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Subsistence Farming in Southern China


liuzhou
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Yesterday, I visited a small village in southern China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, so-named as it is where the vast majority of the Zhuang ethnic minority live. Most are subsistence farmers, meaning they only really grow what they consume themselves with no surplus to sell. They are looking for ways to improve their lot and I was invited to attend discussions on how to move forward. Of course, we also had a look around.

 

First some setting. The village is about an hour or so south of Liuzhou where I live. It is surrounded by karst hills.

 

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Admiring the View

 

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The lamps are on the expressway which passes by the village.

 

Most of the villagers' land is given over to rice production. They concentrate on the staples.

 

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Rice Paddy

 

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Miles of Rice

 

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That woman is attempting to water her vegetable garden among the rice from a plastic bucket.

 

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One visitor from the city becomes inordinately fascinated by rice growing.

 

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  I Can See the Rice Grow

 

Other plants are crammed into corners.

 

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Bananas

 

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Gourds

 

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Chilies

 

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Meat - Very Free Range

 

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Different Meat - Ditto

 

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Fish Pond - More meat

 

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Farming Fish on the River

 

Until recently, the village homes were rather primitive, but in recent years the young have shunned the rural lifestyle and fled to the cities seeking employment. They send money home, when they can, and this has nearly all been invested in building more comfortable homes. However, many of the older buildings remain.
 

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Recently, with government aid, the villagers have built themselves a village library. It is in this small three-roomed building which is totally empty. Not a chair, desk or a single book. Quite sad really. But they were proud of it.

 

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Following this visit and lunch, I relocated a couple of miles to the south to visit a dragon fruit farm. Details here.

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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5 hours ago, liuzhou said:

 

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One visitor from the city becomes inordinately fascinated by rice growing.

 

 

I understand the fascination.

When I hitched through Saskatchewan for the first time in summer, I walked down to the edge of a farmer's field and had a really, REALLY close look at the wheat. I'd eaten it all my life, and of course Canada is one of the world's largest producers, but I'd never seen it actually alive and growing. I went to the extent of pulling one stalk from the ground and bringing it up to the roadside with me, where I carefully disassembled it in the sunshine and chewed a few of the unripe kernels.

I later got to see barley, rye and oats growing, but that first encounter with wheat was oddly wondrous.

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

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