Sunday, October 9, 2011

Rice Harvest 2011

My helper and his remote controlled tank.
I did it. Finally harvested the rice.
I have never seen such a weedy rice paddy before.
And the results are pretty disappointing. But- I am a firm believer in learning from mistakes. So I am happy.

So, to harvest the rice, I needed a "kama" or hand sickle, a handful of long rice straw to bind the sheaves, six bamboo legs and a thicker crosspiece for the drying rack, and... that was all.
Grasp the stalks in the left, and cut with the right.

So I got into the paddy, which I had dried out some time ago. I put my foot near the rice plant to be cut and using the sickle cut it off about 5cm from the ground. There are about 20 or so stalks in each clump. I did the one next to it, and the next.... until I could no longer easily hold them in my hand. Then I took three or four long rice straws and wrapped them in a band around the bundle near the base. After wrapping it around, I twisted it 3-4 times, and then pushed the twist through the band. Then I did the next one, and so on. I ended up with about 20 bundles.
Real farmers don't have to steady the sheaves with their legs. But it sure makes it easier.
Embarrassing photo of more weeds than ever before seen in a mostly harvested rice paddy.

Next, I built the drying rack. Basically make two tripods and balance a long stick across them. I made mine of bamboo.
And finally I hung the bundles on the rack to dry them.
Drying rack in harvested paddy.

I will be surprised to get enough rice for one family dinner out of this harvest. But I don't mind. It is all experience.
My rice.


  1. Oh my gosh! I am proud of you! I'm always a fan of what may seem like pointless effort to the uninitiated. That is some wicked rice, I must say. And it is far better than we would get here, sadly.

  2. Thanks!
    There are varieties of rice that grow as far north as Hokkaido here- that would be about the same latitude as Milwaukee. They have a real winter up there as well.
    So you maybe could grow some where you are...