29.12.2021, 14:01

The Cu Huyen season of the Bay (Seven) Mountains region

AN GIANG – Cu Huyen is intercropped under the forest canopy, orchard, easy to care for, and brings high income to the people of the mountain.

Having just harvested 4 tons of tubers intercropped in the orchard, Mr. Tran Van Thong (Thoi Son commune, Tinh Bien district) pocketed more than 20 million VND. The farmer over 40 years old said that the tuber (also known as the tuber) originates in the mountains, suitable for planting in sandy soil, under the shade. Tubers are white, quite similar in shape to potatoes.

“Seeing that they can be used as food, a few decades ago, my father brought them down the mountain to grow as an economy,” said Mr. Thong. The bulbs are planted in the fourth lunar month when it rains and harvested in October when the north wind begins to blow.

Each farmer (1,000 m2) costs 500,000 VND for bulbs and focuses on the water at the time of planting until the plants are green. Later, they grow naturally, take care of them lightly, and use little fertilizer.

The Cu Huyen season of the Bay (Seven) Mountains region
The most cultivated bulbs are in Tinh Bien and Tri Ton districts. Photo: Ngoc Tai

Depending on the weather, it rains more or less, but the tubers are large or small. Especially this tuber gives a lot of powder when grown on sandy soil in the Bay Nui area. In addition, the time of harvest also determines the quality of the flour, so get the tubers early before the traditional New Year. Because the longer the planting time, the bigger the tubers but the less powdered.

After 6 months of planting, people began to unload the beds to harvest. An average yield of about 3-4 tons is about 3-4 tons per unit of land. As for the small tubers, the owner of the garden keeps them to make flour for the family.

In the harvest season, it is time for women to start making powdered powder – pure white powder for refreshments or folk cakes. Making Huyen powder helps the people of the mountainous region to earn more income and increase the value compared to selling raw tubers.

In the cold weather at the end of December, along the roads of the legendary That Son land, it is easy to see powder-drying rigs in front of the house. Some beverage shops have signed “for sale of powdered powder” to introduce specialties to tourists near and far.

At home near Thoi Son communal house, Mrs. Le Thi Diem, 57 years old, generously carried a bowl of flour on the truss and quickly spread them in thin, even layers. She said who chooses the profession of making Huyen powder is determined to eat rice… stand. “Because we have to watch the weather, when it rains, bring the powder in right away, just a little bit of rainwater the powder will spoil,” she explained.

It takes 3 hours of hard work to dry them, but the people who make the powder do not like to dry them with modern machines. They concluded that tubers grown in mountainous areas must be dried in the sun to retain their distinctive flavor.

Mrs. Le Thi Diem dried the powder in her yard. Photo: Ngoc Tai

This year, there are few growers, so Ms. Diem’s ​​family’s flour factory has reduced its capacity by more than half, only about 300-400 kg a month. The price of rhubarb nearly doubled to 6,000-7,000 VND per kg, leading to a slight increase in the price of flour over the years, increasing from 60,000 VND to 80,000 VND per kg.

On average, 5 kg of tubers yields one kg of flour. After deducting costs, for each kilogram of flour, the establishment has a profit of 3,000-4,000 VND. “Every year, I work for a few months near Tet. Living without doing anything, having a job, also has a little extra money to spend on Tet”, Mrs. Diem shared.

Nearby, Ms. Ly Kim Nam, also busy with the process of peeling the tubers, washed them with 2 water, put them in a blender, and used the powder (dilute the powder with water, wait for the powder to settle down, and pour out the water). The process of kneading the dough is time-consuming and requires a lot of water. The dough maker needs to use clean, clear water otherwise the dough will not be white and smooth.

“The bitter gourd has to go through 4-5 water to go away. The powder is soaked for one more night and then dried”, Ms. Nam said through the stages and said that this profession is very hard, so whoever perseveres and loves will stick with it for a long time. long. “This profession is not rich, but it is enough to live on. Working at home makes it easier to take care of the family”, a woman from Tinh Bien village shared.

The finished product is pure white, smooth, in the mouth, it dissolves quickly, when mixed with water, there are no impurities. The powder is carefully made, dried, and can be preserved for 2-3 years. Tuyen powder can process cakes such as little cakes, printed cakes, soup cakes, molded cakes…

The process of making powder from tubers. Photo: Ngoc Tai

Huyen tubers are grown in the Bay Nui area, most in Tinh Bien and Tri Ton districts. Hundreds of households often intercrop in orchards and forest canopy. Two years ago, the People’s Committee of An Giang province approved a pilot project to develop rural industries in Thoi Son commune on the basis of improving the economic value of products from powdered powder.

In addition to supporting and investing in machinery, the project will link along the value chain, linking production with the consumption market… Through the survey, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development estimated that one hectare of mulberry plantations, after 6 monthly collections of 30-45 tons of fresh tubers, minus the investment cost of 40-50 million dong, the profit is 50-85 million dong.

That Son of Bay Nui is a mountainous land mixed with plains belonging to 4 districts and cities of An Giang: Chau Doc city, Tinh Bien, Tri Ton, and Thoai Son districts. According to researchers, the That Son area has 37 mountains and hills, large and small, scattered with an average height of 50 to 710 m.

Historical books as well as folklore take seven mountains to represent the whole region, including Cam mountain (Thien Cam Son), Tuong mountain (Lien Hoa Son), Dai mountain (Ngoc Long Son), Dai Nam Gieng mountain, or small Dai mountain. Ngu Ho Son), Co To mountain (Phung Hoang Son), Ket mountain (Anh Vu Son) and Nuoc mountain (Thuy Dai Son). Follow (vnexpress)