A little better – on to plowing

Well, the difference between this post and the last is slightly better than the difference between the first and second posts, so I am improving.  But it’s still not very timely.  I’ll keep working on it.

So, where were we…  Yes, we had planted the rice seeds and were waiting for them to sprout.  Now, during the time that we planted the seeds, they began to sprout, and we began waiting for the seedlings to grow into plantable rice shoots there were about 25 or so fields over varying sizes to plow.

After a winter of inactivity, a field looks like this around March:

Initially, the mud is a bit rough with all the old cut-rice stalks and roots.  On a single field we’ll usually plow it three times with the tractor.  Each time the mud becomes a bit more…what’s the word I need here…gooey?  After two plows the field looks something like this:

You’ll notice, in that picture, that there are some places that have a bit more water than others.  That means that the field isn’t exactly level.  That’s a bit of a pain, so in between plowing we’ll usually spend some time moving mud from the higher parts of the field to the lower parts of the field.  Backbreaking work, that.  Yes, a bulldozer would work wonders, but they’re a bit pricey to rent.

Here’s a pic from inside the cabin of the tractor:

I took that while driving.  That would be unsafe in a car because I’d be traveling at high speeds.  In a tractor, not so much.  Usually traveling about 25 meters while plowing takes about 5 or so minutes.  Slow, slow, slow.  But, all that time driving up and down, up and down, up and down the fields does afford me a lot of time to listen to lectures on mp3 from The Teaching Company.  This year I caught up on my Greek History, from Ancient to Classical to Hellenistic.  🙂

Next post we’ll look at planting!

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