With her own hands

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/12/5 18:43:39

Shanghai flower farmer praised for her self-made success


Flower farmer He Chunmei and her flower fields are well-known in Fengcheng town of Fengxian district. From a migrant worker to a farm owner with her own 10 hectares of land, the young 1980s-born entrepreneur has been pursuing her own dreams, and with her own hands, for over a decade. She was recently praised as the "most beautiful young person" by Fengcheng Town Youth League Committee.

He Chunmei and her violets Photos: Yang Hui/GT

Not your garden variety girl

At He's farm in suburban Shanghai, tens of thousands of flowers are presently at various stages of bloom. When He first started her business, she and her husband only had a 0.33-hectare piece of land to work with. Despite their lack of experience in horticulture or botany, they borrowed 100,000 yuan ($15,109.40) from relatives to purchase a large batch of seeds, sowed seeds in the earth and simply expected them to blossom.

However, planting flowers is much harder than it looks. In the first year, half of her seedlings died. Friends and family attempted to persuade He and her husband to give up, since the couple knew nothing about planting.

But He was determined to make this new venture work. At the start of the second year, she paid closer attention to her seedlings, finding that pests were the reason few of her flowers came to bloom.

Thus, He and her husband purchased many books and consulted with experienced flower farmers to solve the problem. They learned about using pesticides, chemicals and other modern technologies, and also learned that different flowers require different types of pesticides and at different times.

"Like raising a child, we were in flurry in the beginning, but now we know when and what should be done," she told local media.

Flowers are like people

However, nothing worried He more than a windy day. In 2008, a typhoon blew down her greenhouse, killing many flower seedlings. The greenhouse remained empty for over half a year, as she had no more money to continue buying and planting seeds.

After suffering from a slipped disc due to planting flowers all day long, He lapsed into a sort of depression, crying several times a day. Stormy weather brought her spirits down even lower. But with her husband's unwavering encouragement, He persisted.

Since then, the area of He's flower plantation has gradually increased to 10 hectares. She expects the area to further increase another 6 hectares next year. The species of her flowers have also increased from the initial Barberton Daisy to a broad and diverse variety.

He also organizes disabled people in town to help her pluck and wrap flowers.

"The lives of flowers are short but brilliant, just like that of human beings. We should live our lives like flowers. I hope to bring flowers to every family and let more people know about flowers and appreciate flowers and our life," she told media.

Global Times

He Chunmei shows off a Barberton Daisy

 

He Chunmei shows off a Barberton Daisy

 

He and her husband wrap up flowers for sale.

 

He and her staff spray pesticide.

He uses cow dung as fertilization.

He and her famous violets

He also organizes a cooperative society of disabled people in town to help her pluck and wrap flowers.



 

Posted in: CITY PANORAMA

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