Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ploughing with the cattle

Yesterday they were turning this field with the tractor late afternoon the were seeding,
Just after I blogged the sky watch Egypt. I made a cup of tea then sat on the balcony watching the birds on there daily route to wherever they go. and I noticed Ahmed a near Neighbour had already ploughed half the field. out came the camera again. and took a photo from my rear balcony.
The time was 7.00 and he had already been ploughing for an hour before I decided to go and take some closer photos the scene as I arrived in the fields with the cattle ploughing in the background.
By the time I got half way down the field The brother had brought Ahmed a cup of tea and some bread, so I went over on An invite to take tea, and this is what I found out I know much about cultivation because as a boy I was a foster child on a farm from the age of 8 to 14. but most of the way they did it was alien to me, and me being the nosy one I am wanted to know more. I also know that ploughing with cattle goes back to or maybe pre pharaonic times as there are drawings in the tombs can not remember which.
so for those of you who do not know the method of growing corn here goes.
first the field is ploughed, in this instance by tractor and only in the past 20 years has the tractor been in the upper delta of Egypt, since they built the high dam in Aswan,

Then the seed is sown. the seed today is passed through a type of dye, one thing is it helps the seed to germinate and it also stops the birds eating it. ( the colour fools them)

All the Egrets do is eat the bugs they are not seed eaters that's why you will always see them on the dry land waiting for a bug to be turned over in the soil, the locals call them the farmers friend, when the fields have been inundated, the field will have the cattle egret and the Great white egret looking for grubs.

The reason why they plough with the cattle is the tractor tyres pushes the seeds that have been sown too deep in the ground causing the seed to rot before it germinates. thus loosing half the crop notice one cow is in the ploughed rut, the other is on the seeded ground. the plough is not for burying the seed but to form a mound over the seed at first I wondered how does it get watered the rut will fill with water but not the mound the seed is under, in the last but one photo it shows the farmer flattening the field by the age old way of pulling a heavy piece of long wood with the cattle. and it then solved my mystery how do the seeds get watered,

Could not have picked a better norning to work the field not often do we get clouds. as soon as the job was finished the clouds dissapeared.

the plough only digs in about 4" = 100 mm.

Ploughing done

now too flatten the field all ready for inundation not sure when because they are working on the canal that feeds these fields. the egyptians get three crops in one year. this field had donkey food (clover) before that Maze. the suger is cut every year for 4 years befor being replanted.

& my next blog will be on the sugar cane.
Its now 16.10 and this man is still working on another field with the cattle thats over nine hours. the cattle have had no water or fodder in all that time, they really are a cruel race of people, his thought is only on how much he will get from the farmer when he has finished.
Tomorrow he will sit on his arse all day most likely with the excuse I worked so hard yesterday.
fair enough he has worked hard but his cattle are the ones who are suffering. its not like the farmer's in a rush to finish, the water will not be back in the canal for another 4 days at least,

1 comment:

ADRIAN said...

A Fascinating post Tony Thanks.