Day Trip to Sekinchan
A very good question and I don't mean just being at the dining table, you could be playing with the mobile rather than spending time bonding with your family. I remember that when my father was still alive, the meal won't start until my father is back from his shop (unless, of course business is bad and he cannot come home early). Everyone has to be seated and we have to acknowledge our elders by requesting them to "eat rice" before we can proceed to eat. Sadly nowadays we (the elders) seemed to be invisible to the younger generation as they are so involved with their i-phone or i-pad during at the mealtimes! tsk-tsk
So bright and early, we were down at Sekinchan, my sisters and sister-in-law and my nieces and Esther too.
As far as the eye can see.... paddy fields, some golden and ready for harvesting.
barren fields, waiting for the next season..
the ripen one and the empty one...
getting up close with the paddy
We dropped by the Mango King, a mango orchard....
there is the King Mango, the Four Seasons mango- they may not look pretty but they are so sweet.... so never judge the outward appearance only, applies to human as well...
Finally we arrived at this rice factory... actually all the surrounding fields belongs to them. Lots of tourists and shoppers. The ladies on the bus immediately went for the shops to make their purchases while we decided to take a stroll through their "museum". Entrance fees is RM4 per pax and you get a small giveaway packet of 200gm white rice.
This is the Taiwanese pearl rice grain. The story is that the owners were facing crop failure, so they decided to go and study about rice cultivation in Taiwan and brought back this special grain and the rest is history as can be seen from the enormous factory and acres of the fields around here.
Do you know your rice?
Unmilled rice is known as paddy. After harvesting the paddy, the chaff - which is the outer husk of the grain is remove. This is what is called the brown rice or unpolished rice. Further milling will remove the bran (the brown colour) and the germ (the yellow spot) and the result is white rice (endosperm). White rice can keeps longer but they also lack important nutrients.
Photo showing water buffalos were used to plough of the land before men moved in to plant the seedlings.
Nowadays heavy machinery have replaced the manual replanting of the seedlings.... what 2 men can do in a day, it only take the machine 2 hours. The seedlings are grown in the nursery and takes about 2 weeks before being transplanted to the fields.
The grains are then bought to the factory where machines are used to mill the rice (see the big white bags of rice behind) The rice are further sorted and then packed into individual packaging (all done by machines) before being sealed and packed into boxes by the staff.
I can see crows hovering over the ripen paddy but don't seem to see these scarecrows anywhere in the fields except inside here...hahaha... Behind us show the tub where the paddy was threshed in order to separate the rice from the husk manually in old days. Of course machines have replaced all these manual work now.
Even the straws are now collected by machine and neatly bound into bales ...
These bales of straws are sold as feeds for horses, cattles and goats.
Rice mill used for grounding rice flour
My parents used to admonish us to eat every single grain of rice in our bowl... otherwise we will marry a wife/husband whose face will be marked with spots... aiyah .... means not beautiful or handsome one. Hahaha. But the moral is that rice cultivation is all about sweat and toil and its so dependant on the environment for a good harvest that the farmers really have to look to heaven for their next meal!.
We spent so much time here that we missed the shopping by the roadside...but we did managed to get a couple of these ....
White Pearl Rice and Brown Rice ... the 2 smaller packets are giveaway for our tickets.
Coming on next.... a delightful surprise!