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Saigon couple turns empty land into vegetable garden during social distancing

Monday, May 18, 2020, 14:11 GMT+7
Saigon couple turns empty land into vegetable garden during social distancing
Nguyen Ba Trinh, Pham Thi Anh Huyen, and their child are pictured under an overhang in their vegetable garden in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, May 16, 2020. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

With more free time to spend during coronavirus disease (COVID-19) social distancing, a couple in Ho Chi Minh City has transformed an unused plot of land they own into an eye-pleasing vegetable garden.

Nguyen Ba Trinh and his wife Pham Thi Anh Huyen live in the city’s suburban district of Binh Chanh.

The couple owns a land plot covering 273 square meters adjacent to their house where only garbage, construction waste, and wild plants had taken refuge before the pandemic hit.

The abandoned land suddenly became the perfect blank canvas for Trinh and Huyen — who found themselves confined to their home as per government social distancing orders in early April — to bring a new look to their backyard.

Trinh told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that he had hired vehicles to transport gardening soil from Huyen’s hometown in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong to Ho Chi Minh City for the project.

Lam Dong’s red soil is both cheaper and more fertile than alternatives available in the southern metropolis, Trinh explained.

Nguyen Ba Trinh (red), Pham Thi Anh Huyen and their child harvest vegetables from their garden in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, May 16, 2020. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Ba Trinh (red), Pham Thi Anh Huyen and their child harvest vegetables from their garden in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, May 16, 2020. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Ba Trinh takes care of the plants in his vegetable garden in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, May 16, 2020. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Ba Trinh takes care of the plants in his vegetable garden in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, May 16, 2020. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

He collected dried coconut shells from local markets and turned them into hanging plant pots while using logs donated by his neighbors to make raised garden beds.

The 42-year-old man fertilized the garden with goat droppings, coir, and rice husk mixed with red soil.

With a background in construction, Trinh did all the designing and buidling of the garden by himself.

He also built a mini stilt house and a fish tank in the garden, turning it into the family’s own next-door ‘farmstay’ experience.

The entire garden was completed in three weeks, with more than 40 different types of plants now growing on the site.

A melon in Nguyen Ba Trinh’s garden in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is seen in this photo taken on May 16, 2020. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

A melon in Nguyen Ba Trinh’s garden in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is seen in this photo taken on May 16, 2020. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Ba Trinh takes care of the plants in his vegetable garden in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, May 16, 2020. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Ba Trinh takes care of the plants in his vegetable garden in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, May 16, 2020. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

An unused land plot in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is filled with garbage, construction waste and wild plants before it was turned into a vegetable garden by Vietnamese couple Nguyen Ba Trinh and Pham Thi Anh Huyen (unseen) in this supplied photo.

An unused land plot in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is filled with garbage, construction waste, and wild plants before it was turned into a vegetable garden by Vietnamese couple Nguyen Ba Trinh and Pham Thi Anh Huyen (unseen) in this supplied photo.

Vegetables are grown in dried coconut shells in a garden in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in this photo taken on May 16, 2020. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Vegetables are grown in dried coconut shells in a garden in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in this photo taken on May 16, 2020. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

A neighbor visits Nguyen Ba Trinh’s vegetable garden in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, May 16, 2020. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

A neighbor visits Nguyen Ba Trinh’s vegetable garden in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, May 16, 2020. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Cabbages are grown in raised beds in a garden in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in this photo taken on May 16, 2020. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Cabbages are grown in raised beds in a garden in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in this photo taken on May 16, 2020. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

A top-down view of a vegetable garden in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, May 16, 2020. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

A top-down view of a vegetable garden in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, May 16, 2020. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

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