Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Rice Season

We have been in the Philippines through a whole rice cycle now, so thought we would give y'all the sequence, therefore, let the games begin! A farmer of rice has two choices, we figure, in preparing the soil, or mud, whatever. One be the Caribou,

and one be the underwater rototiller, of sorts. We find it amazing that even with the turmoil of the machine we still can observe the coconut tree reflexion in the water.

Then allow the field to age. The amount of water appalls us especially as we try to take a shower where there is no water.

Notice the footprint trails traversing this field. One field is set up as the seedling field and clumps of the rice plants to be transplanted are transported by hand to the designated field for planting.

After the field is planted, water is added again to contnue the growing process.
and time passes, and the plants contnue to grow.

until you can't even see the water, or the mud. The amount of water one would think would also cause decay and stink, but none exists at all.

Next, along come the birds and the owner knows it is time to bring in the reinforcements.

in the form of scarecrows and streamers like here, (by the way, the streamers are obtained from the leftovers from the festivals which make roadways appear to be tunnels.)or the living scarecrow which works from dawn to dusk. Some fields also use chemicals to keep away bugs and birds.

This goes on for several weeks until it is time to harvest. What a labor to behold. Many families travel around as harvesters. First, it is cut.

and sheaved,

while the transport begins to the threshing sheds.

where the rice is removed from the stalk by pounding it over a screen below which is placed a tarp.

From there the tarp is moved to the drying area which may be beside the field, or

along the side of the road. We have even seen full basketball courts covered by the sun dried rice.
The average person in the Philippines consumes about 2 Kilograms of rice a day. It is generally eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, most often plain.
Now you been educated!


Gram said...

I enjoyed seeing the cycle. When we were in Korea we would see the process every two weeks as we drove to Gunsan AFB to get groceries. I hadn't seen it up close. We could just imagine the cycle. What used to get me was seeing all the red peppers drying on the sidewalk, patios, or wherever to get them dry. Do they have big trucks loaded down with garlic driving through the neighborhood selling garlic?

ValSterByDe said...

wow, thanks!
by the way, happy birthday mom!