ducks: the perfect weed-eaters

by C. Sun

Boundbrook Farm is named after Boundbrook Island in Massachusetts where Erica's ancestors lived.  This design was done by Erica's brother, Adam Hurwitz

Boundbrook Farm is named after Boundbrook Island in Massachusetts where Erica's ancestors lived.  This design was done by Erica's brother, Adam Hurwitz

This beautiful cotton bag was hand-screen printed steps away from the ducks and the rice paddies it depicts. It illustrates how ducklings eat the weeds, and before the ducklings grow tall enough to reach the rice grains, they are taken out of the rice paddies and left to roam, frolic and create the next generation of weed-eaters.

Here they are! last season's weeders at feeding time.

Here they are! last season's weeders at feeding time.

Like a parent picking up toys that careless toddlers strew about, Erik gathered eggs left lying around and put them in the boxes where the mothers should be sitting.
However, they are not feeling terribly maternal yet.

Some eggs lie hidden.

They are beautiful colors!

 

Those ducks are eating M&M's. Or Smarties.

Those ducks are eating M&M's. Or Smarties.

Well, ok, Ducks. If you are not going to sit and hatch them...

...some will go into biscuits and cakes, some will go into these cartons...

...and some--mmmm. Incredible. One egg was a full meal.

Even if all the eggs Erik found were hatched, it would not be enough to man (duck) the weed control unit. 400 little ducklings will be arriving by post, hopefully after the fences have been set up around the rice paddies. 

Little ducks eating weeds mean no pesticides are used. This modern and revolutionary method of farming rice was developed by Japanese farmer Takao Furuno and others from the traditional Japanese way of weed control. It is better for you, for the rice, for the land. It's more colorful, more cacaphonic, more caloric, and quite joyful-- hilarious, even! (See video of jostled ducklings being driven to the fields!)