Sunday, March 18, 2012

Indonesia -- Day 12 Sowing a Paddy Field, Bali

Local Balinese men sowing a new rice terrace, Bali
Today's Adventures Abroad itinerary stated:

Today we depart Lovina and travel past spectacular rice terraces to the artists' village of Ubud.  
Along the way we visit the spectacular rice terraces at Pupuan. We proceed from there to Tanah Lot, an ocean temple built atop a huge rock surrounded by the sea at high tide by one of the last priests to come to Bali from Java in the 16th century. Its rituals include the paying of homage to the guardian spirits of the sea. Sea snakes found at the base are believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders.
We continue to Ubud, a remarkable town located in the middle of the island. For more than a century, it has been the island's preeminent centre for fine arts, dance and music. While it once was a haven for scruffy backpackers, cosmic seekers, artists and bohemians, Ubud is now a hot spot for literati, glitterati, art collectors and connoisseurs.
          Overnight in Ubud. Meal plan: Breakfast and dinner.

 a new rice terrace, Bali

A paddy field is a flooded parcel of arable land used for growing rice and other semiaquatic crops. Paddy fields are a typical feature of rice farming in east, south and southeast Asia. Paddies can be built into steep hillsides as terraces and adjacent to depressed or steeply sloped features such as rivers or marshes. They can require a great deal of labor and materials to create, and need large quantities of water for irrigation. Flooded paddies provide an ideal environment for rice cultivation and discourage the growth of many weeds. The water buffalo is one of the most important working animals adapted for life in wetlands, and is used extensively in paddy field farming.
During the twentieth century, paddy field farming became the dominant form of growing rice. Paddy field farming is practiced in Cambodia, Bangladesh, China, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos, as well as Piedmont in Italy, the Camargue in France, the Artibonite Valley in Haiti, and Sacramento Valley in California. Paddy fields are a major source of atmospheric methane and have been estimated to contribute in the range of 50 to 100 million tonnes of the gas per annum. Recent studies have shown that this can be significantly reduced while also boosting crop yield by draining the paddies to allow the soil to aerate to interrupt methane production.
The word "paddy" is derived from the Malay word padi, rice plant

Local Balinese men sowing a new rice terrace, Bali

This is the difference between Brown and White rice:
Brown rice and white rice have similar number of calories and carbohydrates. The main differences between the two forms of rice lie in processing and nutritional content. 
When only the outermost layer of a grain of rice (the husk) is removed, brown rice is produced. To produce white rice, the next layers underneath the husk (the bran layer and the germ) are removed, leaving mostly the starchy endosperm.
Several vitamins and dietary minerals are lost in this removal and the subsequent polishing process. A part of these missing nutrients, such as vitamin B1, vitamin B3, and iron are sometimes added back into the white rice making it "enriched", as food suppliers in the US are required to do by the Food and Drug Administration.
One mineral not added back into white rice is magnesium; one cup (195 g) of cooked long grain brown rice contains 84 mg of magnesium while one cup of white rice contains 19 mg.
 When the bran layer is removed to make white rice, the oil in the bran is also removed. Rice bran oil may help lower LDL cholesterol.
Among other key sources of nutrition lost are small amounts of fatty acids and fiber

sowing a new rice terrace, Bali


Prime Javanese paddy yields roughly 6 metric tons of unmilled rice (2.5 metric tons of milled rice) per hectare. When irrigation is available, rice farmers typically plant Green Revolution rice varieties allowing three growing seasons per year. Since fertilizer and pesticide are relatively expensive inputs, farmers typically plant seeds in a very small plot. Three weeks following germination, the 6-8 inch stalks are picked and replanted at greater separation, in a backbreaking manual procedure.
Rice harvesting in Central Java is often performed not by owners or sharecroppers of paddy, but rather by itinerant middlemen, whose small firms specialize in harvesting, transport, milling, and distribution to markets.
The fertile volcanic soil of much of the Indonesian archipelago—and particularly the islands of Java and Bali-- has made rice a central dietary staple. Steep terrain on Bali resulted in an intricate cooperation systems, locally called subak, to manage water storage and drainage for rice terraces.

sowing a new rice terrace, Bali

Isn't this absolutely gorgeous?  The work itself is completely backbreaking but it is gorgeous.  In the right hand side at the back you notice an area of green.  These are the seedlings that will be replanted into the terraces.

a new rice terrace, Bali

This site has a very interesting article on How a Paddy Field Works

Local Balinese man sowing a new field, Bali
Local transportation for chicken, Bali

Everyday life, Bali

a laundry service, Bali

If you would like to visit Bali or Ubud or see the rice terraces
contact Adventures Abroad at 1 800 665 3998

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A flat rice field, Bali

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