The lotus harvest season is in full swing in Thach Ha District of Ha Tinh

The lotus grows between February and July every year. When the season comes people only have to plant one or two seeds in the pond, and the plants will fill it in just a few weeks.

The lotus harvest season is in full swing in Thach Ha District of Ha Tinh:

Ha Tinh lotus harvest season gets underway.

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There is a lotus pond in the district, seven hectares in size and jointly owned by over 60 households. This area had earlier been used to plant rice. But because of low productivity, it was abandoned until seven years ago when a local man started growing lotus in it. It grew so fast that the whole pond was soon covered with lotus flowers.

The lotus grows between February and July every year. When the season comes people only have to plant one or two seeds in the pond, and the plants will fill it in just a few weeks.

After the first year of growing lotuses, people realized they could get a good income by selling their pods and started to take care of the pond.

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Each household demarcates its area of the pond by planting bamboo sticks.

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Hoang Thi Thanh, 68, says her family has two acres in the pond and earns VND2-10 million ($86- 431) every season by selling lotus pods.

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A fully grown pod is round and measures six to 12 centimeters across.

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In two hours Thanh collects 30 kg of lotus pods.

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Signs are put up around the pond to warn people not to damage the lotuses.

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The afternoon sunlight makes the pond look more beautiful, and young people from the village come here to take photos of the lovely flowers.

Growing lotus does not cost any money. “The lotuses grow really fast, in just 35 days,” Le Phi Son, 59, says. “They bring a huge income to farmers here.”

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Le Thi Thoa, 52, says lotus seeds are in great demand this year, with a kilogram of unpeeled lotus seeds selling for VND35,000-50,000 ($1.5-2.2), and the farmers are likely to get an income of VND10-20 million ($431-862) this season.

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Nguyen Dinh Hien, 50, owns two hectares of the pond and it requires two people in his household to collect pods every day.

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Hien’s 83-year-old father Nguyen Dinh Tro removes the seeds from the pods, getting 35 kg from every 50 kg of pods. In three hours he can get 40 kg of seeds.

“Since the beginning of the season the family has earned VND5 million ($215) from selling lotus pods,” Tro says. “We hope to earn VND30 million this season.

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The seeds can be used to make sweet soup and porridge, and have great health benefits. The pods, after the seeds are removed, are dried and boiled in water and used as a traditional medicine to prevent headaches. The lotus stems can be added to salads.

“Every part of the lotus is useful. The plant brings great benefits to the people here.”

The lotus is considered Vietnam’s national flower and represents purity and dignity.

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Source: e.vnexpress.net

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