The sun graced the breakfast table this morning as Ed chowed down on a nutritious breakfast of eggs and a side of croissant to treat himself. It is important to fuel up for the day ahead as Ed will be trying his hand at rice planting. Buckled in, sunscreen applied and hydrated, Ed took a nap on the hour long bus ride on his way to the agricultural services center.
At the agricultural center, the director greeted us with a warm welcome and an easy smile. He explained that the land the center is on was donated to the King of Thailand. The vision from the king was so study the land and see what it was good for – it was determined it was perfect for agriculture – so that’s what they did!
After an explanation on the different farming methods used, Ed and the crew were whisked off on a tour of the farm. Loaded into a trailer or the back of a truck, the class was driven down to see the different fruit, vegetable and rice fields. Then off to see chickens, ducks and baby pigs (3 days old!).
By this point in the day it was a balmy 31 degrees, but in case you are worried we didn’t work hard enough – with the humidity it felt like +40. Pretty chilly!!
After a authentic Thai lunch – made with ingredients from the farm – and a quick lesson on how rice farming works it was time for the main event of the day – rice farming!
We walked out to the rice paddies where we were handed a fist-full of rice sprouts and instructed to get planting. We waded out and after a few close calls successfully started our career as rice farmers. Row after row, the class tenderly planted the sprouts and secured them with the mud. Quickly a system was developed with coordinated ducking under the guide line and sharing of planting locations. Although Ed had to sit this activity out – he still enjoyed the sun and the farm prepared corn juice.
After leaving the rice fields everyone had a new pair of boots – mud boots! But after a quick hose off the class made their way down to the pier to embark on the last activity of the tour. A beautiful and exciting dinner cruise had been arranged. Stepping gingerly into the boat, the class quickly found their sea legs. A delicious dinner was followed by an evening of boat rocking dancing. It was a great time for all.
Blog post submitted by Korea Thailand Study Tour participants Michael, Dustin, Alexander, David and Michelle.