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Anyone use any of the technique from the old methods of creating rice terraces without machinery?

 
alex Keenan
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Anyone use any of the technique from the old methods of creating rice terraces without the aid of machinery?

I know you can move mountains with water. It seems that hydraulic mining moved tons of earth. So it seems logical that water was used to move and separate soils when building terraces.


http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/rice-paddy.html

Terraced rice paddies, masterpieces of ancient engineering, have existed in China, the Philippines, and elsewhere for as long as two millennia. The building of these stepped paddies—done without the aid of machinery—is no minor undertaking. How, then, do farmers construct them? Here, follow the evolution of a new paddy.
 
James Colbert
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To my knowledge the old school terraces were built by hand by a large number of people however I do remember reading a thread about an author who describes methods of earthworks using water allowing it to do the work of carving the earth instead of using machinary or human labor. Some work is needed to setup the water to work for you and erode the land to get the desired effect bit I got the impression it saved a lot of labor.
 
alex Keenan
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I found this and it seems to go with my posting.
Forests and sustainable rice production seem to go hand in hand.
To have a long term rice field I would need 8 acres of food forest draining into one acre of rice paddy.
Since they are now growing rice in New England it would seem that rice should be part of permaculture.


There are very few sustainable and regenerative farming methods in known recorded history that can be modeled after for long term food and water abundance. Thailand has been known to bear highly productive rice fields that have existed for over 5000 years. At first glance of the abundance it is easy to think “why don’t we just build rice fields everywhere and have an abundant sustainable farming practice”? This thinking without proper planning can lead to dried up fields and starvation such as cases in Hawaii where massive blocks of crops have been lost and people suffer from bad planning and poor decision making.
In order for a rice field to remain sustainable, an area of equal to or more than (preferably up to 8 times more) above the rice field must remain intact as natural forest. When water that is used from uphill streams and rivers is used to flood the rice fields – it is the forest leaf litter, organic material, and the microbiology that comes with it that sustains the rice fields. If we clear the forest above the rice fields - about 3 years of production is left on those fields before they no longer produce sustainably and organically. Chemical fertilizers then have to be brought in which end up salting those fields and the subsequent fields and soils downstream
 
alex Keenan
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I also came across this

RICE TERRACE CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE
http://www.nikeprogramme.org/index.php/ik-database/researches/82-knowledge-we-wrote/113-rice-terrace-construction.html
 
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