Friday, October 3, 2014

Tam Nah 1

Not long after returning from my seventh trip to Lao, it was the time of tam nah – rice transplanting.

Our Thai family (Thai-Lao, really) has been planting, growing and harvesting khao nio (sticky rice) and jasmine rice on our two farms ever since we bought them circa 2002. In fact, that’s the reason we bought the land. Both were purchased pretty cheaply from owners who were in a rush to pay off loans before default and losing everything altogether.

The sellers’ misfortune became our family’s fortune, as it immediately turned our family from share croppers to virtual owners. Thip and I have been happy about the way it’s turned out; pretty much how we wanted it: to have our Thai-Lao family (approximately 12-15 family members) self-sufficient in rice.

After the paddies are tilled and prepared for planting, one or two paddies are designated as nursery beds and thickly sown with rice. This is what I referred to just before I left for my 7th trip to Lao.

After about a month, the rice seedlings are ready for transplanting to the main paddies. I’ve previously shot some video showing this, at our larger farm, in 2009:

I’m not much for this kind of back-breaking work; not only due to my age (65), but because I literally broke my back about ten years ago. I get out into the rice paddies to show my support and do a little work, but it’s mostly symbolic. My contribution mostly comes from making the land available and paying for stuff that’s needed.

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