Rice Planting 2017

It is now August and the rice has been planted successfully for another year. The teenagers were out every weekend on Saturday planting from morning until afternoon over a 6 week period. Lunch was bought in to the fields – sticky rice, fried chicken and spicy hot som tam (papaya salad). There was time for a quick wash to get the mud out of the hands and clothes and then after lunch, time for a  nap or gossip with friends before getting out in to the paddies again. Everyone had their jobs – the girls and the housemothers were mostly in the paddies planting, the boys were transporting the bundled up rice seedlings to the fields and depositing them in the paddies or at the edges ready to be picked up and planted. The farm staff were using the tractor to plow the next paddy ready for the descent of the hoardes . Then there were the smaller Sarnelli House boys who were racing around getting as muddy and dirty as possible teasing the girls, catching snails, crabs and whatever else was lurking in the muddy water – always hopeful for a sight of a snake. Ms Kung  (five months pregnant) kept everyone  on track using her megaphone to encourage all and to countdown to the number of paddies left before lunch. After the rice has been planted there is still work to do. The fertiliser pellets that are made on the farm are scattered by hand into the just planted rice paddies and over the next weeks it will be necessary to pull out weeds that can strangle the young rice. Rain is still needed and so we hope it will continue to fall so all the hard work was not in vain. Having Jomp’s Farm -  our own rice land and working it every year when the season permits allows Sarnelli House to save approximately 290,000 baht (almost $US10,000 – this also includes vegetables and fruit grown on the farm).  Jomp’s Farm also allows the children to contribute to their lives in a meaningful way, to learn about rural life and develop farming skills. They can also see and be part of the process of their food coming from the earth, reliant on the seasons and their own labour to arrive at their table ready for eating. (Aug 8, 2017)

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