Despite the summer heat, our rice is growing!

Our rice has hit the flowering stage, which I think of as the teenage years.

The crop is established and growing, and there is no longer a question about germination and the initial phases of growth during which it can be unclear whether the rice will root down well and be healthy.

We have healthy rice plants – at the moment.

There are still a couple of big obstacles to face before we hit harvest season in approximately 6-8 weeks.

The first is a fungus that can wipe out a rice field in a few days. In conventional production, a farmer can spray fungicides against the disease.

italian gelatoIn organic production, we can’t use the fungicide, so we rely primarily on our production techniques and close monitoring to hopefully avoid the fungus. It usually hits in August or early September.

The second is the wind. We are in a coastal area and get afternoon winds that – once the rice plants are tall enough – can knock down the plants if too strong. This creates a problem at harvest because the machine that harvests the rice (a combine) can’t pull the plants back up to harvest the rice.

So, fingers crossed that the remainder of the growing season goes well…

In the mean time, I’m trialing different recipes here on the farm and with restaurants and a gelato shop in the area. Stay tuned for recipes!

— Ariane Lotti

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