Rice Planting

Ploughing the fields

With the rainy season scheduled to be dumping rain down to fill the rice paddies and replenish the dry fields, it has been a huge matter for concern that the rains have not yet arrived. In the north east of Thailand where Sarnelli House is located, people live by growing crops of rice in the wet season and tobacco in the dry season, as well as corn, sugarcane and fruit trees. In past years Sarnelli House has grown and harvested its own rice to feed the children, but the rice has never stretched to last the full year, and rice has had to be purchased to feed hungry children three times a day. With the accumulation of more rice fields it was hoped that this year’s crop would be bountiful enough to last the year, and thereby reduce the costs of buying rice. In anticipation of this a rice planter was generously donated by Vriendenvansarnelli and a rice mill by the Ananda Foundation. Unfortunately most of the fields have been lying dry and empty. Even the dams and fish farms are running low of water. The older and stronger boys from the Jan and Oscar House and St Patrick’s come out every weekend and check the fields hoping the rain that has fallen will be enough to start ploughing.  On the front farm in Don Wai, there is still enough water in a nearby dam to pump the water out and fill the paddies, so ploughing and planting can begin.  The bigger boys take part in the ploughing and what used to be done by water buffalo is now being done by machines.


Enjoying the mud

Ready to plant rice seedlings

Using the rice planting machine which replaces many working hands

Getting stuck in the mud

This weekend after 2 days of rain there is water everywhere as well as a lot mud. 2 pick up trucks have been bogged in the mud so far and the big school bus was needed to tow them out. The ploughing machine has just broken down, but the kids are ready to use the rice planting machine to plant in the fields that have already been ploughed. It’s hard and hot work, muddy and noisy but the boys take to it and are proud to pull their weight and show how they can help themselves and each other.


7th August 2010

Kate Introna

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