Thursday, August 27, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Last summer I spent a moth in Thailand living with a host family in a small rice growing community outside of Kamphaeng Phet in Central Thailand. I went with my friend Nora, a telecommunications major, and Bakah, a Southeast Asian Studies grad student. Nora and I accompanied Bakah to create a visual component to Bakah's research. Nora did the video. I did the photography. What a great experience!
While there, we examined the impact pesticide and fertilizer use has on farmers, their families, and the land. We also explored alternatives, like fair trade and organic rice production. Above, Sam (our host brother) sprinkles fertilizer on a rice field. Below, in Surin, which is in Eastern Thailand, the land is fertile, so rice can be cultivated using the traditional method of broadcasting rice, the pulling it up and replanting the rice in straight rows. Its labor intensive and I was sore for days if not weeks after working in the paddies one day, but there are higher crop yields and farmers don't have to use harsh chemicals or fertilizers. Thats my host dad in Surin working. I used taking this photo as an excuse to take a break from continuing to transplant the rice with him.
Above, kids play in the organic rice patties after taking a break from helping their family get ready to transplant rice. To do so they pull out clumps of rice plants, cut the ends so that they are even, and then bunch them together. After that, they separate the bunches and plant the rice plants in another field nearby. Below, you can tell this rice was planted using the modern method of just broadcasting the rice and then harvesting it. You can tell because the rice plants are not in straight lines, like it is in the pic above of my host dad as he plants the rice.
Posted by Julie Van Wagenen at 3:25 PM
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