Dinh Bang peach blossom village gets busy ahead of Tet hinh anh 1Peach blossoms are an indispensable “spiritual treat” and a cultural specialty in every Vietnamese family during the Lunar New Year festival. A peach garden comes into full bloom (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) – During the Lunar New Year festival (Tet), peach blossoms are an indispensable “spiritual treat” and a cultural specialty in every Vietnamese family. Therefore, on the days leading up to Tet, peach blossom villages nationwide become busy preparing for the biggest harvest season in a year.

Located to the west of Hanoi, just 15km away from the capital city’s downtown, the Dinh Bang peach blossom village in Tu Son town, Bac Ninh province, has become a major supplier of peach blossoms in the northern region, attracting a large number of buyers from Hanoi and nearby provinces.

Weather decisive to success of peach blossom farming

The Dinh Bang peach blossom village is becoming more vibrant these days as Tet is approaching. From early morning to late afternoon, people flock to gardens here to choose suitable peach blossom branches for themselves, or for sale in other places.

Most of big peach stumps have been sold or rented out. The more Tet is nearing, the more buyers come to the village and the more peach blossoms are sold.

Dinh Bang was originally an agricultural commune of Tu Son district. Since Tu Son was upgraded into a town in October 2008, Dinh Bang has also become a ward, but farmland still covers hundreds of hectares here.

Talking to VietnamPlus, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Dinh Bang ward Ngo Tao Loi said thanks to local farmers’ industriousness and dynamism, this commune has emerged to be one of the largest peach blossom farming areas in the northern region.

Notably, peach blossom farming is not a traditional practice in Dinh Bang. About 15 years ago, when the renowned peach blossom growing area of Nhat Tan in Hanoi faced the risk of falling into oblivion, some people from Dinh Bang came to Nhat Tan to learn the cultivation. Thanks to locals’ improving skills, the Nhat Tan peach variety has gradually taken root in Dinh Bang.

[Video: Phu Tho peach blossom village before Tet]

Having mastered cultivation skills, local people began to learn provining, grafting and multiplying peach by themselves. As a result, the peach area in Dinh Bang ward has now exceeded 81 hectares.

The peach garden of Nguyen Van Yen, a resident in the Trung Hoa residential area, has also been ready for a bumper year.

Yen said his family has grown peach for almost 15 years, adding that as farming peach blossoms for Tet generates good income while he lacked farmland, he rented land from other locals for cultivation.

He noted that at first, like many other households, he had to re-visit Nhat Tan after Tet to buy young trees. However, after several crops, he has been able to produce new plants by himself, and now he is an expert in peach cultivation.

“Growing peach generates much higher income than farming rice. But earning money is not like a knife through butter. Peach is easy to be grown but hard to care for as it is prone to diseases. Twice a month, I have to examine the trees and spray plant protection substances to prevent rust diseases or pests,” he said.

Yen added that aside from caring, 70 percent of a bumper crop is decided by the weather. For example, due to the recent strong cold spells with hoar frost, farmers had to seek every possible way to protect the trees and add fertilize for them.

Dinh Bang peach blossom village gets busy ahead of Tet hinh anh 2Having mastered cultivation skills, local people began to learn provining, grafting and multiplying peach by themselves. A farmer tends to peach trees (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Stable source of income for farmers

Thanks to good pruning skills, many trees have beautiful posture. Therefore since the beginning of the 12th lunar month, many people have come to Yen’s garden to buy peach blossoms for display both before and after Tet.

The trees are sold for between 5 million VND and 15 million VND, and even tens of millions of VND, Yen said, adding that Dinh Bang’s peach blossoms have fetched high prices over the last two or three years.

Also residing in the Trung Hoa area, Tran Manh Son said learning lessons of 2018, when the hot weather ahead of Tet made the peach blossom bloomed early, this year, farmers in Dinh Bang rescheduled the time for plucking off leaves to curb flowering, but the weather got colder.

He noted facing this year’s weather conditions, peach growers in Dinh Bang has worked hard to ensure that the trees bloom right in the time of Tet.

“For many years, our peach blossoms have been mainly purchased by traders and only few are sold to local people. Therefore, regardless of a poor or bumper crop, prices are still stable. Beautiful trees are sold for 500,000 – 1 million VND each while branches are priced at around 400,000 – 500,000 VND,” Son said.

Ngo Tao Loi said over the past years, local authorities have always supported agricultural production, especially the cultivation of peach blossoms for Tet.

To ensure that local residents can earn their living from peach blossom farming, in the initial years, the ward’s administration provided financial assistance in buying young trees, and later allocated part of its budget for building roads and irrigation systems surrounding peach growing areas, he noted.

The official added that though agriculture just makes up a small proportion in the local economy, peach blossom cultivation has always been a source of high economic benefits for farmers, who earn about 30 million VND for every “sao” (a measurement unit equivalent to 360 square metres) of peach trees.

Ahead of every Tet, Dinh Bang authorities zone certain areas along main roads for the display and sale of peach blossoms, Loi said, expressing his hope that peach blossom farming will expand further and local residents will get rich so as to help with local development./.