A Journey into Cultivating Brown Rice: From Seed to Harvest

In late April, I embarked on a fascinating journey to cultivate brown rice, a staple in my diet. This endeavor aimed to gain insight into the intricate process of nurturing rice from seedlings to the bountiful harvest. Join me on this remarkable adventure as we explore the stages of growth and the challenges faced in producing this essential grain using my own hands and a few pots.

Stage 1: Germination and Seedling Selection I soaked brown rice seeds in water, changing the water daily. After approximately three days, the rice began to sprout vigorously. I carefully selected about 30 of these sprouts, ensuring they were healthy and robust.

Stage 2: Planting the Seedlings I planted these selected sprouts with their shoots facing upwards, using nutrient-rich vegetable potting soil. Out of the 30 sprouts, I successfully planted 19. Each sprout was gently covered with soil, and I filled the pot with water to the soil level.

Stage 3: Sprout Growth After six days, the vibrant green shoots emerged from the soil. By the tenth day, I had a total of 11 sprouts, with nearly half of them growing vigorously. However, it became evident that brown rice cultivation is not without its challenges, as the lack of rice husks made the plants susceptible to rot.

Stage 4: Vigilant Care I left the pots outdoors during a rainy day, and they were submerged in water. After 23 days, only one of these seedlings started to thrive. This journey exemplified the patience and care required to cultivate brown rice successfully.

Stage 5: Preparing the Rice Field After 30 days, I prepared the garden bed by drying the soil thoroughly. On the 31st day, I sifted the filtered soil into a 10-liter bucket, realizing that it did not penetrate well when water was added. Multiple rounds of water addition and mixing were necessary to create a mud-like consistency.

Stage 6: Transplanting the Rice Finally, it was time to transplant the rice into the buckets. Approximately one month later, the rice had grown to a remarkable size, with well-developed roots. I chose to transplant four of them into a single pot, hoping for further healthy growth.

Stage 7: Battling Algae and Mosquito Larvae After 36 days (five days after transplantation), algae began to appear in the buckets, indicating a favorable environment. To combat mosquito larvae, I inserted Medaka fish into the pots. During this time, the water depth was maintained at 3 cm.

Stage 8: Thriving Rice Plants After 44 days (13 days post-transplantation), the algae disappeared, replaced by mosquito larvae. I implemented Medaka fish as a measure to control their population. The grass in the pots reached a height of 45 to 55 cm.

Stage 9: Draining the Water As the rice plants continued to flourish, I started draining the water to facilitate drying. This process involved letting the water drain for several days to allow the soil to dry.

Stage 10: The Rice Ears Appear After 67 days (36 days post-transplantation), the rice ears finally emerged. Despite some initial concerns, they began to flourish, and the entire rice field was lush with greenery.

Stage 11: Tending to the Rice Ears I closely monitored the rice ears’ progress, ensuring they received adequate care. By the time they reached 110 cm in height, the rice ears were abundant and ready for harvest.

Stage 12: Harvesting and Drying After 93 days (62 days post-transplantation), the rice ears were ripe for harvesting. However, some leaves showed signs of disease, but the majority remained healthy. I collected the rice and hung it up to dry.

Stage 13: Rice Processing After 109 days (78 days post-transplantation), the rice ears transformed from white to brown. The grains matured and were ready for further processing.

Stage 14: Rice Polishing The final step was to polish the rice using a soft baseball bat. Although this process took around 24 hours, it ensured that the rice grains were of high quality.

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