Monday, May 21, 2007

Harvest Time

May is a beautiful time in the village of HeJiaWan. Everything is spectacularly green - the wheat is ready and the rapeseed crops are ripe. In fact, Zegang's parents are back there now, pulling in the harvest. Back in 2001 and 2002, we spent some time there, since on May first, all of China goes on a national holiday for a week in observation of International Labor Day. It was a great excuse for us to get out of the city (Chengdu) and visit Zegang’s hometown during the warm (but not too hot) weather.

This weekend, I had Ritz scan some of my film to a CD. What a treat – many of the photos probably aren’t worthy of being placed in Bamboo Village Press, but they bring back sweet memories to my heart. The photos I've linked here are unedited - the film versions are much richer in color!


May is harvest time for wheat and rapeseed (canola). In HeJiaWan, this means all the adult men and women go to work, cutting the stalks by hand and carrying everything in on their backs. It’s hard work, since nothing there is mechanized and the village is in a valley.


During this time, the paddies are also being prepped for rice planting. Paddies are not only used for rice – they’re also home to carp! I was quite surprised to learn that fishing here isn’t done with fishing poles. For that matter, it’s not usually accomplished with nets, either! People wade into the mud and drag their hands through the muck, occasionally coming up with a huge carp between their fingers and palms: unbelievable! (and delicious!)

To prep the paddy for fishing, we first beat the water with long bamboo poles to scare the fish into the corners.

You can see more photos in my shop, or in my flickr album.

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