19/03/2016 18:14 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Canh Cam Organic Vegetable Farm

Trying to find a source of clean vegetables for their newborn child, Ngo Quang Vu and his wife Dang Le My in Thao Dien Ward, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City have built a farm to grow clean vegetables applying advanced technologies from the US and Israel.
After two years, in May 2015, Canh Cam (Ladybug) Clean Vegetable Farm with a total area of 3,000m2 started to sell its fresh produce to customers. Canh Cam is also the nickname of Vu and My’s daughter. So far, many people in Ho Chi Minh City have learned about this farm, which has been a reliable source of green and organic vegetables in the downtown area.

When building the farm as an IT engineer, Ngo Quang Vu chose to apply the latest technology in growing organic vegetables from the US and hydroponic vegetable from Israel. All procedures including choosing breeds, growing, poly house building, soil improving and automatic machinery systemising have to follow the standard process and order. Although having little experience in the field made the cost mount up to nearly five billion dong, Vu and his wife still continued their plan.

Talking about the difficulties at the beginning, Vu said: “It is difficult to find farm land in the city so building poly houses in the downtown is more costly and demanding than in the outskirts. Tending procedures of different types of vegetables also need regular customising to fit natural conditions.”

Part of Canh Cam Organic Vegetable Farm. Photo: Kim Phuong/VNP

Seedlings must meet standards. Photo: Kim Phuong/VNP

Seedlings at the farm. Photo: Kim Phuong/VNP

Tomato seedlings. Photo: Kim Phuong/VNP

Malabar spinach is automatically watered. Photo: Kim Phuong/VNP

Green and fresh vegetables at the farm. Photo: Kim Phuong/VNP

A temperature and humidity measuring machine is used in vegetable tending. Photo: Kim Phuong/VNP

A nursery area in Canh Cam Farm. Photo: Kim Phuong/VNP

Organic vegetables meet three standards of cleanness, freshness and nutrients. Photo: Kim Phuong/VNP

Their early success brought about confidence that encouraged Vu and My to develop the organic vegetable farm. Their first products were sold to relatives and friends. Gradually, more and more people got to know about the farm and sought out its products.

Residents in Ho Chi Minh City now have huge desire for safe and clean food. At Canh Cam Farm,  the rule is strictly followed that no fertilizer, pesticide, growth promoter, genetically modified crop or preservative is used.

Each day the farm sells around 50kg of vegetables through retail and shipping services. Weekends are the busiest days in Canh Cam Farm when customers flock there to visit and buy fresh vegetables. Though its prices are relatively high, customers are satisfied with the quality after seeing with their eyes the growing and tending procedures. They are pleased with Canh Cam Farm’s products that meet three criteria: cleanness, freshness and nutritious.

Many major supermarkets have made orders to buy vegetables from Canh Cam Farm but Vu still rejects them as he now could not meet the demand. In the future, Vu and My hope to cooperate with partners to replicate the model of Canh Cam Farm in order to meet the huge demand of customers.

Besides organic vegetables, Canh Cam Farm sells seedlings and provides services on setting up vegetable gardens on terraces, automatic watering system assembling, soil and plant improving and harvesting. Once a month, there is a class on growing and tending clean vegetable which is open to the public. This is also a place for people, especially children, to visit and experience a farmer’s life.

Canh Cam Farm now has 100 types of vegetables, 50 of which are daily harvested. Photo: Kim Phuong/VNP

Safe and healthy organic vegetables. Photo: Kim Phuong/VNP

At Canh Cam Farm, no fertilizer, pesticide, growth promoter,
genetically modified crop or preservative is used. Photo: Kim Phuong/VNP

Customers are pleased with clean vegetables of Canh Cam Farm. Photo: Kim Phuong/VNP

The model of Canh Cam Farm built by Vu and My is aimed at creating an accessible source of clean and safe vegetables through urban agriculture which is very popular in foreign countries. According to Dang Le My, the cost of building a model of organic vegetable growing is relatively cheap, with just a small space of about 2m2 such as a balcony or terrace. Almost every household in the city can build this model. With some additional experience and technology in economic watering, city dwellers can grow safe and healthy vegetables in their house.
Story: Nguyen Oanh - Photos: Dang Kim Phuong