Monday, October 26, 2009


Yesterday after some early morning gardening, while I was busy editing the doorbell rang; it was Mr. H. from Uji, who has some land upmountain. He had stopped by to ask if I wanted any rice straw. He was taking a whole truckful from his home paddy up to use on his garden, and had more straw than he needed, so he stopped by.

I don't have a rice paddy, but I've always kept an eye out for any rice straw lying around that was clearly abandoned, which is the same thing as saying I've never had any rice straw. The rice stalks left over after threshing are an excellent groundwarmer and natural fertilizer, commonly used on the vegetable fields of rice farmers. You can buy it at the farm store in bags for about must be a dollar an ounce, but that's mainly for folks in apartments with patio gardens, where a few ounces is enough.

It was also good that Mr. H. had stopped by because, as he is a heavy duty power-shoveling big rock-moving kind of landscaper, and has let me have a lot of firewood from his lands, in small recompense I had mail-ordered a pair of steel-toed rubber boots for him from Gempler's, so now I could give them to him. He has a great smile.

After we'd unloaded and piled up some rice straw next to the garden, he said that today he was going to fill in a slope up there on some old residential land he'd just bought and was restoring, so needed some straggler trees cleared, and did I have time to get started today, I said sure, and so it was that instead of editing words I wound up editing the landscape, felling, bucking and loading firewood both morning and afternoon, a welcome change from raw syntax.

It's raining today, so I get to do some overdue editing, but looking out the window at the new cord of wood beside all the bales of rice straw, I just had the thought: that straw will sure make the onions happy.


Tabor said...

It seems this time of year is just as busy as spring. I would love some rice straw. We have trouble getting grass straw here as it usually has seeds.

Robert Brady said...

They grow rice in Texas; wonder what they do with the straw...