The grain that feeds more than half the world .
The grain we take for granted on our plates, yet hesitate to pay its real price
The grain that has infinite diversity
The grain that is reviled and loved in equal measure
The grain that takes skill, sweat, blood and nature’s bounty to grow
This series is a tribute to organic paddy farming and organic farmers from a rice lover. Bio Basics believes in promoting traditional rice varieties, grown organically. We speak, support , cook , eat and promote organic & indigenous rice. Paddy farming, especially without using any chemicals ( for fertilizing or pest control) at every stage is a dance of nature and humans; it is pleasure and pain , elevated by skills and passion, testing endurance and staying power and limited by drudgery and tediousness.
Eating our way into ago-biodiversity helps us, supports farmers, protects nature and conserves biodiversity. Lest we forget, a kilo of organically grown rice that comes to our plate is the result of tremendous hard work, skill, time, patience and commitment! The farmer is already battling against many odds, let her/him not have to plead with us for the right price.
When it’s time for sowing paddy is taken out, winnowed, the seeds on the hill are used for sowing others are discarded. Some farmers soak the seeds in plain water or salt water to remove the light, not so good seeds; those that sink to the bottom are used for sowing.
Direct sowing or transplanting? Making seed beds for sowing the seeds from where the seedlings between 25-30 days are transplanted to the fields. Seed beds are prepared with sufficient natural manure and with lots of water to loosen the soil, so that its easy to take out the seedlings for transplanting.
The seed beds are ploughed thoroughly to ensure that the soil is loosened so that plucking the seedlings for transplantation becomes easier.
Seeds are sown after soaking or after sprouting, the sprouted seeds cling to the soil quickly and grow from there. The first 30 day advantage stays with the seed; in the carefully prepared nursery with rich soil, and enough water.
Sowing the seed, with hope, and as with every task related to paddy, with a lot of hard work.
Bunches and bunches of paddy seedling waiting to to be taken from the seed bed to the fields , to be transplanted.
The most enduring sight in paddy cultivation, large paddy scapes, beautiful views and people working on the field. Here transplanting, it is back breaking work and deserve our gratitude. Seedlings tied up in bundles , kept at regular intervals for the workers to transplant.The grain that feeds, the plant that holds it.
A week after transplanting , the field is dry with the south west monsoon playing truant. The situation is dire in Tamil Nadu paddy growing areas as well.
The field after transplantation when there is water. Paddy is normally grown in standing water, to prevent weeds growing,. Paddy can withstand water, but the weeds die.
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