In two years, Mr. Pham Thinh spent more than 400 million dongs, collected 130 varieties of American figs from many countries, brought them back, and planted them on the corrugated iron roof of his house.
Pham Thinh, 28 years old, in Hai Chau District, Da Nang started growing figs through the recommendation of a friend who lives in the US more than two years ago. Because there is no terrace, Thinh has used the 60 m2 corrugated iron roof for gardening. Here there is enough sunshine from 6 am to 4 pm, suitable for American fig trees to grow.
Initially, he bought cuttings for cuttings but the survival rate was very low. Last Tet, he imported 100 branches, costing more than 3,000 USD, but lived 10 trees.
The photographer decided to spend money to buy seedlings directly from the US, France, Italy, or Portugal. Initially, he collected popular, easy-to-grow fig lines to experiment. After more than 4 months, he obtained the first fruits. Each offers a different flavor like Peter Honey is sweet, succulent, Olympian Hardy is very wrong.
The sweetness and coolness of this fruit cause “addiction” to Thinh’s whole family. In 2020, he collects rarer and more expensive fig lines from reputable fig breeders in the world such as Pons, FDM…
Among these is the Cessac variety, once famous in the world of figs in 2020, with an auction price of $ 2,500 a tree. Thinh waited a year, in May last year, he received the tree, at a cost of about 12 million VND. According to the description, the fruit of this tree is green and purple, soft and sweet. “I’m very nervous. But it will take about three months to harvest,” he said.
Having experience in growing tomatoes, melons, and chili peppers, but when it comes to figs, Pham Thinh is really passionate. Every 5 am he was on the roof to water, fertilize the plants, spend a lot of time pruning sick leaves and cleaning leaves to avoid damage to the corrugated iron roof.
According to Thinh, the land for growing figs is not much different from the land planted with other fruit trees. Only note when the plants are small, lightly apply fish manure, earthworms, or manure from kitchen waste. In the fruit growing stage, chicken manure should be added to produce sweeter and larger fruits.
Thinh did not pay attention at first, so he was destroyed by birds and rats. Later, when he saw that the fruit was about to ripen, he always wrapped it. Because the work is not fixed at home, he also invests in an automatic irrigation system.
The American fig tree is known as the sugar fig, the sweet fig, the scientific name is Ficus carica. Only in 2-3 months from the time of purchase the tree will give fruit and a few more months depending on the line to ripen the fruit. Indeed, continuously from generation to generation. The current selling price on the Vietnamese market is about half a million dong per kilogram.
This year the trees in the garden have grown, many fruits, on average, the family collects 10 fruits a day, and has more than 20 fruits a day. “The most fun is in the afternoon when the whole family harvests figs. My children pick them by themselves, just wipe them and then eat them,” Mr. Thinh said. The fruit his daughter is eating is Brooklyn White which has a very thick pulp, pink flesh, is super sweet, and tastes like watermelon.
Each type of fig has a different flavor, in which Thinh likes the most varieties Smith, Socorro Black, Vitoria MP, De La Gloria, Albacore de Molla Vermella. “The gut of figs is succulent and flexible like strawberry jam. The feeling before you close your eyes to sleep every night can still feel its deliciousness,” he said.
In the picture are some fruits that are bearing fruit regularly:
Violetta FL (top row, left) is dark black, medium-sized, honey-colored flesh, can wilt on the tree, very sweet and succulent.
Socorro Black fruit (top row, right) is dark purple, no matter how heavy rain, it does not crack the fruit, the flesh is dark red, flexible like jam and fragrant with berry.
The Robert Golden Rainbow fruit (bottom row, left) is yellow, very large, sweet and very fragrant.
Albacor de Molla Vermella fruit has black skin and takes longer to ripen than other varieties. The intestines are bright red like raspberries, very sweet, and have a cherry taste.
To date, Mr. Pham Thinh has invested more than 400 million VND in seedlings. His joy does not stop at eating sweet fruits, but constantly adding new varieties to the collection and planting fruits like the mother tree abroad.
“I am a fire but very confident with American figs,” he said with a smile.
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