Update: 20:16 | 15/01/2021
(BGO)- Grasping consumers’ demand in recent years for unique and strange products on Lunar New Year Occasion (or Tet), Le The Long (born in 1983) in Binh Giang village, Binh Son commune, Luc Nam district has created Dien pomelos in special shapes. Thus, hundreds of pomelos have been purchased at high prices ahead Tet.
A pomelo costs hundreds of thousands dong
We visited Le The Long’s family on a mid –January day. Despite the narrow paths to the pomelo growing area, we were surprised to see the sweet fruit garden with our own eyes. Long’s pomelo garden is eye-catching with fruit-filled pomelo trees. This time, pomelos are goldenly ripe with succulent peels spreading fragrant smell. Each tree is impressive with some special shaped-pomelo fruits like an old-style gold bar or Buddhist image with inscribed artistic characters “tài” (talent), lộc (wealth), phúc (happiness) and thọ (longevity).
Long and the pomelo decorated with the characters “Lộc”, “Tài”.
“This year, I have more than thousand shaped pomelos, 50 percent of which have been paid in advance. The average price ranges from 250,000 to 350,000 VND (10.8 to 15.1 USD) per each pomelo. I can earn over 200 million VND (8,630 USD) from shaped pomelos and more than 10,000 normal ones after deducting all expenses”, Long said when taking us to visit his garden.
Making use of the large hill area, he hired machines to cultivate soil and make furrows with wide ditches to facilitate caring and harvesting. He chose to grow pomelo because the soil here is soft and fertile. Moreover, pomelo does not require high intensive farming techniques like some kinds of orange.
After finishing constructing the gardens, he sought to buy Dien pomelo seedlings from a prestigious address to cultivate. With his principle “persistence will be rewarded with success”, Long has ceaselessly studied to enrich his knowledge of caring the fruit garden.
Particularly, he always thinks about how to make his pomelo gardent different. Once he saw an image of a beautifully shaped pomelo to show off on Tet, he studied and applied in his family.
In 2016, he tried making 12 pomelos with the mould he bought online engraved with the characters “phúc” (happiness), “thọ” (longevity), “tài” (talent), “lộc” (wealth). However, the pomelos were in ugly shapes and appearance due to the failure in caring techniques. He has drawn experiences for the following years.
Particularly, he moulded the pomelos since they were young, about 2-months. The mould has 2 sides with “lộc” character in one side and “tài” character in another side and the same as “thọ” and “phúc” characters. Long can create thousand of shaped pomelos each year to be sold for Tet with beautiful designs and high prices.
Organic farming with strong and fruit-filled trees
Long shared, in order to shape pomelos as old-style gold bars engraved with artistic characters, it is important to choose right time for moulding and take good care of the trees to produce fine fruits since they are being shaped.
Pomelos are created in Buddhist-like shape.
Hence, he arranges a small area for red pomelo at a high position in the garden apart from Dien pomelo growing area to diversify the products and create a defined proportion of different pomelo cultivars to increase the rates of pollination ratio and fruit yielding. Thus, the fruit quality has been improved.
In addition, the growers must regularly care for the fruits from shaping to harvesting. For example, the moulds can be easily lopsided in rainy weather, thus they must be fixed to keep well-shaped fruits. Pomelo is often damaged by yellow flies, Long actively made organic traps without chemicals to prevent flies.
“After many years living with pomelo trees, I realized that it is very dangerous to abuse fertilizers and pesticides to care for the trees. As we live close to the tree garden, our family will be affected first if we use chemical pesticides. With a desire to protect our family’s health and create a safe product, I have only used organic fertilizers from composted soy and salted fish to fertilize pomelo trees for many years”.
Changing cultivation methods with creativity and paying attention to organic farming for strong and fruit-filled trees, Le The Long has gained success in shaping pomelos. In coming time, this orchard owner will continue working in pomelo intensive cultivation to increase quantity of the shaped fruits for Tet occasions to raise the family income.
Trinh Lan – Van Vinh