Harvest is finally over

I beat the approaching rains and finished harvesting all of the rice today. It is a good feeling to have this behind me now. No more worrying about wild boars or typhoons or anything else until next May. Through my experience growing rice, I have developed a true respect for farming. No two years are ever alike, so it’s necessary to have a good understanding of the whole growing cycle in order to respond to the unique challenges that arise every year. With the large amount of uncertainty in farming, I would likely have a hard time being a full-time farmer.
Anyways, I look forward to reflecting on what went right and what I need to do differently next year later this winter.

I also welcomed a new little helper this year. We hang our rice to dry in the field for a week or two before harvesting it to allow it to dry more slowly. All of our neighbors say that it makes the rice taste better, and I have read the same thing, too. While hanging the rice this year, my little helper rode over from the house and helped me hang a few of the bundles. After finishing the first two, he mentioned how easily it was and wondered why I was getting tired. After about two more, he decided it was time for a break. About 10 minutes later, he was all rested up and ready to work again. About 5 bundles, he mentioned that he was getting hungry and that it might be a good time for a snack break. He disappeared down to the persimmon tree on the edge of the rice paddy never to be seen again. For me, it’s just nice to have the company out there since hanging bundle after bundle can get fairly monotonous. I don’t know if it qualifies as quality family time, but I did enjoy it.

Yestarday and today were spent taking down all of the rice and running it through the harvester, which knocks off all of the rice, winnows it and then ejects the good rice into a back located in the back. I have had to repair a few holes and replace a fuel pipe, but it is holding up very well for its age. It may not be the most efficient, but its simplicity is much appreciated whenever something needs to be fixed.

Starting tomorrow, it is time to return to the lacquerwork that has been on hold for the past couple of weeks. After a busy couple of days, lacquering a bunch of bowls should be a very relaxing way to spend a rainy day. I will try to post a few pictures of how they are coming along.

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