Monday, March 18 2019

VietNamNews

Living ‘green’ in the bamboo

Update: March, 02/2019 - 15:00
Visitors to the bamboo farm of Lê Xuân Hà. - Photo tienphong.vn
Viet Nam News

Lê Xuân Hà loves nature and he lives in the middle of it.

His home is on his bamboo farm in the province of Thanh Hóa.

There, he invites people to visit and live “green”.

That means growing vegetables, making houses from bamboo and surviving in the forest.

 

by Hoàng Hoa

HÀ NỘI — Imagine waking up in a house made of bamboo, washing your hair with dry fruit, bathing in leaves and brushing your teeth with natural toothpaste made from salted lemon and betel leaves.

That’s a way of life that costs almost nothing and Lê Xuân Hà, a 28-year-old nature lover from the central province of Thanh Hóa, believes that this is the best way to reduce waste and protect the environment.

With the desire to share this eco-friendly lifestyle, Hà, who owns a bamboo forest covering nearly 10ha in Hón Mũ, Tân Thành Commune, has welcomed visitors to his bamboo farm to live ‘green’.

Hà tried a number of careers before realising he was unhappy with the pace of life in the city. In 2013, he left the city and returned to his hometown in Hón Mũ.

The land that Hà saw for the first time five years ago was empty. Now, 90 per cent is covered with bamboo.

Talking about his eco-friendly farm, Hà said: “I didn’t want to make it a tourism spot. My visitors must be people who share a love for nature. They are advised not to bring much money, cosmetics or food to the forest.

"They can grow vegetables, make houses from bamboo if they want to stay for longer, meditate and talk with the owner about health, plants and the way to limit waste. Many people from cities visited my farm out of curiosity but then found it interesting to live here and practise survival skills in the forest. Then they stayed for longer.

“The longest stay so far has been two and a half years. Some came in pairs like a young couple from Hà Nội who stayed here for nearly one year. They left the farm to go backpacking and then came back.”

The visitor that left the strongest impression on Hà was a 56-year-old man from Hải Phòng City who has been living with his mother his whole life.

“He stayed here for ten months and we found we had a lot in common, especially a love for nature. Living in the forest, he learned how to cook, chop firewood and build houses by himself,” Hà said.

However, he does not want to welcome too many visitors as “they come to his farm and find clean vegetables, organically raised chickens and pigs to bring back to the city” and a “growing number of visitors means the environment will become worse”.

Bamboo straws

Making use of old bamboo in the forest, Hà also opened a small workshop with about ten workers to make furniture such as tables, chairs and swings. A special product made in his workshop is bamboo straws.

There are ten steps to make a straw, the most complicated of which is to polish the bamboo stems twice before putting it into steamers to sterilise it.

Consumers used to complain that the bamboo stems can get mouldy. By learning from the Thái and Mường ethnic minority groups living around the area, Hà began adding salt to the steamer to help keep the products mould-free.

His workshop makes about 50,000 to 100,000 bamboo straws per month with profits of up to VNĐ50 million (US$2,100). The eco-friendly straws have spread so far that the Hón Mũ brand can be found at district and provincial fairs.

A few months ago, Hà surprised everyone with the decision to leave behind the bamboo workshop and farm to focus on taking care of the plants and his two small children.

The farm has been closed and the workshop’s operation has been taken over by Hà’s older brother.

“I hope that in the near future when my children grow up, the farm will be re-opened but I’ll limit the visitors to as few as I can,” he said.

But for Hà, it does not mean he will disappear. In the days before the Lunar New Year holiday, he was busy building bamboo houses for a vegetarian club in Hà Nội’s Sóc Sơn District.

Hà said he doesn’t do it for money, but because the customers are fellow nature lovers. VNS


 

 

GLOSSARY

 

Imagine waking up in a house made of bamboo, washing your hair with dry fruit, bathing in leaves and brushing your teeth with natural toothpaste made from salted lemon and betel leaves.

To imagine means to think up something in a creative way.

With the desire to share this eco-friendly lifestyle, Hà, who owns a bamboo forest covering nearly 10ha in Hón Mũ, Tân Thành Commune, has welcomed visitors to his bamboo farm to live ‘green’.

Eco-friendly means friendly towards the environment.

Hà tried a number of careers before realising he was unhappy with the pace of life in the city.

The pace of life in the city is the speed at which things happen in the city.

They are advised not to bring much money, cosmetics or food to the forest.

To be advised means to be told what may be a good way of doing something.

Cosmetics are things people put on their skin, especially their faces, to look pretty.

"They can grow vegetables, make houses from bamboo if they want to stay for longer, meditate and talk with the owner about health, plants and the way to limit waste.

To meditate means to sit still and focus on something.

To limit waste means to not have too much of it.

Many people from cities visited my farm out of curiosity but then found it interesting to live here and practise survival skills in the forest.

Curiosity is the strong wish to know or learn about something.

They left the farm to go backpacking and then came back.”

Backpacking means travelling in an adventurous way, carrying your clothes and other things in a backpack.

“He stayed here for ten months and we found we had a lot in common, especially a love for nature. Living in the forest, he learned how to cook, chop firewood and build houses by himself,” Hà said.

If you have a lot in common with someone, you may be interested in the same things and you may know the same people and places.

There are ten steps to make a straw, the most complicated of which is to polish the bamboo stems twice before putting it into steamers to sterilise it.

The stem of a tree is the thick part that comes out of the ground.

To sterilise something means to kill the germs that may be on it.

The eco-friendly straws have spread so far that the Hón Mũ brand can be found at district and provincial fairs.

Fairs are events at which there is usually entertainment and fun, as well as all sorts of things for sale.

In the days before the Lunar New Year holiday, he was busy building bamboo houses for a vegetarian club in Hà Nội’s Sóc Sơn District.

A vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

WORKSHEET

Find words that mean the following in the Word Search:

  1. The relative with whom the 56-year-old man from Hải Phòng City had lived all his life.
  2. Eco-friendly things that Lê Xuân Hà gains lots of profit from every month.
  3. The number of children that Lê Xuân Hà has.
  4. Something that must happen to bamboo stems twice when they are made into straws.
  5. An experience in the working world.

 

y

h

c

h

i

r

t

s

r

p

t

e

n

p

r

i

m

r

r

o

b

l

a

i

m

e

e

a

h

l

f

l

o

r

s

h

t

d

r

i

j

k

e

s

t

r

a

w

s

s

w

d

i

o

w

r

s

e

i

h

s

e

m

o

o

d

a

r

y

r

c

a

r

e

e

r

r

s

m

e

 

 

ANSWERS:

© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Mother; 2. Straws; 3. Two; 4. Polish; 5.Career.

 

Send Us Your Comments:

See also: