Ha Dong hamlet, the first flower village in Dalat
Dec 16th 2013.
When coming to the highland city of flowers, sun and mind, one of the tourists’ hobbies is to sit on a horse carriage listening to the tinkling music and the regular clip-clopping of horses to the suburban area with famous flower villages in order to get acquaintance nith crgismen diligently plying beside the flowers.
Ha Dong flower village is about 2 km from Da Lat city center to the west. This is one of the famous flower villages historically associated with the founding and development of Da Lat, the Flower Festival City.
History of Ha Dong Hamlet estabishment
40 years after Dr. Yersin discovered Langbian plateau and proposed to Indochina Governor Genera Paul Doumer to build in this place a resort center, especially in the period after 1930, Da Lat has actually developed into an urban city with a power plant, railway stations, transportation systems, schools, government agencies… built together with the emergence of hundreds of luxury and fully furnished villas in European style for French officials and Nguyen dynasty. Many hotels and restaurants sprang up. Dalat population also increased rapidly, mainly the French and the Vietnamese officials, and Chinese merchants moved here to settle down.
To meet development requirements of the city as well as the needs of the people here, the French and the local administration allowed immigration from the North and the central region to Da Lat to set up a hamlet forvegetabbe production to provide fresh vegetables for the city dwellers.
Ha Dong Hamlet was established in 1938 by the initiative of a number of government officials at that time such as Mr. Nguyen Hoang Trong Phu-Ha Dong Province Chief, Vice President of Northern Advisory Council, Mr. Tran Van Ly-Christian Chiefof Da Lat city, Lam Dong General Manager-Binh Ninh(Lam Dong, Dong Nai, Thuong, Binh Thuan, Ninh Thuan), Le Van Dinh agricutural engineer, after acting as the judge at Da Lat oint court.
After a period of preparation, on 29/05/1938, the first group of 35 residents were taken to Da Lat by train. They were healthy, skilled gardeners in the villages of Quang Ba, Nghi Tam, Tay Tuu, Ngoc Ha, Xuan Tao, Van Phuc. Initially, nostalgia, lacking means of production, unfamiliar climate and the wild jungle with lots of beasts had naturally frustrated some gardeners. The remaining people were determined to hang on and continued to reclaim land with direct help from the then government, particularly Mr. Le Van Dinh(Ha Dong agricutura engineer, who created good conditions for their family reunion. At the end of 1938 and in the years 1939-1940 many other people from the said villages continued to immigrate to Da Lat to settle down, thus more people thronged to Ha Dong village. By the end of 1943, Ha Dong hamlet got 57 househods. Being experienced and diligent farmers, very soon they have converted fallow hills and wild pastures into sh vegetable gardens.
Birth & development of Floriculture
According to the villagers, the first flower grower in this place is Mr. Ngo Van Binh. In 1939 when leaving his hometown he brought along 2000 gladiolus bulbs to plant in the village. Since the flowers were appropriate to the soil, the climate and grew lushly, he propagated the breeds along with some other local flower varieties. Gradually other households in the village besides planting flowers and vegetables, developed new flower breeds such as red chrysanthemums, daisies, roses, white daisy flowers…
At first, flowers were grown mainly for Dalat market, but most of them were for French officials and Hue imperial court mandarins. Also during this me, many new breeds were imported by the French and overseas ietnamese to be planted in their own gardens in Da Lat. Therefore, many new flower arieties were collected, planted and propagated in la Dong Hamlet, thus helping increase numbers of ower varieties with high yields, and develop floriculture.
Ha Dong Hamlet has become the first flower age in Da Lat. Flowers which are produced not only meet local demand in Da Lat but are also onsumed in Sai Gon and the central region.
Since 1992 1998, the number of households switching to planting flowers have increased considerably, and many greenhouses for planting new varieties of imported chrysanthemums emerged. These varieties of chrysanthemums are diverse in color and shape, hence they are quickly favored and consumed.
Especially since 1998 until now. farmers know to apply advanced technologies in farming. for instance, building plastic greenhouses, application of modern irrigation techniques combined with the process of growing and taking care of flowers and the diversification of flower species apart from the old local varieties there are also new varieties such as Grand Daisies Dutch tulips, French roses, US, Japanese Cymbidium. has helped to improve quality and flowers are largely consumed in domestic markets and exported to overseas markets.
The Flower Village Ha Dong Hamlet has become a centralized production place towards industrial application of scientific techniques in Da Lat Lam Dong. Currently, in Ha Dong hamlet. 400 households are flower growers with more than 600 workers and many famous and artisans with rich experiences in floriculture and bonsai such as Nguyen Dinh Bo-83 years old, vii Hoa Son-77years old, Nguyen Van Dong.
Ha Dong flower village currently has 3 nursery facilities, selecting and prowding lots of varieties of flowers, developing production techniques of generating breeds and high-value commercial flowers for flower growers, at the same time, serving educational groups and tourists during festivals.
Ha Dong Flower Village was recognized as a traditional craftsvillage in 2010. This is one of the attractive and interesting tourist attractions for tourists to visit when they come to the flower city of Da Lat-Lam Dong.
By Doan Bich Ngo