HANOI – At the beginning of January, people in Hiep Thuan commune, Phuc Tho district, began to harvest Buddha’s hands to sell during Tet.
Buddha’s hand tree is planted along the banks of the Day River, in the communes of Hiep Thuan, Lien Hiep (Phuc Tho district), Sai Son, Yen Son (Quoc Oai). Previously, this tree was planted in Dac So commune (Hoai Duc district), after a period of dry land, the tree was no longer productive, so people had to move to an area with a lot of alluvium to reproduce.
Mr. Bui Ngoc Lam’s family lives in hamlet 9, Hiep Thuan commune has 7,000 m2 of land, planted 500 fruit trees. His family has many brothers with the same profession of cultivating Buddha’s hand, currently dispersed to communes in Phuc Tho and Quoc Oai districts to develop this plant.
According to Mr. Lam, usually, growers will make a truss to support the fruit, avoid swooping down to the ground causing bad code and rot. Common diseases are red spider mites, leafhoppers… that cause the fruit to be stained like cement or look like rust.
This plants flowers and bears fruit all year round. The fruit is out of the crop, after harvesting the fruit, the branch will be cut off so that the tree can sprout again.
The Buddha’s hand weighs more than 3 kg next to the 2 kg fruit in Mr. Lam’s garden. Fruit with many layers, many branches (arms) reaching out, or fruits with regular arms, chrysanthemum-like fruit fields are preferred.
Near the Lunar New Year, Mr. Lam and his wife set up a temporary tent right in the garden to facilitate the process of caring for and harvesting fruit.
It is expected that this year, the family will harvest about 1,500 fruits. “If the wholesale is less than 2,000 fruits, the price is from 80,000 to 100,000 VND each. If the quantity is larger, the large and small fruits are beautiful together, it is only 40,000 VND”, the garden owner said while wrapping each fruit for customers.
On thick foggy or dry days, growers must pull water to spray for each tree stump and the fruits close to the ground to have a beautiful ball.
“Buddha’s hand fruit for Tet is always the oldest and most beautiful fruit, so any branch that produces beautiful fruit will be marked with a string. After harvesting, people will take the eye of this branch and graft it on the stump 2- 3 years old, next year will harvest a lot of beautiful fruits,” said Mr. Nguyen Van Nam, garden owner in Hiep Thuan commune.
The beautiful fruits, with the shape of many hands, many layers, many layers, are sold from 500,000 VND in the garden.
A few hundred meters away, Mrs. Nguyen Thi Ha (45 years old) is harvesting ripe yellow fruits to retail for money to buy fertilizers and fertilizers for the trees waiting for the time of harvest. The small fruits cost from 50,000 to 100,000 VND.
The Buddha’s hand has no intestines, the porous core inside is not edible but only used as medicine. “In the spiritual life, Buddha’s hand is a popular worshiping fruit, worshiped on important days, the 1st, the full moon day or on the five-fruit tray on New Year’s Day to pray for blessings,” Ms. Ha said.
September-October is the time when growers limit their harvest to gather nutrients for fruit trees during Tet.
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