Sunday, October 7, 2012

Valencia Rice Harvest

October is the month for the yearly rice harvest in Valencia. There is only one a year, one if farmers are lucky as one harvester told me. The wetlands of Valencia's Albufera provide a perfect environment for rice cultivation.The Comunidad Valenciana has nearly 16,000 ha of rice. The rice varieties produced in this region are mainly Japonica or short/medium length rice grain kernels.

The cycle begins in January. During the first two months of the year water is taken out from
the rice-fields. Remaining muddy soils are moved and mixed with wastes from the previous year. During March and April soils are left to rest and curdle in the sun. Finally, sowing takes place from April until the half May. Sowing is done directly by hand or with light aircrafts. In the beginning of May, fields are filled with water and prepared for sowing which must not take place too late, so then harvesting and collection are not pushed forward in time and are not affected by the heavy rains of the beginning of autumn (The “gota fría”).

Fields are flooded until the end of July, but during the vegetative cycle one or two ‘eixugons’, or dry-outs, are performed, which consist of leaving the crops a fews days without water in order to fight algae. In August fields are dried out definitely, and prepared for the harvest. After the harvest, in October and until December, the fields are flooded again in order to prepare fields for the next crop.

Harvesting is carried out from the beginning of September until the beginning of October.
Then the rice is dried in the sun in sequers, or in warm air dryers, between September and
October. This is still performed by farmer cooperatives before selling rice to industry for
cleaning, grinding and packaging, which are performed mechanically, all year round.

Learn more about Valencia rice here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

VIDEO: how does Globexs work?