Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Rice growing

Our house backs directly onto some rice fields. Every year I think that it would be good to document the rice growing, and every year I fail to do it. So this year, for the benefit of those of you who do not have rice fields on your doorstep, here's what is happening...

The fields are left fallow over the winter and so this is what it looked like a couple of weeks ago:

Then our neighbour Mr A (otherwise known as The Strawberry Guy) got his little tractor out and worked it all down:

All finished!
After that it was a matter of waiting for the water. Around here the water for rice growing is mainly provided by snow melt from the mountains, which makes its way to the rice fields via a combination of natural rivers and manmade channels. Little sluice gates in the channels are closed to stop the water to allow it to be diverted into the rice fields. Once the fields are flooded the gates are opened again and the water carries on to fields further downstream. Here we are quite a way from the mountains so we have to wait until everyone upstream has got their water before it reaches us. Here's one of the irrigation channels near us:

And here's a field being flooded that I noticed last week:

On Saturday, after flooding began, the field behind our house looked like this:

After more flooding and weekend rain, it was time for Mr A to get his little tractor out again and churn it all up into a nice muddy soup, all ready to be planted:

More rice growing news as it happens...

1 comment:

  1. What a nice view you have. I love seeing the rice fields progress from just clumps of dirt, to water, to waving stalks, but I don't have any outside my back door. I don't even have a back door! I just popped over here from Vicky's (Hyotenka), and wanted to say "hi", and welcome to blogland. I am also married to a Japanese, and live in Saitama with him and our four kids.