Rice

With the monsoon now behind us, this week we kicked off our paddy (rice) harvest. Not only do these crops feed us in a literal sense every single day of the week, they also help to provide many essential other items through money generated from the sale of excess goods. Our farm is a crucial part of who we are and what we do… so when things go wrong with the harvest it becomes everyones problem.

Bags of paddy rice lined up ready to be sold in the local market.

Each year we contract the majority of our harvest out to a local combine harvester driver. This giant machine drives through our fields of gold, cutting and separating the grain from the plants. We rely on it to do the work that was once done by dozens of hands. The paddy crops ripen in different stages over a period of several weeks, as they become ready for harvest the combine is called in and faithfully does its job.

The combine harvester pouring the paddy grain out into a waiting trailer.

Anish inspecting the quality of the harvest.

Kullu pouring out the first of many trailer loads of grain on our drying floor.

To the complete dismay of our agricultural department team the giant combine harvester, upon which we rely so heavily, broke down just a few short hours into the day long harvest. Panic bells rang in the minds of everyone…but a solution was quickly found! Our wheat cutter was affixed to the front of one of the tractors and it was used to cut the remaining paddy. This could then be thrashed by hand using our own machine and the harvest could continue.

Kullu using the wheat cutter to solve the harvest problem.

Finishing off the harvest in one of the fields.

Eugene happily monitoring the new harvesting style from the sidelines.

We rely heavily on our machines here at the Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission, but we rely more on the amazing adaptability and commitment of our staff. Without their quick thinking and hard work we could have lost a lot of the value of this years crop. Great job team!

Sunny and Anish “weighing” up the success of this years crop!

We want to end this blog post with a request from our agricultural department: we need a rotavator. Don’t know what a rotavator is or why we would want one? Well, apart from being one of the longest palindromes ( a word that can be read forward or backward) in the English language… it is also a huge work saver.

After every crop is harvested here on our farm we must return the soil to a condition that is favorable for planting the next crop. Normally this involves running a plow over it anywhere from 2-4 times to aerate the soil. This is then followed by a big heavy leveling bar called a “patela” which smooths out the field ready to be planted. A rotavator however can complete the job in just 1 or 2 passes. It will significantly save on time and fuel.

If you’re feeling especially rotovated to get involved, turn that rotovation into action by clicking the project fundraiser button.

Rotavator Project

Rotavator

We’re are looking to add this amazing piece of equipment to our arsenal of tools, it will reduce work time, effort and expense.

$1,045 of $3,100 raised
2017-10-20T09:52:26+00:00

About the Author:

Clifton is the grandson of Maxton D. Strong the founder of The GSAM. In 2004 at 19 years old he moved out from Australia to India with his parents to continue on his grandfathers work. Today he is working as the Deputy Director of the orphanage and the Chairman of the Maxton Strong School. He is married to Priscilla, a former child of the mission and together they have 3 sons.

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