Although the village of Tay Tuu was one of the last to switch from traditional farming to cultivating flowers, following the lead of villages like Ngoc Ha and Quang Ba, it has blossomed into being considered the flower granary of Hanoi.
Tay Tuu has become famous for its large variety of beautiful flowers that not only grace local markets but are also exported abroad, and all the households in the village have become involved in this industry.
Farmers in Tay Tuu used to specialise in traditional agriculture but this yielded a low income. In the 1990s, however, the farmers changed to growing flowering plants and spices.
These crops brought in good profits and the standard of living in the village improved markedly. The Tay Tuu villagers first planted daisies imported from Taiwan and Singapore, but now are concentrating on growing roses on a large scale.
Roses currently account for 70 to 80% of all the flowers cultivated in the region. "Roses have a much better economy of scale than daisies, because rose bushes are productive for four or five years and can be harvested all year round, while daisy plants give only two crops, "said Phong, a farmer.
He added that people may think it is easy to farm with flowers but this is not the case. In reality, a high quality flower field requires very special attention to the minutest details, and the entire crop can go to waste if something went wrong.
The first stage in establishing a flower farm is to prepare the fields by marking furrows with a milling machine and growing seedlings. The second stage - the most important and difficult, as it determines whether a tree will survive or not - is grafting nodes onto the young trees after two months' growth.
The grafted plants require special care for the next 20 days, after which the grafts' nylon coverings are removed to allow the grafted shoots to grow.
It takes another three months before the flowers can be harvested, during which time a lot of work such as weeding and spraying insecticide has to be done in the fields.
Phong said that growing flowers is as difficult as growing rice, but the revenue from flowers is much higher at 5mil VND per sdo (360sq.m). This has prompted many households in Tay Tuu to rent extra land from the neighbouring Thuy Phuong Commune to plant more flowers.
He said he had received many orders on the last Women's Day from Hanoi's flower shops, other provinces and even fulfilled a big order from the central province of Quang Tri.
Phong proudly showed off his immense field covered in all kinds of roses. The colourful field is testimony to his efforts as well as those of other successful flower farmers in the village./.