Now I know I’m blonde and not the sharpest knife in the draw but I really wasn’t sure how rice grew! Id seen loads of photos of the rice paddies in Bali and new it was split levels but I wasn’t entirely sure what the process was (bows head in shame) so we decided to explore and find out!
If you’re heading to the paddy fields in Bali please wear sensible shoes, not flip flops or anything that’s going to cause you discomfort because its hot, some areas of the floor are slippy and there’s more steps than you think!
Another thing to note is the workers, as you walk around they ask you to contribute in each section so make sure you have small notes on you.
The down fall was the unbearable heat and there isn’t any shelter so I advise going well prepared. Every where you looked there was a different picturesque view and I couldn’t stop snapping! this was by far the highlight of the holiday so far.
Rice is a staple food for all classes in contemporary Indonesia, and it holds the central place in Indonesian culture and Indonesian cuisine. it shapes the landscape; is sold at markets; and is served in most meals both as a savoury and a sweet food.
Rice production starts in the sawah (rice field). Rice seeds are planted in protected beds, while the seedlings mature, the farmers then ploughs the fields using a water buffalo.
The sawah is prepared by flooding, ploughing and levelling the field, a process that is incredibly hard in the heat!
When rice seedlings start to mature, they are pulled and transplanted to the sawah, where they are planted in rows about a foot apart. In the various stages of maturing, the sawah is flooded and dried to maximise the rice plants.
Harvesting then happens when the rice plants are a metre high and turning yellow.
whereas the first stages of rice growing are done by men it is the women who harvest using a small palm held knife being careful not to scare off the goddess of rice production…..interesting right?!