Saturday, June 09, 2012

Rice field preparation

Preparations for rice planting are in full swing here now and it is another time of the year when the distinct male / female jobs come into play.  One of the biggest problems with rice fields is that they need to be water-tight.  They need to have a very hard clay base with mud on top.  They also have to have "walls" to prevent all the water from just draining out into the neighbouring fields.  There seem to be two basic ways to make these walls in our area and I've been watching my mother-in-law doing the more labour intensive version over the last few days.  Basically she goes around the edge of each rice field with a bit long strip of black plastic stuff and pokes it in the side of the rice field and then jabs thin bamboo sticks into the ground to keep it in place.  She has been doing this for at least two days now - probably longer... just going slowly around and around each field.  If it was me I would have lost concentration after the first side and gone to a shrine to pray that the gods would keep the water in for me.... but somehow she just keeps managing to smile and keep on going without a break.  I'm guessing she will be out there again tomorrow.
The other way of making these walls is for a man to get on a tractor which has a special "rice-field-wall-maker" attached and drive it along the side, making a very thick, very impressive wall in about 10 minutes.  I'm thinking I might need to get myself one of those if I am ever expected to make the rice fields water tight in the future....

Nancy - thanks for commenting.  It was definitely bust size they were measuring - no waist measurements needed.  I could almost understand waist (almost...), but bust.....????  Here's hoping they get around to changing the forms before next year - when I may not be in such a smile and nod mood!

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