Which leads to trial 2- no fertiliser, we're going ever more natural as K reads more and more books on rice farming. Last year we grew rice without fertiliser but couldn't be sure that it was really a success as there may have been residue. So this year will be the proof!
An unintentional trial this year was amateur mechanic.
You use a rice planing machine one day a year. Not even a whole day if all goes well.
Which means you have 364 days to look after it in terms of maintenance and care, right?
So, when do you think K got it out to check the motor and ensure it was working well?
If you guessed the evening before we needed to use it you'd be right. >_<
Luckily the rice guru is also an amateur mechanic and leant K a book. So, with a book, a machine and a headlamp, K was out in the garden revving the motor and fiddling with the innards of a machine we have no backup for and can't do without the very next morning at 10pm the night before we started. Seriously.
But, all's well that end's well and the rice got planted. The machine was revving super fast to my mind and it seemed K was hurtling around the field only kind of in control of it but he swears that's the way it's supposed to run... hmmmmmm...
The same two family's who were helping out last year arrived this year too which was great as more hands make less work and as a bonus we don't have to teach them how to do it!
This is my favourite picture of this year's planting- K on the machine, the two helpers running seed pallets up and down the verges and Amy and one of the helper's kids drawing on the road, all under a perfect not too hot not too cold sky.
And as a bonus we finished (well ran out of seedlings!) before lunch and I had already packed a lunch so we came home for a deck picnic. THIS is the life!