Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Rice seed planting again

The year is going too fast again .... here in the outbacks of Japan time is measured mainly by what state the rice fields are in. Right now we are back to preparing the rice fields for planting and of course starting to raise the trays and trays of seedlings needed to plant the fields (this year we planted 280 trays...). For a more detailed description of how the seeds are planted please look at last years entry... the link is: rice seed planting
There are two main differences in the rice seed planting this year - the first is that they are being left outside, rather than in the tunnel house (which means I can use the tunnel house a lot earlier than I could last year!). My father-in-law is a little bit of a perfectionist and therefore he has made an incredibly square, incredibly flat area to lay all the trays on in one of the rice fields. I think it took him two full days to complete the frame.... it should look impressive as the rice seedlings start to sprout.
The second difference is the timing of the planting. This year the planting has been delayed more than a week in order to try and counterbalance the effects of global warming. Apparently rice tastes better if it has experienced a frost before harvesting, and with the current temperatures that means the planting must be delayed in order for this to occur. The smog from China has currently disappeared, but there are still environmental problems everywhere!

I'll try to keep you updated on the rice progress.... but until then another helpful hint! Put a bay leaf or two in with your rice when you are storing it to keep the bugs away. Not such a problem for those of you going into a New Zealand winter, but for those living in Japan and heading into the sticky season it really does work!

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