tet

A gamble of flower crop

“Tet comes but once a year. We have decided to grow flower to sell at Tet then we just have to do it, yet at times Man proposes, God disposes”, said Nguyen Ngoc Phu, a farmer in Thuy Van flower area (Hue City).

Taking advantage of the dry, sunny days at the end of October and early November, Mr. Phu's family go to tend their flower garden of more than 500 pots of 3-months-old chrysanthemums. Ensuring hundreds of chrysanthemum pots to grow evenly is not a simple matter.

According to Mr. Phu, even the best of effort would fail before natural disasters. The land where the nearly 60-year-old farmer grows flowers is a series of plots that have been planned, divided and owned. However, the owner is from other locality, and has not yet decided on building a house, so Mr. Phu “borrowed” the plot temporarily to plant flowers. He has been growing chrysanthemum for more than ten years, with too many ups and downs to tell them all. There were times when the profit would reach hundreds of millions VND, but there were also times when it was lucky to break even.

“I mainly work for the sake of making a profit. However, no matter how hard or how much one does, one can still lose it all after a big flood,” said Mr. Phu, and cited the 2020 Tet flower crop. As the flood water rose and receded, hundreds of his flower pots were soaked in water, wilted, withered and died. Fortunately, he was able to break even, selling more than 200 pots left.

Farmers growing chrysanthemums for Tet season busy with fertilizing work

500 pots of chrysanthemums this year is not many compared to last year but he doesn’t dare to plant too many. Aside from the worry of floods, there is also the fear of the pandemic, which would cause the flower market to plummeted as the buyers could reduce. Mr. Phu's wife said: “We cultivate theflower for 6 months, but we’d have to wait until New Year's Eve to know if the flower crop is successful or not".

According to chrysanthemum growers, besides natural disasters, being pressured to lower prices also makes them worried, frustrated and annoyed with that kind of rule. Everything is like a gamble.

Not just Mr. Phu and his wife, there are hundreds more of plots of land that are temporarily “borrowed” by the people of Da Le, and Thuy Van villages to grow flowers, turning this area into a beautiful flower field. At this time of the year, the flower crop has been 3 months, the stem of chrysanthemums is about 70cm high, so the people are using bamboo sticks to support them and preparing lighting to speed up the flower growth to meet the schedule.

Nearby, Mrs. Nguyen Thi An's flower garden with more than 1,000 pots is being watered by herself. She said, there were years when the rain was persistent, causing floods, and the flowers were drowned. This year, however, the rain is too little, causing lack of water, so she has to water the flowers continuously.

In addition, according to her growing experience, this is the time when the plant grows quickly, so it is necessary to fertilize, take care of it carefully, and adjust it so that the buds can bloom according to the schedule and the will of the grower.

“You must carefully calculate the growth and development time, avoid letting the flowers bloom before or after Tet, because then the price would not be good and the quality would also be poor,” said Mrs. An. According to her, the weather of this year is quite stable, the flowers grow well, and not having to worry about rain and flood, so it’s somewhat reassuring.

Hope for a stable market

Not only in Thuy Van, but also in many other flower areas such as Phu Thuong, Thuy Duong, Thuy Thanh ... farmers are busy with their chrysanthemum flower crop for the 2022 - Nham Dan Lunar New Year flower market. In addition to the Tet flower fairs, Hue farmers' chrysanthemums are often bought by traders from Quang Binh and Quang Tri.

The old farmer Le Phuoc Trai (Phu Thuong ward, Hue City) said that growing flowers is only one part, finding output for them is equally important. In addition to selling at Tet flower markets as the years before, now that the roads are better, buyers can come straight to the farmer’s garden to choose and buy flowers.

According to Mr. Trai, in the old days, the flowers markets usually gathered on Le Duan Street (the section in front of the Flag Pole platform) and the 6-way intersection of Hung Vuong Street, but now they are spread out all over places, so they are no longer as boisterous as before.

“No matter the merchandise is, it’s much more fun to sell in a crowded market. It’s really sad and difficult to sell flowers when we spread out like this,” said Mr. Trai.

Therefore, in recent years, in addition to selling to traders from far away, he mainly sells at home through advertising and selling on social networks. This saves a lot of costs, while making it possible to reduce prices to easily satisfy buyers.

When asked what worries he had about this year's flower crop, Mr. Trai said that now he was not afraid of storms. He just hoped the pandemic would soon be under control, so the people could make a living, develop the economy and have money to buy flowers for Tet. Sellers and buyers need each other, the market rotates in a cycle, as the life of the flower pots.

Story and photos: NHAT MINH

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