Monday, November 11, 2013

Harvest Time: Rice and Radishes

Just off campus, looking west toward Hyeunghae.
I'm not sure why I'm so fascinated with the rice fields here. Maybe they recall the softly-blowing winter wheat of my Michigan childhood. Or because I had romantic visions of peasants toiling happily in terraced fields. Or because I'm kind of bored. At any rate, they (the fields, not the peasants) are almost all harvested now, and I loved seeing the process. Here are some pictures of the season-end.
Short-grain Korean rice, like grass gone wild. 

It's not uncommon to see fields go right up to the road (Chilpo-ri).

Checking the harvest with pearls on cracked me up (Hyeunghae).
Hand-harvesting with a scythe and tying the bundles together with rice stems.  Note the gloves and arm sleeves; her over-sized visor was sitting nearby. (Photo credit: Ray Lantinga)

Hand cut and tied, drying in the sun.  Most fields are cut by machine, but
a small section by the road/ramp is cut by hand to give the machine room
to enter the field.
Rice harvester tipping off the road into the field. (photo credit: Ray Lantinga)

Rice harvesting - grain is collected and stems left to dry in the field
for later baling.  (Photo credit: Ray Lantinga)

Off-loading the rice into huge sacks on a truck.

Big bags o' rice designed to be hauled about via forklift.
Sometimes we saw tarps in people's dooryards with rice
drying in the sun, but I didn't get any pictures. 
A rice elevator.

A wee rice stem (stalk? straw?) baler.
Wee rice stem/stalk/straw bales.  We wonder if this is used for the
rare cattle/livestock we've seen.

Some rice stems get baled into huge rolls, similar to Iowa corn stalks.
The land looks sort of sad and abandoned now with all these naked fields.  I look forward to spring rice planting - I missed that part of the cycle since we arrived here in May.  But we also got to see some radish harvesting last week in a field behind campus. These giant radishes (about 12" long) are like potatoes - not spicy like the red American ones.  They are commonly sliced and pickled; the leaves are used in soups.
Korean radishes (photo credit: Ray Lantinga)
Harvesting melee: ajeemas pick the radishes, slice off the tops, and bag them.
The men bring the bags to the truck and up the hill for boxing.  And stand around shouting at the women. 

Bags o'radishes, just harvested.  You can still see the sliced greens
along the ground.
Radish greens, which I suspect were given to the picker-ajeemas for their
souping pleasure.  I love that they used Costco bags for such a
traditional ingredient.

We also got to pick apples and see plenty of squid harvesting - but enough for today's blog.  :)

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