Mum's garden( Vietnam trip part 1).


I spent my childhood growing up in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam in the 80's. I spent most of my time in my mum's garden. We had a big wild garden that provided most of our food, wild veggies, fruit and protein sources like snails, snakes, fish, frogs, etc.
My mum was the hunter and she'd do anything to put food on the table for her family. Every morning she would take a bamboo basket and disappeared into the garden. She would come back with edible ingredients for fresh food that day and some ripe fruits like guavas, bananas or papaya as a treat for us when we were young.
Very often the neighbours kids secretly came into our garden to collect ferns, baby wasp or ants to use as bait to catch fish. I remember I was standing there staring at them, saying nothing but they looked really uncomfortable for being in my place and taking our food. The tension was high because they were taking our food and we were very poor.
And they still came again when they needed to and I would follow and stared at them if I saw them. Even so they always knew the rules not to cross, they never collect anything that my parents planted even it has more value. They collected anything grows from nature that my parents didn't have to put labour into. We lived in harmony with people and nature like that.
Vietnam was so poor, food was scarce after the war and later on the sanction came from the West.

Looking back now I feel so lucky to have been living that experience. This time coming back with my kids it's so different. I still have those memories so clear like yesterday but things have changed. The garden is much better cared for now and so many more fruits mum and dad continue to plant together. They are much older now and spending time in the garden is more like a hobby after many years of hard work to bring up three children. The garden is still producing lots of food and my mum often gives it away to our neighbours and relatives when she visits them. It's wonderful to see the garden thrive and brings so much joy, food and love to my family. It's the place of memory, of childhood and so much more.


Clock wise: Limes, coconut tree with young coconuts, noni or Indian Mulberry, pomelos.
Dragon fruits, papayas( it's more than 5meters high so mum just leaves the ripe fruits for birds and bats).

Spring onions and lemongrass.
Yu choi ( similar to bokchoi), edible wild ferns, aloe vera, turmeric.


Spondias dulcis or June plum, golden apple, ambarella and many other names for this kind of fruit, jackfruits, lagerstroemia blooming, Portulaca grandiflora on foot path side.


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