2011年5月22日日曜日

the rice chronicles part 8- where the water goes nobody knows

So, last time we visited the rice chronicles the waster was on full bore but the place wasn't flooding. The wise people here at novice rice grower central decided that was probably due to the soil being too fluffy. Too porous. The water was just going down, down, down. Solution? Compact the soil. Method? Well we could wait until the tractor operator had time to use the tractor on it. But where's the fun in that? K turned the water off and waited a couple of days for it to dry out then went down in the 7 seater old style people mover. It's a tank of a thing and a beast to park or manoeuvre through the narrow winding streets of Matsumoto but a star at compressing soil. And having grown up in the city K never went on gravel runs or bush bashing when he got his license so hooning around in a rice paddy was no chore!

Earth compressed? Check. Turn water back on again.

Water accumulating? Check!!!!

Hallelujah!!!

Hang on.... water is accumulating but it is taking a lot of water to get a very small covering at the far end of the paddy. The paddy seems to still be uneven but with compressed soil it should still be filling to the overflow outlet pipes. Hmmm.... Maybe it's really dry still?

Or not.

The guy who grows a commercial tomato crop on the field behind our paddy came to have a chat with K.

"Hehehe! You going to plough that rice paddy soon?"
"Hoping to do it tomorrow."
"Hehehe good!"
"Mmmmm..."
"Hehehe water is flooding my tomatoes!"
"Oh, sorry. Really? We had no idea. I'll go down and turn it off."
"Hehehe no problem. It's normal. You need to plough the field though. Hehehe."

Oops.

Went down and had another look. Water was indeed pooling in the tomato field. Not being an engineer I couldn't work it out- there is a two plus metre drop down to the field below. And about a two metre wide strip of grass ad dirt between the paddy and said field. With a concrete water culvert in it. How was water getting down to the tomatoes when we couldn't even fill the paddy let alone overfill it????

Something to do with porous dirt again.

So today, in the rain, and going on until it was in the rain in the dark, the tractor operator was out there not ploughing but moving huge amounts of dirt around to try and level things out and compact the soil a bit more. Poor guy but he's the only one who can drive the tractor so there wasn't much we could do to help.

And we are still multiple steps away from even planting our rice babies.

This rice growing business is not for the faint hearted!

3 件のコメント:

achan さんのコメント...

I'm wondering if this is why the rice fireld hadn't been used in 30 (?) years!!!

Atleast the neighbours are friendly!!

Gina さんのコメント...

You know I am loving these "rice chronicles" posts. Could be because I live surrounded by rice fields (though I know nothing technically about them at all, although I do enjoy the beauty of them ; )

I am really stumped also why your rice field isn't filling up and more importantly staying filled up. Also why the water was going to the nice tomato guys field yet not yours. Something just isn't right and I can't figure it out.

I admit I also wondered the same thing. Maybe that was the reason it wasn't used for 30 or so odd years. Maybe defective rice field? or....no a rice field couldn't possibly be bad or defective right? Right? Hmm.

You've certainly got me intrigued here. And I hope you all can solve this. And I really am sorry to hear it isn't filling the way it should. : (

thefukases さんのコメント...

ohhh thanks for worrying about our rice paddy. The reason it hasn't been used for so long (or maybe not at all is the new rumour) is that growing rice this high up a mountain isn't easy and is something that has only been doable relatively recently. As rice paddies are all interlinked with water courses the land was set up for rice farming when the neighbouring plots were. We know the soil in this area can be used for rice as the guy next door to our paddy farms it every year.

The tractor compacting WORKED though and we are one step closer. YEAH!!!