- Nicole Theriault-Bootsabah
I noticed that they had harvested most of the front (first) rice paddy yesterday, and currently working on the second (middle section) rice paddy. There is something about people working in the rice paddy that gives me that nostalgic feeling, and the ethnic hat and basket backpack just made it much more appealing to look at. They harvested the rice paddy on Tuesday of this week, and also today, a good day to spend working in the rice paddy because most work places are a bit slow right now, and most only get to work 4 days work week instead of the usual 5 days.
I was hoping that I could find out how they get the shelves off from the rice. So I decided to head down to the rice paddies again this afternoon, and as I was approaching the house, I saw my co-worker working in her back yard with her cousin. She was threshing, loosening the rice from the tied bundle by beating it with a stick.
From observing her work site, the full process seems to be harvest, threshing, drying, taking off the shelves, and separating the rice grains from shelves.
I didn’t see any mortar and pestle, and asked about how she removes her rice grains from the shelves, she took me into her garage, and pointed to a food processor and a leaf blower vac. After seeing all the gadgets, I’m still a bit confused because I couldn’t imagine how that would work.
Since the food processor has blades, she would let it spin once or twice so that it would not chop the rice grains, and the food processor would get too hot when used for a long period of time. She also uses the leaf blower vac that has a cloth bag attached to the blower, when uses to vacuum, the metal blades sling the rice around, and as a result, the shelves came off.
This is what the first rice paddy looks like this afternoon, still some rice but thin and far in between. The water in this paddy is dried, you could see the foot prints left by the person that harvested the rice paddy. I love coming out here, I could hear frogs croaking, crickets chirping, and fish or frogs splashing the water. The dragonflies hovering over the rice paddies are really pretty to look at, they are so small and move real fast, it’s hard to get a good shot.
This is the first time I met my co-worker’s cousin and I told her how pretty the rice paddies are this year, and she said that her children don’t even know what they look like, they only see the rice grains. I considered myself very lucky to be able to see all this in America.
- An electric food processor, photo by Donovan Govan