Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Conrad Rice Mill

Back in August, we had a 2-part field trip.  First, we went to Conrad Rice Mill which is the oldest working rice mill. 
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We split into 2 groups…one watched a video while the other group toured the mill and vice versa. Our group watched the video first.  It talked about how the cajuns, their lifestyle and language. 
Afterwards, our tour guide told us information about how the rice is grown.
To plant the rice, the farmers flood the fields and then fly overhead to drop the rice seeds. When it is not rice season, they use those field to raise crawfish.
After the video, we toured the rice mill.
Inside the mill, they had a replica of the building that opened so that you could see where the machines were located and how the process went.
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You could tell how old everything was especially with the signs that were handwritten.
She is holding some rice meal. However they can't sell it for human consumption because the walls around the machine aren't closed in. You can see it in the background on the left picture. However, they do sell it to farmers to supplement in their livestock feeding.
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While we sat on the porch, she talked about the average rice consumption for the US vs Louisiana vs the cajuns. I can't remember all the numbers but I think the cajuns eat rice 65% of the time. Think about it: jambalaya, red beans & rice, etoufee, gumbo, rice pudding, etc.
Our neighbors just started homeschooling so this was their 1st fieldtrip with us. Mrs. Lisa was very helpful with the younger ones...holding Melody so I could take pictures.
After the tour, everyone got to try some of their Wild Pecan Rice. It doesn't have pecans in it, it just has a nutty flavor and is very aromatic. It's a hybrid of 2 types of rice and is between a white rice and a brown rice. So it is healthier that white rice but more fluffy than brown rice.
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Then we went to the local city park and had a picnic lunch although it was extremely hot. Thankfully the park was well shaded and had a pavillion with picnic tables. I didn't take any pictures there because it was a time for the moms to fellowship while the kids played.

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