After I returned to the village from my first trip to Cambodia, it was rice harvest (giao khio) season and so I got busy helping with three separate harvests; one on our larger sticky rice farm (17 rai), one on our smaller sticky rice/jasmine farm (8.5 rai) and a little bit from Thip’s father’s 8 rai.
Not that I’m all that helpful. I mostly provide some brush cutting prior to harvest; then at harvest, another set of hands when it comes time to throw the rice stalks laden with rice into the threasher. Later, my most important function is to help pay for food and the boxes of beer in the celebrations afterwards. I may not do much work, but Thip and I provide most all the rice land and I provide much of the beer, so I’m always welcomed around.
October was mostly filled with our rice harvesting, the smaller farms done by manual reaping and mechanized threasher and larger farm done with a combine. What is finally bagged-up is rice still in the “crab” (bran) and is divided-up amongst five households for family use throughout the year. Some of it is sold or bartered or donated to the temple as time goes on, but most of it is saved for family consumption. Thai-Lao people eat rice with almost every meal.
Here’s a four-minute video showing the harvest on our main farm:
Here’s a five-minute video showing the threashing and bagging done at “8.5 Rai” and the family’s 8 rai:
Both videos are also viewable in the right side panel under “My Fave SE Asia Vimeo Vids” for a while.