Sunday, April 12, 2009

planted half of a paddy and worked on making a place for the chickens

Went out this morning and planted rice in half of another paddy. Didn't really want to plant that much, but have so much seed left over, just decided to do it. Next year I'll do the calculations on how much seed to buy myself, and plant it. I will also plant the wheat in rows. Broadcasting it was easy to plant, but the weeds are going to start to compete here pretty soon, and It will be impossible to get between the plants.

Went to a friend's house to give him the seed if he wanted it. He took some of it, but he plants field rice (rikutou) not paddy rice (suitou). I think he wanted it to make his rice a little tastier. Rikutou isn't as good tasting as suitou.

I am also going to get a couple of chickens from him. He keeps about a dozen hens and a couple of roosters. I haven't built my coop and pen yet, but have some ideas about how I want to build it. I want to make a mobile coop and attached pen so that it can be moved around my fields, letting the chickens eat the bugs and grass while their deposits will improve the fertility of the soil. He feeds them wheat, imported as animal feed from the US, rice bran, and vegies. He said he used to feed them corn, again imported from the US, but they aren't importing it much now, or at least he isn't able to get it from the supplier he used to get it from. He also uses rice bran on the floor of the coop to absorb the droppings and make it easier to spread as fertilizer. That is a great idea, as the bran absorbs the moisture making really easy to clean up and the smell inside the coop is only of rice bran, doesn't smell chickeny at all.

I think if his place had rice paddies it would be ideal. As it is, it sits on a hill, and he would have to rely on tap water or well water to irigate the paddies. Not the ideal situation.

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