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[Photos] In a H'Mong Village, Harvest Time Is When Perseverance Pays Off

Tending to a crop takes dedication. Workers are subjected to early mornings, sore bodies and weary minds. However, after all the trials and tribulations, harvest time — the world over — is usually a time of great joy.

While traveling around Vietnam, getting out into the countryside provides some amazing insight into how agricultural communities in Vietnam have developed resilience, even in the face of harsh conditions. 

The corn harvest comes only once (sometimes twice) a year to this village of ethnic H’Mong in the Central Highlands. Even with high rainfall, they often struggle with productivity in the fragile and malnourished mountain soils. As primary producers in a complex supply chain, the farmer’s income remains incredibly low and inconsistent. 

Despite this fact, the joyful atmosphere around this flurry of noisy and chaotic work was hard to ignore, and it’s difficult not to get drawn into these kinds of events.

After being stripped, these dried corn kernels were bagged and left beside the pile of husks. Later on, the corn is dispersed as chicken feed to large farms in the region.

At harvest time, every household in this part of the village comes down to help, including the kids.

It's a noisy and chaotic scene that somehow remains neat, organized and harmonious.

This older girl seemed to be responsible for keeping the younger kids away from the heavy machinery.

The older children try to help in whatever way they can. Most of the time, despite their best intentions, the younger ones just get in the way.

Of course, kids work a lot slower than adults, but they enjoy the excitment and action a little more than the adults.

This girl was enjoying her break by playing a game resembling marbles in her large bowl of kernels.

Kings and queens of the hill.

Proud of their village's harvest and, despite mucking around in a nearby river for most of the process, a job well done.

Top photo: An extra hand (or back) is needed for certain tasks in this hectic but orderly process.