Saturday, July 26, 2008

Food: rice crops this year

As we were returning from the village visit the other day, we passed fields and fields looking like this. The fields were wet when the farmers transplanted the rice, and then the rain stopped. Even just a few days, given the state of the soil and the depth of the water, and the ground dries out and starts to crack. Right now, the rice looks all right but another day or two...

It usually rains constantly at this time of the year - a constant heavy rain which sometimes diminishes to a drizzle but then starts down heavy again. The clouds keep the air cool and moist and the water doesn't evaporate. This year, thunderstorms provide relief from overly sunny skies and hot weather.

It's strange because it's been raining very heavily in the north. The Mekong river is very high right now, and areas of the north have been affected by the flooding, with whole fields of corn or rice washed away.

The life of the average rice farmer depends on the rain. If the skies are so unpredictable, what else can they count on in life?

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