Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Rice planting again....

So my promise of keeping you up to date with the state of the rice seedlings didn't quite work out.... sorry! While I wasn't watching they grew to full size and all of a sudden it was time to start planting them. The first few fields were planted today and the remainder should be finished over the next couple of days (providing the rice planting machine doesn't break down again like it did today....).
Every year I learn a little more about the rice planting process and this year my big lesson is that "the trays of seedlings are very heavy". I was given the wonderful job of transporting the trays to the different rice fields today....
I wrote a little about the rice planting process in last years blog (see this link if you are interested.... ), but as another summary....

The seedlings become a mass of roots in the trays, almost like a very thick carpet, and this carpet of seedlings is fed onto the back of the rice planting machine.
The machine is then driven into the field - large wheels are essential due to the fact that it is moving in pretty thick mud.
After careful calculations of where to start so that you will be able to finish at the ramp into the field (kind of like the ad about the man who painted the whole room and discovered he had no way of getting out!) the tray is lowered into the mud and funky little things go round and round pulling off a few seedlings at a time and pushing them into the mud.
The final result.... rows and rows of rice plants. Now all we have to do is wait and hope the big snails don't eat all the plants before they have a chance to establish themselves (a story for another day!).

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