something about rice…and Bali…

steamed rice with sweet potato at Bali Asli


It comes in sealed plastic from the supermarket…doesn’t it?

Quite simply no.

In Bali, if you’re prepared to notice, the evidence of rice growing is everywhere- and not just on your plate.

Aside from the small fields interspersed with tourist accommodation in Kuta and Legian, a side trip to Ubud will usually take in the picturesque terraces.  Depending on the stage in the growing cycle, these are greener than it is possible to imagine anything being.

the terraces near Ubud

Take some side roads, or wander away from the tourist mecca and you will see more.

the paddies below Bali Asli


Entire families involved in harvest, wizened farmers planting, the ducks that keep the bugs away, sheets of grains drying in the sun.

a family involved in harvesting. photo by John.

In Bali the business of rice growing is still manual, back-breaking and relentless. Each year more and more land is lost to tourist accommodation- especially along the beaches.

planting. Taken from Bali Asli. Photo by John.

So, next time you push your fork into a plate of steamed rice or fragrant nasi goreng, pause for just a second to appreciate how that grain got to your plate.

the rice before it is harvested.

grains drying in the sun








Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

4 thoughts

  1. The coutyard of my room at the hotel I stayed at in Ubud last year looked out on to the rice paddies. It was absolutely fascinating to see the work that goes into those sealed packets we pick up off the supermarket shelves.

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