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Planting Rice

December 7, 2010

It’s time to plant rice, says farmer friend Simon. I immediately jumped at the opportunity to get actual hands-on experience. Producing my own rice is one of the goals of the farm am setting up (a nice red or black variety eventually)

Soil preparation shall be tackled in a separate post as it deserves a post of its own due to its importance.  Do note that there are many ways to plant rice. This is the SRI method (system of rice intensification), a technique that is said to double production combined with some traditional Filipino techniques.
The process of planting begins with seed germination. Apparently a good soak overnight in EM (effective microorganisms) helps the germination process. After the overnight soak, keep the seeds in a sack for two days making sure it’s covered, and always moist. In two days time, the seeds should have sprouted. It is now time to make the dapog or seed bed.  This particular method saves tons of space and keeps management of the sprouts a lot easier.  You lay a bed of banana leaves on a flat surface, then spread the germinated seeds on it leaving almost no gaps between seeds. Gently flatten seeds using an implement with a flat surface, followed by a good watering (just enough to keep it moist). Cover afterwards and keep moist.  It will be ready for planting in about 8-12 days.

The seed bed

Ready for planting

Now for the fun part, planting. After the soil is prepared, the field is ploughed. We plough it again after two weeks. After a good harrowing, the plots are marked in a grid pattern for the SRI method. Spacing is at about 30cm apart. The seeds are then broadcasted one by one on the grid.  Again it is harrowed and hoed after two weeks for weed control.

Simon marking the grid

The grid

Planting the rice

Can’t wait for harvest time!!! If you want to learn more about farming, visit Simon’s site at http://bountifulharvestfarm.wordpress.com As a final note. Magtanim ay hindi biro. (to plant aint no joke)

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