A Bumper Crop

Despite the poor rainy season up here in the Northeast of Thailand the rice paddies of Jomp’s Farm have yielded a good crop of glutinous (sticky) rice for the children of Sarnelli House. After the successful irrigation of water pumped from five of the fish ponds on Jomp’s Farm to the underdeveloped rice plants, finally the kids were able to start harvesting the fully grown rice on the first weekend in November. Completely covered up and protected from the sun so it was hard to recognise one kid from another, the teenagers and the staff from the different houses set to work early on Saturday morning and stopped mid morning as the heat increased. They resumed harvesting again late in the afternoon and worked till it was dark. New scythes were bought and the rice stalks was grasped in one hand and sliced off at about waist level.  The rice was tied into bundles and then over the coming weekends put through the thrashing machine to separate grain from the stalks. There are over 400 bags of rice harvested now and stored in the new granary at St Patrick’s. When it comes time to eat the rice, it will be taken to the mill located at the orchard, past Nazareth House and will be milled ready for cooking. The stalks and grist leftover from thrashing and milling the rice will be used to feed the livestock on Jomp’s Farm, the husks will be made into organic fertiliser. Fr Phairot C.S.s.R and relatives from the Sakolnakorn Province have generously donated an extra 150 bags of rice to Sarnelli House and this will ensure that there is enough rice now in the granary to feed the children and staff for 1 year! For the first time ever Sarnelli House is self sufficient in providing rice - the staple food for the children for a full year – all the hard work has paid off and everyone is very thankful to all our friends who have helped with the farming project over the years to reach this point.

Kate Introna