When the time was announced by the government to start preparing the padi fields, our community will also have a small gathering and meeting to discuss on the arrangements to start preparing the padi fields, planting and care taking of the padi. As the padi fields are owned by 'the family'; cousins and cousins from generations every able bodies would be called in to help. Since my family do not owned any paid fields, I normally join in the planting fiesta.
With cangkuls, sickels and parangs, we would all throng the padi fields manually to prepare it for padi planting. For ease of management and water flowing procedures, the vast fields are divided into batas (squarish plots). Manually using the tools and bare hands, the growth and the other undesired elements are ploughed and overturned into the soft watery soil. While doing this, we may also catch some fish; which will be cooked and served for lunch. Plots by plots and fields by fields the land is prepared for planting. Meanwhile, a smaller plot is prepared for the 'semaian' best seeds being planted for replanting into the prepared plots later.
Once all the plots are ready and the 'planted padi at semain' are ready for replanting, the padi plants are pulled out from the 'semaian' area and manually 4 or 5 plants of padi plants are replanted in the prepared plots. The padi is planted approximately 6 inches from each other covering the whole prepared plots. When replanting is completed to the prepared plots, you will see a sea of green new padi planted. Water irrigation will now play an important part of growing the padi as continuous water supply have to be available for the padi to grow. Maintenance and weeding is necessary to ensure that the padi grow healthily and would then produce good harvest. I was a padi field extra helping hand!
Everything was manual, back breaking and time consuming; up till the time when 'KUBOTA' came into the picture. That's another story.
2 weeks ago