Vietnamese farmers’ day work

Photo of a tourist participating in threshing with Vietnamese farmers

Photo of a tourist participating in threshing with Vietnamese farmers

Does Vietnamese farmer has working schedule? No, they don’t have specific schedule they work as a habit and the farming experience passing from generation to generation.
Now we will discover the day work of Vietnamese farmers.

Let us provide you some basic information about the local life of the Vietnamese farmer including Vietnamese rice, how they grow them, how do they work on the field, the way they grow vegetable and the food they cook in a day.

Rice is main food of Vietnamese people, we eat rice in 3 meals day and we grow so much of rice. Vietnam is second rice exporter in the World after Thailand only. Almost 80% of Vietnamese population working on the rice field or things related to rice.
In the eyes of Caucasian, you may think about rice is  the portion of menu that you order at the restaurant or white rice that sell at the market.
We grow rice and we know. From the rice seeds that harvest at the field until become the white rice that you eat is  long way and so much of work, there is long and nice of process.
Here is image of rice my sister harvesting at the field.

Hai Duong Rice Field

The majority of Vietnamese people working on the farm and when traveling in Vietnam, you could meet them at their works, talking and chatting to them. Vietnamese people are one of the friendliest people in the World. You could visit their home if your time is permitted.
Normally family works together in their own farm. Each family has about half of hectare or land. Both men and women are working together but men will take care the hard work as process the land or carrying heavy load of fertilizers, making channel for water supply as rice needs so much of water.
Some part of Vietnam now has motor plow to work but majority still use the power of buffalo, it is very functional on the small area of land. In the countryside, buffalo is truly Vietnamese farmer ‘s best friend.

Vietnam is a tropical country and during harvest time in the summer, it is very hot. That is reason why Vietnamese farmer like to start their day very early. Then they have long lunch break to avoid the heat of the Sun and stay at the field until late when it gets cooler.
Women like to wear conical hat ( non la) when working on the field. It is light and large enough to cover the head, when they have break, the hat could be a hand fan too.

Vietnamese farmer has lots of jokes to entertain themselves on the farm. Some area even has song or fork song, I would love to have neighbors who have good voice and I bet everyone want too.

The children could help parents on the farm too but you don’t see many of them on farm because they have a half day at school and the other half day they could take care the house with cleaning, washing up and cooking or simply taking care smaller brother/sister while parents working on farms.

Before farmers walk on the bared foot in the mud, it is cool and safe but recently they buy rubber shoes as the foot protection and it really help when they work in the cold day in Norther part of Vietnam.

How rice is growing and how long is  a rice crop?

Vietnamese farmer got to select the best seeds of previous crop for the seedling , they will grow these seed in the nursing farm  2-3 weeks before plant them on the well process muddy field. Then they provide so much of water for almost 2 months of rice life circle. If the rains good enough then the work of Vietnamese farmer will be easier otherwise they have to work much on supply water for rice during this time. This is also the reason why farmer got to choose the right time for their crop to take advantage of the rain. When rice have seed, they don’t need much water and they seems to keep the farm dry, it will be easier when they harvest.
After they separate seed from hays, they will dry them in the sun for a while before they mill them become the white rice that you could cook.
So the total time of a rice crop from nursing rice till harvest time last for about 3 months in average, some sort of rice may last longer or shorter.

How and why Vietnamese farmer grow veges?

Most of the farmer’s family are self-service.
They grow their own veges by the rice farm, they have their own chicken or pig in their garden, mostly free-ranged chicken. They may have fish farm in the pond and produce rice for their own. They money they use is not much but life is not bad. They got almost everything they need.

Vietnamese farmer will see the coming weather in the moon and sky color then choose the right seedling and timing for the vegetable farm, this experience they learn from the elder since they were baby. I did too from my Grandma lessons via songs and poem, if you don’t know these secrets, you are not real Vietnamese farmer.
Each season has its right type of Vegetable and they have more than their use, sometime share or barter with their neighbor for other vegetables that they don’t grow.

How Vietnamese farmer cook their meal?

Vietnamese often have 3 meals a day. Breakfast is quite early. During harvest time, they often take breakfast before sunrise.
Lunch is early too, they may take the snap after a lunch before going back to the farm.
Dinner is the time when all member of family stay together, they cook together and share the meal.
Vietnamese farmer don’t eat many dishes as you served in the city restaurants during your Vietnam trip. They have steam rice plus 2 or 3 others dishes and not well decorated as you may see in the restaurant. Normally they have vegetable (stirred fry or boiled) plus some salted fish or pork eat with rice. Beef and chicken is not as popular as pork in Vietnam community. Men may take several cups of rice wine that ensure them a nighty nite and get 100% strong in the next morning for the next day work

There are several place in Vietnam when you could join Vietnam Travel on day trip of eco tour and work as a farmer and get real experience of a day local’ life.
Outside Hanoi, there is a day trip with Trip Azia in Van Duc Village eco tour
In Hoian, there is a day or half day trip available at Tra Que village
In Mekong Dela, if your time is permitted, you could join a half day eco tour too.
Life of farmers is full of outdoor activities and working in the field with lots of fresh air, lovely breeze, sharing jokes and songs with other farmer keep them strong and make farmer day work getting less hectic.

Day trip at Van Duc, Gia Lam, Hanoi

By Casey Quynh Duong


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