Around Tĩnh Gia

Man with ox ploughing field. In the years these pictures were taken motorised ploughs were rare. An ox has many merits: it feeds itself freely as it goes so requiring no cash, neighbours can co-operate in ensuring constant free replacements, and it can be eaten on retirement This page is based on walks around the edge of the town of Tĩnh Gia. Other pages have already shown something of its market, and more pages about other aspects are to follow. These pictures are all taken in a way which shows the edges of the town, as these peripherals are composed of the houses with more ground around them, the effect is to show an impressively verdant community, rather more so than might be experienced by a visitor to the town. The fields, which run up to the properties that abut them, follow the rhythms of this area, blessed with a rich soil, copious rain, and enough heat to allow two harvests per year. Rice is still the dominant crop, but vegetables, sweet corn and ground nuts have their seasons. Workers seen in these fields are mostly the owners or part of their family, and mostly women. Man ploughing, woman weeding and background trees. Treed gardens on the west of the town meet the fields directly Man ploughing behind area of ground nuts. Ground nuts in the foreground, sweet corn beyond Woman weeding vegetables. Everywhere water is plentiful Two palms reflected in pool, town behind. The east side of the town, seen here,
is less treed
Pond, ducks and town houses beyond. Ducks like these make use of the ponds, and seem, rather miraculously, not to destroy the field crops Large flottila of ducks gathered at pond's edge at sunset. The commonest water bird kept for eating,
in this part of the country...
Line of larger ducks walking towards houses by field pond. of a size which is a little large to be called a duck, but small for a goose Long straight water channel fairly full. This channel brings water to the local fields Long straight empty water channel. The same channel - dry in winter Water channel with low scummy water. The water comes from a reservoir some ten kilometres distant, controlled by a series of gates and sluices Waterlogged fields with intermittent cloche. The fields in late autumn and early winter lie... Waterlogged ploughed field. ...waterlogged waiting for planting the new paddy Woman bending in floded field planting paddy seedlings. Ploughing is assisted with animal power, but the planting out of the slim paddy seedlings involves unmitigated backbreaking human labour. And, while not exclusively so, this is predominantly female labour. Some farmers do sow the seeds directly where they are to grow, so saving this replanting, but that is considered a little eccentric by most people Patches of green paddy extending into the distance. Two weeks and the fields become a tight green patchwork Fields of sweet corn. Contrasting fields of young sweet corn Densely packed fields of paddy. Paddy. The green of which is used much as we use the word 'orange', to signify a particular shade. The differences in the colour of these photos stems mostly from the degree of cloud cover. Patches with a variety of vegetables and paddy beyond. The plots of land are owned by different households,
some plant vegetables...
More densely packed beds of young paddy. ...but for most people paddy is still
the main harvest
Woman walking with ox. Cattle tend to move slowly un-goaded, so the walks to and from work are leisurely Large bull, people with cart in background. This chap is taking a break, grazing while waiting to pull the cart - as seen below. His harness lies on the ground behind him Same bull hitched up to cart and moving off. Back to work. A number of points seem of interest, the man driving the cart is wearing a woman's hat which is uncommon, his bare feet are also not so common, and the sit-up-and-beg style bicycle was a familiar sight in the UK a hundred years ago Road leading west from Tinh Gia. The road to the west at the outskirts of the town. The '9t' (weight limit) sign is a tiny central dot... Stall at road junction. is that sign again, showing the road junction at which a stall has been set up... The vegetable and meat stall closer with women shoppers and stall-holder. ...this kind of entrepreneurial retail is ubiquitous in Vietnam. This woman with her child will be selling mostly her own produce from the fields seen on this page Motorcycle with fridge strapped to one side and washing machine to the other, water tank and sink on top. Turning to road transport of other types; this removal van appears to have washing machine, fridge, water heater, and sink on board Two small haystacks with wheels protruding under them on road. And here two incognito cyclists (discreetly hiding within their haystacks) precariously transport their produce from the fields Cart being walked towards town. Carts provide much ordinary transport but... Fields with raised roadway on which a truck is passing. ...trucks are also needed for heavier loads Road running into town with buffalo standing crossways on it looking at camera. Just down the road (where that truck was headed) a buffalo wonders, in its gentle buffalo way, why trucks must move with such urgency Trailers... Giant vases stand by the main road. The next page of this section takes you to the manic preparations for the massive Tết festival. The Buddhist temple complex at Samye Ling in southern Scotland. The next page of the Mosaic Section is headed 'Humean Buddhism'.
Or go to the contents Go to the contents of the Mosaic Section. of the Mosaic Section.
Saturday 16th January 2021 Murphy on duty to this site

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