Thursday, June 19, 2008

Me? ...... a Thai rice farmer?

The rainy season in Thailand can bring monsoon weather that lasts for several days. Lots and lots of rain is just what the rice farmers need to plant their crop.

My good friend, Phra Sanya took me to his mother's rice paddy to see how the crop is coming along. Little did I know that we'd be walking a half a mile or more, sometimes along the small raised paths separating the rice paddies and sometimes just walking knee deep in water or ankle deep in mud!

Since the water that irrigates the rice paddies come from a near by river, all sorts of little critters were swimming around in the muddy waters..... snails, fish, crabs, frogs .... all of which, if caught, were game for that night's dinner! In addition to these... who knows what else was in the water as well!

Farming in tough work.... just picking up this heavy hoe made me realize how back breaking the growing of rice can be. These farmers grow two crops per year. Given the world rice shortage, Thailand, as I understand, has decided to stop exporting rice in an effort to keep its own population fed.

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