Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tilling the land

Two seasons have passed since our first harvest, which yielded approximately half a ton of Pusu rice. Not a bad start considering only a quarter of the paddy field was utilised. The time it took to prepare the once abandoned paddy fields went even longer than had expected.

Overgrown with creeping vines, weeds and rumput lalang, it took several weeks of tromping/thrashing, spraying herbicide and burning before the soil was finally ready to be plowed and limed.

It cost $200 to hire tractors to tromp down the hardy vegetation and god knows how much carbon footprint was created by all the burning. All the more reason to continue cultivating the land after every harvest so that it will not be necessary to repeat the thrashing and burning cycle.

Farming rice does require the devotion of a full time job to be both ecologically and economically sustainable, and smart farming is the smart way to do it.

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