For Vietnamese, rice can mean much more than a type of staple. It is not overstated to assert that rice is the most influential factor in Vietnamese traditional culture and a driving force for history. Not just because rice is the most popular grain, which cannot be absent in any Vietnamese meal. Because rice feeds the population, and that it contains a hidden beauty that can adorn the already elegant Vietnamese culture. Rice is Vietnamese’s unofficial symbol.
Steps to cultivate the rice in Vietnam
1. Seed selection & baby rice growing.
– Good seed is an important factor to make sure a bumper harvest. With good seed selection, the rice can develop well & resist itself to certain diseases.
– Basing on farming experiences & lunar calendar, farmers know when it is the right time to start a new crop. The seed will be soaked into the water for a few hours, then taken up for sprouting, which will be sown in a soft mud site. In 7-10 days, the seedlings are 10 cm long – the right time to pluck them up to plant in the fields.
– These seedlings will be separated into each small group of 3-4 baby rice plants and cultivated on equal lines & spaces between for their coming development as well as good exposal of sunlight.
2. Prepare the field before planting rice
– Let the soil rest for a while after the crop and wait for the right time of the weather.
– Plough the fields with buffalo or machine ( machine is more popular in the lowland delta, buffalo & cows are still common used in the highlands)
– Flood the fields with water pumping thru irrigation systems.
– Harrow the farm to make the soil soft, together mix it with manure – ready fields to get the rice planted after growing in the first-staged site ( soft mud site)
3. Taking care of rice after rice sown
– Constantly take the weeds off the rice fields, cut the grass on the fields’ banks giving the rice space & nutrients to grow well.
– While rice is cultivated, make sure the availability of certain water levels till harvesting time. If no water on the fields, the rice wil wither and die.
– Check the rice fields regularly to make sure that the rice develops normally. If the rice is destroyed by pests or mice, the solutions such as pesticide or mice traps …. must be done as soon as possible….
– Harvest the crop when the rice is ripened goldenly – the results after 3 – 4 month rice cultivation depending on the seasons.
– Thresh & dry the grains for a few suns – ready for the storage.
– In need of rice for sales or cooking, the husk must be taken from the grains.
– Then cook the rice to make the steamed rice – an important dish in any Vietnamese meals.
Important factors to make sure of bumper rice crops – according to experienced Vietnamese famers.
– Weather makes a big impact to the agriculture in general & on rice cultivation in particular.Sometimes, famers are going to harvest their expected bumber crop, a big typhoon takes place, the farmers get not much left to reap. The following factors must be put into consideration for a bumper rice crop in Vietnam. Nhất nước, nhì phân, tam cần, tứ giống ( Water as the first vital importance, Manure as the second factor, Hardworking is the third must, Seed is the fourth element)
1. Water, the most important factor for the rice paddy’s growth.
Since the baby rice plant is cultivated in the fields till its harvesting time, water source must always be constant at certain level in the paddy fields – like the blood to the body.If water is not available in the fields, the rice paddy could get withered and end its life.Planting rice in Vietnam is truly favourable thanks to her good water supply from Red River & Mekong River by the water irrigation system as well as yearly reasonable rainfalls.
2. Manure, the additional nutrient to feed the rice paddy.
Rice cultivation in Vietnam is repeatedly taken place each year with 2- 3 crops leading to the soil’s fertility reduction. When the new crop starts, farmers will both let the land free for a while. Then add a number of manure to the fields, which will bring more nutrient for the soils and help the rice paddy grow steadily. During the time of paddy growth, farmers also take care of their fields with some additional N-P-K fertilizers as well.
3. Hard working, the farmers’ efforts to take care of the paddy.
Rice cultivation needs a lot of hard work. From ploughing, harrowing the fields to planting the paddy; harvesting the grains, taking husks from the grains and cooking the rice for steamed rice. When the rice is sown, farmers need to visit the fields regularly to make sure that water supply is available.
No pest destroy the paddy. For a good reap of the rice return, hard work is a must as the third important factor for a bumper rice crop in Vietnam.
4. Good Seed Selection.
Good seed is another essential factor for a good reap.With the good seed selection, the rice paddy will grow well, resist itself better to certain diseases & prove productivity. All those factors are equally important.
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Video source: TRUE FOOD TV