Fields of Green

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There’s something beautiful and mysterious about seasonal rhythms of cultivating, sowing, fertilizing, waiting, believing and reaping.  But like a piece of art, a description of its beauty and mystery can’t do justice to entering into the rhythms yourself.

Though laboring over a crop in extreme temperatures may not be particularly enjoyable to most (as I’ve often been reminded by our resident teens and a few adults), the process as a whole is irreplaceable.

Rice harvest is fast approaching; November will mark our second year harvesting a crop.  Last year we harvested with seven teens; this year there’ll be closer to a dozen putting their hands to the sickle, not counting us “big kids” that can’t seem to finagle our way out of the hard labor ourselves.  Having spent the last year eating the fruits of their labor (literally… the rice we harvested ourselves fed our household of 20 for about eight months), the girls have been diligently monitoring this year’s rice crop and praying for its increase.

Rice 2013

We also tackled a slightly more intense project earlier this year by planting a couple acres of sugarcane.  It was a far more laborious process than the rice, and a great deal of blood, sweat and tears went into the ground prep, planting, fertilizing, irrigating and weeding processes.  But now as the sugarcane stalks tower far over our heads, the girls are proud and amazed that their labor could turn into something this great.  We’ll cut the first round early in 2014 and the proceeds will go toward a scholarship savings program for our teen girls.  More photos here.

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I confess there have been times I’ve doubted this strategy.  None of us are experts in rice or sugarcane, and I’m pretty sure we’ve provided some comedic relief to our neighbors (who pity us and pitch in to help).  But the process of diving in together has been priceless.    Though the girls complain a good deal through the process, I’ve heard more than one add with a thoughtful tilt of the head… “but it’s fun as long as we get to work together.  And I like seeing it grow.”

Together we grow.

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