Using wooden crates that successfully pressed hundreds of watermelons into squares, and gold bars with letters printed on them, a Dong Thap farmer collected hundreds of millions of VND in the Lunar New Year crop.
Instead of growing traditional watermelons to sell during Tet, Mr. Tran Van Cung (58 years old) from Lai Vung district, Dong Thap province has a creative way of using wooden crates to squeeze watermelons into fancy gold bars and squares. He was also the first person to successfully shape a watermelon using a wooden barrel in the West.
Holding square watermelons, gold bars with letters printed in his hands, Mr. Cuong is satisfied and ready to supply to the market this year’s Lunar New Year. He said: “In the past, I used to plant round watermelons to sell Tet, more than a decade ago, on the occasion of a melon falling into a small ditch next to the melon field, on the day of harvest, this melon had a square on one side. Seeing that, I ventured to think of a way to turn the watermelon into a square.”
Thinking to do it, he chose the spokes to make the mold. Because this material is able to withstand great pressure, the resulting product is less likely to be scratched and broken. At first, it was just a square, but gradually he made more gold bars and squares printed with letters.
To make the product more eye-catching, Mr. Cuong chose a Kim Hong watermelon variety with a characteristic yellow skin and red flesh to shape it. This type of melon has a thick skin, so it is able to withstand great pressure. This melon variety has a growth period of 55 – 60 days. When planting 40 days, will proceed to select beautiful fruit without scratches to enter the mold. After 20 days of shaping, you can harvest.
Mr. Cung confided: “I have also experimented with many varieties of melon before, but only this Kim Hong melon variety is the most successful. In addition to the beautiful color, it has yellow skin, red flesh, and thick skin suitable to withstand pressure. This melon variety, when harvested, can be stored for 1-2 months. When entering the wooden mold, you must be very careful, because if you accidentally let the melon get scratched, it will be considered as the value of the melon when harvested. half lost.”
From 4,000 melons Kim Hong, this year he only selected 600 fruits to put in the mold. Due to the influence of weather and loss when entering the mold, the harvest is only 80%. In which, about 100 pairs of square watermelons and gold bars of type 1, the rest are type 2.
Currently, a gold bar watermelon of 1.5 kg is priced at 1.5 million dong/pair, while a square watermelon with a weight of 2.5 kg is priced at 1 million dong/pair. This number is also prepared to be delivered to traders in Ho Chi Minh City under the contract.
Particularly, grade 2 watermelons are being boxed and shipped to partners for 600,000 VND/pair.($1=24,000 VND)
Mr. Cung said: “This year, the weather is unfavorable, affecting the quality of the fruit, so the rate of type 1 fruit is only about 50% compared to the expected. Partly because the mold was scratched when I applied it, leading to the loss of product value. products must be counted through class 2”.
Kim Hong watermelon with thick skin, red flesh, sweetness after harvest can be preserved for 1-2 months.
At the current selling price, after deducting expenses, he is expected to earn about 150 million VND. It is the creativity of the gardener that not only helps to increase the value of the fruits, which are inherently very ordinary, but also the customers have more choices during Tet.
Keyword: Shape watermelon into gold bars, farmers collect millions of silver for Tet