In October of 2018, rice harvesting season was upon us here in Usa. One warm, sunny day in the still balmy heat of autumn, I decided to go out for a walk. Around the corner from the apartment are several rice fields, and I noticed a harvest in progress. After asking for permission to watch and take pictures, I watched three older couples start clearing the field. One rode a combine not too dissimilar from a giant head shaver, and the others followed, striking down any stray reeds with a sickle. The whole process took no longer than 20 minutes, and I was hypnotized and mesmerized.
During this whole time, I noticed a small truck parked at the end of a long, narrow road separating the fields, and one man (husband of one of the two ladies with the sickles I assumed) waited inside. After the harvest, it pulled up next to the combine in the field with a large blue tarp bag in the back. I’m not sure what is about to happen, so I keep watching. Suddenly, a long arm on top of the combine stretched itself out directly above the truck. It hits me then what is happening. Rice pour!!! After a quick whir and start up of the combine, a steady stream of rice jets out from the arm and begins to fill the bag. Totally cool.
2 weeks later, I see rice being dried on straw mats.
The fields once ripe with fresh, green rice has now whittled down to stubby, brown stalks. In December, we see the first of the new crop in grocery stores. 🌾