Thursday, October 1, 2009

Growing rice on the Terrace

Rice grown on bed of 8 inches Amrut Mitti mulched with sugarcane bagasse













It is said that to grow rice one needs to flood the feilds with water. How do we know? We in Mumbai have never seen rice feilds leave alone know whether the feild needs to be flooded or not.So we started our experiment to grow rice on a terrace!
And we succeeded! The lush green grass swaying in the stong wind filled our hearts with joy. We can only imagine the joy the farmers must feel while they watch the fruits of their hard labour in open feilds.

Well it is possible to feel this joy in urban areas too......
We are now watching the wonders of this crop drying , the rush of birds to feed on this crop, and our gardeners shooing them away, possesively gaurding their treasure!

Let us wait and watch the final yeild that we get... Patience! Patience!
After a month
Just as we were to harvest the rice .....On Dassehra day it rained cats and dogs in Mumbai......It poured......! My heart sank. It was a holiday and our kitchen was closed. The rice was all wet!
I deeply felt the pain of all the farmers who work so hard in the feilds and are faced with hardships in case of such calamities beyond their control.For us urbanites these calamities dont even cause a flutter. We only realise their impact when the prices of food touches the skies and we crib about them.All we do then is to blame the government in power.
The next day when we went on the terrace.....we realised there had been a party ! By Rats! They had eaten away the rice which was scattered all over the place......
WE SHOULD HAVE HARVESTED IT ON TIME ! A LESSON WELL LEARNT!
In spite of this all we did not have the heart to cut away the remaining parts so we retained the plants. In a few days there were new shoots which sprouted! But the root growth was not vigourous and we decided to cut away what was remaining. After the rats party what remained was about 50 gms.....
More than three times had been eaten away by them. So we can assume that about 150 gms of rice was cultivated in a bed of Amrut Mitti measuring 1.5 ft * 3 ft * 8 inch ht .
NOW WE HAVE DECIDED TO START ALL OVER AGAIN WITH A WINTER CROP ON A BIGGER BED....... : ) WILL GET BACK WITH RESULTS.........

10 comments:

  1. Beautiful!

    I just learnt on this trip that the reason farmers flood rice fields is because rice can breathe under water, while weeds can't. The rice doesn't need the extra water, but it reduces the ability of the weeds to grow.....

    Seems like poor usage of water in this day and age.

    Ambarish

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great Job!

    I have posted about you and your project in my blog!

    Do visit

    ReplyDelete
  3. hi & great to connect atleast virtually

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is great work indeed...and there is so much to learn from you people. When I come to your city will make it a point to seek an appointment and come meet see the wonderful work
    Here is how we have grown rice on the rooftop
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adhFyVLLx7M
    and
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WydSS3x8No&feature=related
    and it has worked wonderfully well too :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. It may be facinating in Mumbai or cities to grow Rice on roof top. It is also true that Rice need not be flooded always. Only to control weed in rice fields, water is made to stagnate for 1 or 2 cm. It is a wonderful job and self sufficency in food could be achieved by such practices. Good job and continue.
    jganesan

    ReplyDelete
  6. Preeti, what did you use as seeds? just brown rice, or something else? can you post some notes around this?
    am going to try growing some millets and rice in one patch
    thanks
    Sujatha

    ReplyDelete