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  1. #1
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Rice growing season in Phrae

    It's the rice growing season in Phrae now.
    This is how they grow sticky rice up north.
    They do it the hard way as you will see.


    First you get a nice muddy paddy and throw some rice seeds all over it.
    About two days later you can see the first shoots appearing.




    After a couple of weeks.


  2. #2
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    When it gets to this height you should be getting your paddy fields ready.




    So out with the iron buffalo and steer it around the mud all day.
    This is the only mechanised bit you are going to get.




    When you are done it should look like this


  3. #3
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Now it's time to cut the seedlings.
    All done by hand.




    All tied up into nice palm sized bundles


  4. #4
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    They are then trimmed to the correct length
    because the whole damn lot has got to be planted again




    Must keep them damp or you are in trouble


  5. #5
    splendid and tremendous
    somtamslap's Avatar
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    I shan't be satisfied until we see the final product mopping up a plate of larb...but a bloody good start...

  6. #6
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Now bend over double and plant everyone
    and keep those lines straight




    Whoops, someone had too much Lao Khao


  7. #7
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    This one is a little better




    Ok finished
    Now you can have a drink




    Not much to do now
    Just check the water level every day and adjust by the skillful use of mud plugs


  8. #8
    Member Isee's Avatar
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    Maybe you can answer this question Thetyim (or anyone else), which has previously been answered (by thais) as either "don't know" or "we always do like that". Also not sure if you have two harvests or just the one. This time of the year, it seems widespread to grow rice using the method shown in your photos - so lets call it the "1st harvest". Now the 2nd harvest which obviously occurs shortly after the 1st harvest is cut, will be grown by casting the seed.

    Now while I understand there is a theory that properly spaced seedlings will nett a higher yield per rai, my novice observations is that thais space the rice closer than recommended to maximise yield. I put that attitude down to simply more plants = more rice and little or no consideration that less sometimes can mean more.

    Now compare casting the rice, its quicker, less labour and time intensive and if its good enough for one harvest why not the other? Also, I don't think there is a great difference to the yield, and the reality is that there are other variables at play that will have a bigger impact - water, soil condition/prep, efficient harvest methods etc.

    So, has anyone deciphered thai rice farming to explain the different methods?

  9. #9
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    A couple of months later and your rice should be about a metre tall





    Another few weeks and the rice seeds appear and ripen





    The stalks are then cut 30cm above ground and the sheaves laid on top to dry.
    All cut by hand of course.
    I was surprised how much a person could harvest in one day


  10. #10
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    When it has dried for a few days it will look like this





    The rice will be loose now so the sheaves must be handled carefully.
    The sheet underneath is to catch all the grains





    Now the threshing begins.
    This is the real use for a rice flail, forget all those Bruce Lee movies.


  11. #11
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    This bit takes some effort.
    Those wooden slats on the ground are made of teak and heavy but when a sheaf hits them it will bounce.




    The women take a turn as well but they have to take two more strokes than the men to get all the rice grains off.




    The grains are then scooped up into a sack and the harvest is done.
    I really cannot see this method surviving for much longer.


  12. #12
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    Great thread Thetyim, Thanks.

  13. #13
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    The fields are now dry and full of stubble but we don't let all that straw go to waste.





    Here is a eagle looking for prey.
    Always get a few after the harvest.





    Three uses for the rice straw.
    In the background it has been burnt off and soya bean will be planted next.
    In the foreground it has been laid out and will be planted with garlic.


  14. #14
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    And the third use involves dumping it in the pond for two weeks




    When it has gone all dank and smelly you make a low stack





    And grow mushrooms


  15. #15
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    i.e. the term "straw mushrooms"?

  16. #16
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isee
    Now while I understand there is a theory that properly spaced seedlings will nett a higher yield per rai, my novice observations is that thais space the rice closer than recommended to maximise yield.
    I am not sure of the answer but from what I have seen, the replanting of seedlings is for sticky rice and the simple broadcasting method is for normal rice.

    We have unlimited water supply 12 months year but only do one rice crop per year.
    After the rice season comes soya bean.
    My understanding for this is that the soya puts back what the rice took out and so there is no need to fertilise.

  17. #17
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    Loy Toy's Avatar
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    Great thread Thety and my wife also sends her thanks at the same time making her feel homesick.

  18. #18
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    This is one of the best threads that is truly about the heart of Thailand and the people! Excellent job!

  19. #19
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    Really great thread!

  20. #20
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    Marmite the Dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thetyim
    My understanding for this is that the soya puts back what the rice took out and so there is no need to fertilise.
    Yes, beans, sweet potatoes & squashes all fix nitrogen into the soil.

    Excellent thread Thetters.

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    Brilliant mate.

  22. #22
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    Great thread , thank you. Would you mind if my daughter printed it off for a school project.

    cheers.

  23. #23
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    Thanks for some really interesting information, i have often asked about why do you plant seedlings? And never got an understandable answer, just "that's how we do it"
    great pics too

  24. #24
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by storm1fishing
    Would you mind if my daughter printed it off for a school project.
    Go ahead, no problem

  25. #25
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    mingmong's Avatar
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    they do add ''Black Carbon Waste'' from the Sugar Mill to the Paddy's before planting here in Kokha, very few Locals bother with growing Sugar as the Money is so poor.

    we see it growing on Government Land, the waste water and Mill ''STINK'' , I have heard the Mill is moving to Eastern Thailand, more Sugar grown there?

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