Saturday, October 19, 2013

Rice Survivor (Wet Season edition): Let's hunt snails.

As the plants grew in the nursery (and I waited impatiently), it was time to think about land preparations in time for transplanting. One of the tasks that Team Tagumpay had to agree upon was what to do with the snails. Maya, the team's environmentalist, was totally against the application of molluscicides to our team's plot (her words, not mine). So on the morning of June 21, we came to the field armed with plastic bags to hunt snails even though hunting was not allowed... at least according to the sign.

Hunting isn't allowed. Do snails count?

At first, we didn't want to go into the flooded field. Gaye Cuerdo (of The Avengers team) captured photos of Team Tagumpay staying on the sidelines, literally, collecting only the snails close to the bunds. In the end though, the snails just kept going beyond our reach. We just had to jump in... BUT there were no more cameras to take our photos because everyone in the team was collecting snails.

We didn't want to dive in at first. (Photo by Gaye; layout by Neale.)
After a few hours, our snail collections filled a plastic bag. But there were still more snails to capture. The team then agreed that it would be too risky to plant our rice seedlings in such a snail-infested field; so we ended up deciding to have the field treated with molluscicide.

So what happened to the captives? We gave them to staff at the farm. We never saw the molluscs ever again.