Eating is an agricultural act - Wendell Berry

Sunday, October 10, 2010

a new rice planting experiment

we covered our rice planting experiment over the aug-sept period.
look out for the further updates on that experiment a bit later today!

this post is about a new rice experience - called rice 2 hereinafter.

siddarth's arrival has seen us ramp up our interest in rice.
so rice 2 was waiting to happen. the question was timing.

the rice season has been a bit confusing for us to decipher.
the more we asked the locals the more twisted the information got.
a limited clarity was that the 3 main rice seasons (in this area) are nov-dec (karthigai pattam), july-aug (aadi pattam) and jan-feb (thai pattam). depending on water availability, a fourth season is may-june (chittirai pattam).
of course, as the rains vary in regions, these months could go up or down.
typically the type of rice is chosen based on duration of crop.

all around us here, rice is being planted.
we got infected by the rice bug and rice 2 is detailed below.

as we did not have a plot of land available, we created one of approx 2000 sq feet.
we raked the top of the ground with the Yanmar excavator to get the grasses out and the soil loosened.
and then we ran our brand new manual plough through this field.
this is totally human powered.
between DV's design and his trusted fabricator - Venu, this excellent implement has come to life here.
check out the pics. a more detailed post on this will follow.

and this is how the field looks after the ploughing.

we split the field into 2 parts and sowed (broadcast method) 2 local varieites - gundu (90 days duration) and thooyamalli (140 days duration).

and then field was mulched.

and we are done.

we expect the rains to take care of the watering.
we should do some minimal maintenance (weeding/thinning/manuring/mulching).

oh yes, this is how we spend our sundays....


Anonymous said...

Is it possible to grow rice without tilling? Manual ploughing looks like a lot of hard work, or rather a good deal of outdoor exercise!

csm said...

anon - the straight answer is yes. it is possible at a stage when the farmland has the necessary fertility.

in our case, the land was hard packed and would not have allowed any grain cultivation without tilling. over a period of time when the fertility increases through our efforts, we will not till anymore.

our good friends at are using raised bed growing for grains to avoid tilling.

as a sidelight the exercise is very useful :-)