Thursday, June 19, 2014

Rice planting 2014

The yearly rice planting is over.  The men finished all the machine planting the other day and I finished the last of the hand planting today.  Unfortunately (?) I had to work over the weekend so I wasn't able to help out with the main planting, but was given responsibility for filling in the gaps in the last field today.
For those who are not familiar with rice planting, basically the machines do all the hard work, but there are still areas that the machines haven't filled in properly that need to be planted by hand.  Literally back breaking work!  The amount of hand planting depends on two things - the shape of the field and the skill of the rice planter driver.  The less square the field is the more areas there are that need to be hand planted.  The less skilled the driver the more areas there are that need to be hand planted.  Unfortunately most of our fields are far from square and my husband is just taking over the reigns from his father and is therefore not as skilled as he could be.... which means many areas to fill!
The basic way of planting the fields seems to be to leave a section around the entire field and then go up and down until it is full and then do one final swoop around the entire field before hopefully arriving at the exit point.  It means that the main areas to be hand planted are where the vertical lines and the final swoop around the outside meet as well as the corners and the exit areas.  It is not difficult work -  you just pull off 3 or 4 rice plants and stick them in the mud.  The problem is that you are doing it while standing in the deep mud... which often has sharp or moving objects in it.  Basically you have to just hope that the squiggling is an air hole letting off steam and not a snake going for a swim.  And of course for straightness freaks like myself the real challenge is to make the lines as straight as you can.  I'm sure it doesn't actually make any difference to the harvest, but I get twitchy if I drive past lines that I have planted that are too crooked....


  1. I remember this as a child - so fascinating! Just out of curiosity, do you grow non-GMO organically grown rice? Thank you!

    1. Hi, thank you for commenting.
      Our rice is non GMO but unfortunately not organic. I would love it to be, but my father-in-law is the main force behind the fields and is in the very old way of thinking. Also, we have so many fields that at this stage in our lives it would be very difficult to do them all organically. I hope to slowly convert one or two into organic fields in the near future.

  2. Love your blog, subscribed! That sounds like a very messy icky job! Rewarding though, I'd say. Let's hope the snakes stay away.