Residents in Gio An Commune (Gio Linh District, Quang Tri Province) plant watercress using water from an ancient well that is 5,000 years old (Champa Kingdom era).
It can only be planted in areas with clean sources of water.
Sources of fresh water from Ong Well, Ba Well, Gai Well and Tep Well help residents in Hao Son Hamlet maintain up to 7-12 hectares of watercress. Due to this huge advantage, the vegetable in Hao Son can sell at a higher price compared to prices in other places.
Watercress is planted on a rocky, watery field. In the dry season, in areas that water cannot reach, watercress will gradually die. So, in September, people that have rocky fields located near the ancient well will breed watercress for sale.
It is harvested from October to March and sold in clusters costing from five to seven thousand VND. Residents earn several hundred thousand VND a day.
“Watercress is easy to plant. You just need to plant seeds on fields which have a clean stream flow going through. After 15 days, we will harvest them. Watercress does not need to be fertilized. If the stream is polluted, the plant will die,” Ms. Le Thi Linh from Gio Linh District said.
Tran Anh Tuan traveled from Dong Ha City to the area to buy watercress. “My family members love watercress fried with pork. Every December, I come here to buy from 20 clusters of watercress. Other people also ask me to buy some for them.”
Nguyen Van Song, Chairman of the People’s Committee in Gio An Commune, said: “Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, residents have had difficulty transporting watercress to markets in Quang Tri Town to sell or transport by train to nearby provinces. With the unique ancient well system, we want to improve residents’ quality of life through tourism.”
Watercress thrives on rocky fields with water from ancient wells.
Residents on the way to harvest watercress.
Watercress is one of Vietnam’s ‘cleanest’ vegetables.
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