Harvesting Pomelos in Hương Vân Commune

A pomelo tree ladden with fruits

It was a hot day in Huế, Auntie Tuyết suggested that we went to Hương Vân Commune, which is about 15 km away from the city’s center, to look for pomelo fruits. Why should we travel this far just to buy fruits? – “It’s because the pomelos there are very delicious,” explained Auntie Tuyết.

This commune by the Bồ River charmed me with its verdant gardens. I looked at its fertile soil and understood why trees grew so easily here. Auntie Tuyết’s friend’s house is unsurprisingly nestled in an orchard. Mrs. Nở and her husband, Teacher Hợi, were a lovely couple. I loved how they addressed each other. So respectful yet gentle. After enjoying some tasty pomelo fruits at her home, we went visiting the wholesale fruit hub of the commune before doing the thing we had been looking for: harvesting pomelos.

I’ve learnt so many things about pomelo harvesting just after a while. Pomelos can be stored for months after picking up if we get them intact. To avoid the fruits from being bruised for falling down to the ground, Auntie Nở picked them up one by one and passed each one down to her husband. Teacher Hợi was an excellent catcher but he still missed some.

Harvesting pomelos looked fun and easy but in fact it was a hard job as pomelo fruits were quite heavy. My two energetic aunties had a nice afternoon picking up the pomelos but I knew Auntie Nở and Teacher Hợi had a tiring afternoon (but a fun one because of our presence, I hope).

Auntie Nở started to pick up the pomelos in her reach first.
To get the pomelos out of reach, Auntie Nở had to clim the tree.
I love watching the pomelo fruits from below.
She’s one of the best tree climbers I’ve seen.
Her husband was a great pomelo catcher.
Pomelos were gathered on the ground.
Obviously, Auntie Tuyết and Auntie Dần had some fun picking up the pomelos.
Auntie Tuyết was also a very good pomelo catcher although she only learnt how to do it a few minutes before.
Auntie Nở and Teacher Hợi sorted, counted and packed the pomelos to wrap up the pomelo fruit harvesting afternoon.