Still nothing growing that looks even remotely edible. No tasty-looking little nodules. It looks like grass growing in puddles. Verrrrry big puddles … puddles with frogs, aedes and anopheles mosquitos, and plenty of insecticide, herbicide, and fungicide.
The fields are planted. Then flooded. Then drained. Then It rains too much and they need to fire up the pumps and pull the water back into the canals. Some rice needs to be flooded early in the growth cycle, some later. Flood, drain, flood, drain. Back and forth the brown water goes, with fuel expenses each time. The pumps are simple: a doglegged twelve inch tube with a large boat propeller at one end surrounded by a cage, a shaft inside and a V-belt pulley on the water delivery end. A forty-foot fan belt (capable of popping a toddler’s head off like a grape) is snugged up on the pulley and is driven by a big portable engine.
I asked about harvest time. No, as it turns out, no curved sickle is used in a scenic display of centuries-old methods. Instead, farmers rent a big ole combine just like the ones used on my farm back in Kandiyohi County.
When that happens, I’ll report on it.