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You are here:      Home News Green fingers raise living standards
Green fingers raise living standards
Tra QueFor centuries, Tra Que village has made a name for itself through its greenery Phong Lan finds out more.

The sweet aroma of Tra Que vegetables and herds has spiced up the everyday meals of people in Hoi An since time immemorial, especially special dishes like Cao Lau, My Quang, Banh Xeo, etc.
Located by the banks of the De Vong River, the village is now home to nearly 200 households who engage in cultivating vegetables on a total area of 40 hectares.

According to old farmers, Tra Que has been famous for its vast vegetable plantations for about 400 years. The first villagers here were very suitable for growing vegetable. With skill and experience, farmers here have been producing some of the country’s most celebrated greens, which have been awarded trademark.

A walk around the village reveals green small edible plants spreading out in all directions, giving off a natural aromatic fragrance.

Talking with the farmers here, we learn that it takes a lot of hard work to have such green fingers.
“We have to learn how to till the land, sow the seeds and then how to nurture the plants,” Manh Hung, an old farmer said while wiping his sweaty face. These works may be easy for farmers in other places nut extremely difficult for us here because we do not use chemical boosters and fertilizers”

That’s also one reason why Tra Que vegetable are being chosen by not only Hoi An’s locals but also families and supermarkets. For neighboring areas likes Da Nang City, Duy Xuyen and Hoa Vang Districts. Safety is the first reason but then it is the distinctive flavor of vegetables here that wins a loyal following.

“Our land here is enriched by the alluvium of the De Vong River,” said Tran Minh Nhu, a local guide who has a large onion plantation. “We fertilize it with algae from a nearby lagoon. That may be the reason why our herb grown here are so green and tasty.’

Among more than 20 kinds of  vegetable and herb grown here including cabbage, colza or rape, celery, kohlrabi, sacoury is the most famous, similar to basil and mint, Tra Que savory is very popular in many restaurants and hotels in Hoi An for its special fragrance. As recognition of the local farmer’s skill, people here all call them “artists”. Thanks to their special products, the village has become an attractive destination for tourists, particularly foreigners. It has been a highlight for visitors to Hoi An since the first tour to the village was open in 2004.

From Hoi An’s centre, Hoi An Travel company is talking visitors on one-day or half day tour to Tra Que, which gives them a change to discover the daily life of farmers and try hands at actual farming. Visitors can participate in such activities like tilling the land, sowing the seeds, watering, fertilizing, harvesting and so on.

This tour is attracting a lot of people, especially foreign tourists. In the recent years, Hoi An Travel has been talking more than 1,000 tourists to visit Tra Que Village annually, gaining hundreds of millions VND.

Visitors to the village will be welcome at two guest-houses before being taken to the plantation by a local farmer to see and join his work. If they stay for a whole day, lunch will be served at the guest house with Hoi An’s secial dishes. After that, visitors can relax with a foot massage with medical herbs before saying goodbye to the farmers.

“I really enjoy the work though I’ve never worked on a farm before,” says an Irish visitor joining in a full-day tour with us. “Besides learning the work of farmers in Vietnam, I can relax and do exercise at the same time.”

With a steady income from both farming and tourism, resident’s living standard has improved significantly, all thanks to the humble herb.

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