Harvesting Workshop in Organic Rice Paddy


On September 25 and 26 of 2021, ECOPLUS conducted harvesting workshop in an organic rice paddy in Tochikubo Village in Minamiuonuma, the heartland of the famous “Koshihikari-Rice,” in Niigata.


Considering the situation of COVID-19, we organized the program as a day program asking participants come to and leave from the paddy directly. All 23 participants were fully vaccinated.


On Saturday, we had gorgeous view of golden rice paddy under the blue sky. In order to protect skin, we needed to wear long sleeves. The sunshine was so strong. All of us sweated from the beginning. Mr.FUEKI Akira, a local farmer, taught us the important and difficult skill, to bundle the sheaf, called “Meruke,” in this area.

「まるける」講習会。The difficult skill, “Maruke.”


More than half of participants were totally novice at using a sickle. At the beginning they were struggling to cut the stems clearly and to make “Maruke” in muddy rice paddy.


However in one hour or so, people acquired the ways. Some were just keep cutting and bundling works and some were doing the work taking neighboring persons joyfully. Fresh green colored frogs were jumping out from the ground. Red dragonflies were coming close to us. From a tiny structure to introduce water to the paddy, small fishes were caught and a local biologist explained those as one of endangered species in Japan, called “Shiny-Motsugo.”

絶滅危惧ⅠAのシナイモツゴ。Red databook listed “Shinai-Motsugo”


On Sunday, weather condition totally changed. We started the work one hour earlier. It was cool and comfortable at the beginning. The work went smoother than the day before. Close to the noon, the rain started. The temperature went down, too. At the end, all of us worked hard to finish. Surprisingly we finished all works from cutting, budding and hanging by shortly after 1 pm.


“I somehow felt appreciation when I thought each of those grains was a ‘seed’ when I faced to those rice. The shining golden rice field might not be illusion. Rice was shining because they were celebrating the final phase to pass the life to the next generation;” a young participant commented.


The organic rice will be dried for 10 days to 2 weeks. Then husks will be removed and will be ready to eat. Only limited amount are available for interested persons.