« More and More and more Mona | Main | Almost October Garden »

Rice Week

DSC_0075 copyDSC_0154 copyDSC_0119 copy

Just to prove to his wife that he was actually here working, Wes from Hiking in Japan insisted (at rice-cutting-blade point) that I post these photos.

DSC_0078 copyDSC_0102 copy

With the help of Wes and our faithful local assistant Maiko, we are on track to finish the rice harvest today. The weather couldn't be better for us, with sunny skies after a few days of typhoon. It also doesn't hurt that we only grew half the amount as last year.

Mona helped as well, but due to child labor laws, we had to give her outrageous amounts of break time which she more than happily took advantage of.

DSC_0180 copy

The typhoon wasn't so great for most of the neighbors though.

On the first night of the typhoon, Mr. Neighbor was ordering Mrs. Neighbor to come with him to the rice field and help him harvest it by hand - starting at 8pm. They would have to work all night in the rain and dark. She said he was crazy. He said "If you want rice this year you will get your... " (I'm just paraphrasing as I imagine what words were spoken. I actually have no idea.)

Why such a rush? Their field is the closest to the river and it had been RAINING for two days straight. I went down in the afternoon to at least tie the metal drying racks to a tree so that if the river did flood (as it does every few years) we would only loose all our rice, but the racks may stand a chance.

So far no flooding, but it takes a while for the water to make its way from the mountains down into the river, so just because the rain has stopped by now, there is still a chance for flooding. If not, we should have it all harvested this weekend.

With the typhoon and rain, many of the rice stalks have toppled. When the rice stalks get too heavy, they fall over and it makes it quite troublesome for the farmers to harvest it. Instead of just driving a harvesting machine through the field, they often need a second person to hold the rice up with a stick and guide it into the blades of the machine. When the rice is heavy and wet, as it is now, you can imagine the added difficulty. If they wait for the rice to dry a bit, there is the risk that it will begin to sprout.

DSC_0029 copy
DSC_0240 copyDSC_0232 copy

You can guess that no one is happy about the rain. What surprises me most though, is that people act as though they were taken by surprise. I have been here four years and every year there is rain just before the harvest. Every year the rice gets heavy with water and falls over. Every year there is the fear of flooding. Am I the only one who is used to it?!?

DSC_0068 copyDSC_0144 copy
Powered by
Movable Type 3.2