Friday, January 29, 2016

Burning in Preparation for planting

Location: Kenema - Eastern Province
Date: late March - early April 1969
At the end of the dry season farmers in the area prepared their farms for planting by the slash and burn method. Rice was planted on the upland. Large swaths of land were cleared by hand (machete) and some areas were set on fire to hasten clearing. Rice was the staple. Upland rice had an almost meaty taste to it. Planted on the hills at the beginning of the rains (April) farms were maintained through the rains until late November or December when the rice began to mature and harvesting by hand began. In this photo is an example of what the night sky looked like on days when farm sites were burned. These burns were surprisingly well-controlled but the night sky for about a week was impressive. 

photos © by Chad Finer

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