August, 2001

I had always marveled that rice paddys are absolutely flat, even when they are terraced. This suggested to me that there was a heck of a lot of work done in grading the fields. I learned that this is much more easily accomplished than I had imagined.

Sometime just as the rains begin, the farmer turns the paddy over with a plow. this exposes the plant roots and kills off any plants that survived the dry season. Then it rains a lot and the paddys fill up with water, and a day or two before they are due to plant a given field, the farmer comes back and plows the field over and over again, turning it into sort of a mud soup, which settles very flat. Thus, the next day, when the workers enter the paddy to plant seedlings, the paddy is very flat and, perhaps more importantly for growing rice, the water is uniformly distributed over the paddy's surface.

Now I know how its done. that's what he's doing! Shot through my bedroom window in Nondu during the rainy season of 2002.



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