Ho Chi Minh City – Ms. Dao Quynh Trang grows more than 100 trees of guava, toad, papaya, star fruit, whip, durian, sapodilla, mango… on two terraces, more than 200 m2 wide of her family.
In 2015, Ms. Trang, 31 years old, from Thu Duc, started gardening on two terraces on the fourth floor, 130m2 wide and 90m2 wide. At first, they just wanted to grow vegetables to satisfy their passion, but unexpectedly the trees grew well, the couple decided to “farm” more methodically.
Although they paid attention to treating the ceiling carefully to avoid seepage and leakage, at first, the couple let the leaves fall and drifted into the sewer. It was raining heavily, so the water was stagnant, pouring down to make it “rain” inside the house like outside. The couple had to put rain on the roof to clear the drain.
For two years now, Ms. Trang has grown more than 100 guava and pear trees on both terraces, alongside other fruits and vegetables. The owner of the garden also makes use of the guava root to grow shade-loving vegetables. Ms. Trang said, guava varieties produce fruit all year round, harvested once a week, about 10-15kg, the largest fruit weighs up to 400g.
Growing guava on the terrace, Ms. Trang has to prune the leaves regularly to avoid mealybugs, especially in hot weather. Each branch, the owner of the garden only leaves one to two fruits. When left with her fingers, she wraps it in plastic to avoid pests. Every few weeks, she fertilizes with organic fertilizer once to add nutrients.
Fruit trees are grown on high, airy terraces, so there are few pests and diseases. However, in order to keep vegetables and fruits fresh, Trang has to stay at home and spend all her time taking care of the garden. “The whole day I went to take care of the trees, so my skin was black. At 11 am when the children slept, the couple went up to light the lamp to catch snails,” said the woman from Nam Dinh.
In addition to guava, whip (plum) is also hanging on the terrace. To plant trees, Trang and her husband take turns carrying the soil. Once they borrowed a winch to pull the ground up to the terrace. Ms. Trang slipped her hand, making her palm blister, unable to hold a bowl of rice.
Before the Lunar New Year, Ms. Trang planted two papaya trees in drums. One tree produces more than a dozen fruits, the other gives about 30 fruits. In order to bear fruit, she prune the leaves regularly, keeping only the young leaves and fertilizing once every 10 -15 days. “The tree needs a lot of nutrients to produce a lot of fruit,” noted the owner of the garden.
Toad, star fruit she has been growing on the terrace garden for two years now. Self-grown fruit on the terrace is full of days and months, so it is rich in taste and can be eaten all year round.
Her husband, Mr. Bui Nhu Sang, 34, outside of office hours, helps his wife take care of the garden. The construction of the truss, the installation of the irrigation system… the lecturer bought and installed it himself. “He also likes a peaceful life, so he loves the garden very much. When the couple goes to the garden, they have to split shifts,” she said happily.
In the small garden, Ms. Trang grows many kinds of green vegetables to serve her family, give and sell to acquaintances. Vegetables and fruits are watered by an automatic system. Last Tet holiday, she harvested dozens of pounds of vegetables.
At first, the owner of the garden only grew vegetables to serve her family and give gifts to friends. Later, many people asked to buy, sometimes she sold online on social networks. “Growing so that my family can eat clean food and have more fun and comfortable space, but the money from selling vegetables and fruits can’t make up for buying fertilizer and taking care of them,” the mother of two said.
The most valuable thing of Trang and her husband is that during the epidemic days, there is still space to relax. Instead of locking two small children in the house with phones and TVs, the whole family pulled together in the garden. The siblings were weeding and harvesting vegetables, while the two children helped their parents and played.
Since having a garden, my family has been lazy to play outside. Every weekend when the children are absent from school, when the husband is off work, the whole family goes to the garden. “As a terrace farmer, my children also know many kinds of vegetables and fruits, which are only found in supermarkets in the city. They also understand the value of labor,” the mother said. According to vnexpress / Photo: Character provided