In fact, I missed the second planting because my university had a ‘make-up classes’ day on Saturday. I would like to comment further on the Saturday classes but fear I might be too specific and too negative for a public blog.
Anyway, on sunday morning, I planted beens with my brother- and father-in-law. Here, the father-in-law is preparing the tools.
Years ago, while in high school, I was told that some Europeans farmed the grassy divider between the lanes of their highways. This was mentioned as part of a discussion on intensive farming techniques and the environment. Here inKorea, we were planting beans around the margins of the rice paddies. We fit two rows on the dikes between the paddies.
–As a quick aside, I find Korean farm land to be divided up in a very different way than back home. I feel it is because of the scarcity of the land but also because of the length of time Korean land has been cultivated – hundreds or even thousands of years as compared to Canada’s tens or maybe up to a few hundred years. If a farmer needs cash quickly, he can sell a small plot. If he has some money, he could buy one. The plots, while close together, need not be contiguous, leading to a patchwork appearance.
Rice requires two plantings. In the first, the seeds are packed tightly together and after a month you have a product that looks like sod. This sod is removed from the trays and loaded onto this machine. As the sod slides down the ramp, small chunks are removed and set into the mud. When one rectangle of sod is used up, or soon before, a new rectangle can be added above it so the process doesn’t stop.
The corners of the rice paddy are filled in by hand.