At the end of April, the Chu Dang Ya volcano appears magically in the clouds after the first rain of the season. This is also the time when the farmers hurriedly make land and plant arrowroot.
Cloudy mist on Chu Dang Ya volcano is at the time when changing from the dry season to the rainy season. The photo is in the series “The beauty of changing seasons on Chu Dang Ya volcano” by photographer Nguyen Ngoc Hoa (Hoa Carol), currently living and working in Pleiku city.
Chu Dang Ya is the name of a volcano that used to work in the Central Highlands millions of years ago. In the J’rai language, Chu Dang Ya means “wild ginger root”, located in Ploi lagri village, Chu Dang Ya commune, Chu Pah district, Gia Lai province.
Seen from above, the Chu Dang Ya volcano is like a giant funnel. The crater of the mountain is red with fertile basalt soil that has been created by lava layers since ancient times. This volcano is a popular tourist destination in Gia Lai, about 30 km northeast of the mountain town center of Pleiku, 20 km from the Tonle Sap Lake.
Chu Dang Ya has a diverse natural landscape. If the wild sunflowers carpet bloomed brightly across the hillsides in November, then in late April and early May, the mountain brings its beauty, wild and charming in the changing seasons. It is the combination of the sun, rain, wind, cloudy mist, and the red color of basalt soil.
View of agrimotor making land. At the end of the dry season, the J’rai people living in Ia Gri village started cultivating their fields for arrowroot. Chu Dang Ya is one of the rare places in the country where the soil is suitable for growing this crop.
The preparation of soil and grooves must be done right before the rain comes in order for arrowroot to be well cared for and developed during the rainy season, starting to bloom in July and lasting until around October.
Before each crop, farmers not only use motor vehicles to level the soil, but they also use the cow to go ahead to make beds traditionally.
The farmers hurried to the fields, preparing to plant tubers. They will intercrop arrowroot, corn, pumpkin, and sweet potato crops alternately, not following successive crops. Every two rainy seasons, just come back to plant an arrowroot season.
The truck carrying the gathered arrowroot creates a bustling working atmosphere. After the fields are grooved, the farmer will put the bulbs in.
The cow is plowing and planting arrowroot tubers. Tubers are placed 12-15cm deep, sprouting upwards. Planting density is about 30,000 – 40,000 trees / ha.
Arrowroot is grown mainly by farmers for tubers. Traders buy tubers to process into starch to make vermicelli. After the arrowroot crop, the wild sunflowers will begin to dye Chu Dang Ya yellow.
Photo: Nguyen Ngoc Hoa