Ever since I was a boy I have enjoyed eating rice, but I had never seen how it was grown, or how it looks in a field. Now that I am living in South Korea, I can see rice fields from the window of my apartment, and I am learning more about the growing of this staple food.
Like many Asian countries, South Korea uses rice as the primary food source, and most Koreans eat rice at all three meals every day. Rice is typically eaten with small side dishes, usually including a spicy cabbage food called kimchi .
One day when I was out enjoying a walk with Tim Levendusky by the rice fields, we came upon a rice harvester that was working its way through a rice field near our apartment complex. I stopped to take some pictures, and capture a couple video clips. Later after my family arrived in Korea, we walked through a harvested rice field, and had a chance to find some actual rice that had been missed by the machine.
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It was fascinating to see this machine make its way around the rice field. The front of the machine looks like a giant hair clippers, and the clipped off portion of the rice plant passes up a conveyor to a system that appears to work similar to a combine harvester, removing the rice grains, and leaving the stalks and chaff in a neat row behind.
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Rounding the far corner of the field, something seems to have gone wrong and the rice plants started bunching up on the side of the machine. The operator stopped the machine, and the men worked to clear the jam.
Below you can see some more pictures of the rice fields and some close-up shots of rice still on the stalk. Enjoy the pictures!