Hand harvesting ripe wheat
I was struck as I watched the rice harvest in north Vietnam that everything was being done by manual labour using implements and techniques that have could have been seen centuries ago. In an ancient routine, the farmers first grabbed a handful of individual rice stalks, cut them with an old crescent knife and twisted them into bundles and lined them side by side in the paddy. The man then threshed the bundles by banging them into a wooden box to loosen the rice grains. Subsequently the grains were spread on cloth on the ground to dry. After the field was harvested, their water buffalos and ducks were let loose into the field to clean up the stalks and left over seeds. It was somehow very satisfying for me to see that some types of work have survived mostly unchanged for hundreds of years since they are so perfectly adapted to the environment.
In my travels, I also noticed that, recently in Japan and Indonesia, where are are large flat rice fields, the rice harvests on flat lands with bigger planted areas was done by what they called 'Chinese water buffalos' which were small harvesting machines from Japan. The use of the mechanical 'water buffalos' is entirely impractical on the small steep fields of the rice terraces, where traditional hand harvesting still occurs.
Note to God's child; if you had grown up in this culture you probably wouldn't have allergies, as it is well known that children in farming cultures (even in the west) have MUCH lower allergy levels than people growing up in cities. As I said in the previous paragraph the steep narrow rice terraces make the use of machines impractical, if not impossible.
rice harvestbundlesthreshingfarmerssustainable agriculturehand harvestingripe riceTa Van valleynorth Vietnam