This year DEPDC decided to become more self-sustaining in food supply for our Half Day School’s (HDS) lunch program by extending DEPDC’s agricultural site with rice fields! The fields cover about 1¼ Rai (1Rai≙1600m²) and we hope that we can harvest at least 750kg of rice by Mid October!
The first step in order to prepare the rice field was done by a local framer that DEPDC hired. He used his tractor and equipment to break up the field that was an unused patch of land. To do this as well as form the mound encircling the fields took nearly one day and would not have been possible without the help of the tractor.
After the fields were shaped, the wait for the rainy season began. As the first rain was severely delayed this year, DEPDC started to pump water from a nearby stream into the fields. The flooding of the fields took a long time and could only be finished after the rainy season finally started.
When the fields were sufficiently flooded, they were ploughed and a small part of one field was made level to serve as a sowing area. The first rice plants sprouted after a few days, and after only one week, the whole field is now covered with bright green, young rice plants. These rice plants will continue to grow in the small separate field for another three weeks and then be replanted to the bigger main fields in order to gain a bigger crop.
Growing our own rice will not only help to supply DEPDC’s lunch program with rice according to organic farming standards, but also gives the children at HDS a chance to gain firsthand experience in rice farming and agricultural systems.