Friday, June 30, 2006

A little late, but...

Okay, so about 2 weeks ago all the rice was planted here, but I only discovered the photos today, sorry.... Anyway for anyone who is unfamiliar with rice planting here is a very basic introduction. After being plowed the rice fields are flooded and then plowed again twice - once as the water is first put in and then again when it is "full" . At this stage it is also leveled as flat as possible. A few days later the fields are ready for planting. Most farmers now use ride-on planting machines so compared to the past when everything was planted by hand it is not such a back breaking job (unless you are the female of the household, but I'll come to that in a minute)., but still pretty time consuming. The machines are pretty amazing (well to an uneducated Kiwi they are!). The trays of rice plants are placed on the machine and it pulls off a few plants at a time and buries them in the mud at set intervals. The driver just needs to keep driving in a straight line!
Unfortunately the machines are not perfect though and this is where the women come in.... they get to plod into the rice fields after the machine has finished and fill in the gaps that the machine has missed. Back breaking work that I have so far managed to avoid....

In my own garden the weeds are piling up, and with more rain forecast chances of clearing them are not looking good. There are now cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes ripening everyday, but I think I am going to have to find a good "crow scarer" soon if I want to actually harvest any of the tomatoes. Right now there are lots of lovely ripe tomatoes scattered all over the garden - most of them with big holes in them!
The other thing that is "ripening" in the garden at the moment is the artichokes. Actually Tom wanted to eat them, but having experienced the painstaking task of preparing artichokes for cooking I was more interested in letting them flower. I think Tom agrees now that that was the right decision as they are looking beautiful in the garden now. Even the builder took a photo on his mobile telephone yesterday!

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