These flowers are called Snowballs. My sister and I have been growing them for about three years now on our five-acre family plot. We also grow cane but we can sell flowers more often at the markets. We have to regularly bud the flower heads so the plants can bloom larger flowers but we don’t actually pluck them until market day in Nyaung Shwe and in Maing Tauk.
We plant the seedlings in November and then rotate the flowers with spring onions then next season to keep the soil fertile. Unfortunately, we do have to spray the flowers with pesticides otherwise the insects get to them. No one wants to buy damaged flowers, they wouldn’t be considered pretty.
This land has been with our family since our grandfather’s time. He initially grew rice back then but paddy farming is too difficult. None of us really have the talent or the motivation for it. Even with the flowers, we get up at 5am to water the fields and we don’t finish working– weeding, replanting, turning the soil – until around 5pm. We also haven’t turned to tomato planting as that hasn’t been a family tradition.
There are four of us kids, two sisters and two brothers but only one of our brothers is married – the rest of us are single. I guess we have chosen it that way and it seems to suit us fine.
Ma Aye Su
Ma Gyi Sin village