Every evening before sunset it was time to milk Lakshmi, one of the cows on the farm, and go to sell the milk in the nearest village. Usually the milking was done by the neighbouring woman and one evening I got the change to try it too.

It was my first time to milk a cow and right from the beginning it went very well. Every now and then Xavier and the woman allowed the calf to suck the teat of the cow for pruducing better milk. The final result was some couple of litres of milk. After milking, the mother cow and the calf returned to their shelter. It felt really nice to participate in the normal routine of the farm.

I approached the paddy field with my camera where the rice has put up nice green shoots already. Three local women were weeding, their backs bend down and chatting a lot. Soon Xavier came too and I took courage. I left the camera on the bank and sank my feet into 20 inches of mud and water. It was like the best mud treatment for your feet and felt amazingly cooling after the hot ground under your feet.

The weeds were surprisingly similar to the actual rise plant and looking from the bank of the field you didn't recognice which was weed or rice. Closer inspection revealed the weeds and a moment of observing the local women showed me the method of work. You gathered a bundle of grass from nearby leaving the rise bundle in place and pressed this waste under the mud with your foot. This would then biodegrade releasing the nutrients to the rice seedlings and finally turning back into soil.

There I was working with local people in the local way in the method that has been used from early days. The sun started to go down and it was time to finish the days work. Later when I turned to watch towards the paddy field the peacocks were returning from the dense coppice to the open ground to feed in the cool of the night.

Welcome to the new blog by Elisa.

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