Follow Your Rice Paddy

As part of the Festival of British Archaeology, the Early Rice Project has been running activities on 'Discovering the Secret History of Rice'.  This page is dedicated to tracking the growth of various rice paddies and plants that you have helped put together.  These pages will be regularly updated so that you can track the development in real time.  

  • If you attended the event, please do keep in touch with how your rice plants are developing by writing to the project HERE.
  • To take a look at some of the rice plants currently growing and track please click HERE
  • If you attended, we probably took a photo of you with your very own rice plant.  To see what happened on the day click HERE.
  • Couldn't make it?  For info on what we did and how your can plant your own rice plant, please continue reading this page.
  • Want to run your own rice planting activity?  You can download our activity sheet by clicking HERE.

Planting a Rice Paddy Activity:

To start off with, here are my first experiments with growing a rice paddy:


Step 1:  Sample rice seeds and select those that grow under conditions in your house/garden/office

Step 2:  Create a Rice Paddy using:

  • Compost
  • Top Soil
  • Gravel to weigh down the soil
  • Water about 2cm above the soil line
  • Sprinkle seeds along the soil below the water line
  • Keep in a sunny and warm area

Left (Long Grain Brown Rice) and Right (Short Grain Brown Rice) after only 3 days in the Rice Paddy.
You can immediately see which rice plant is best suited to the environment.

Paddy Maintenance:

Due to the lack of natural surface water movement I then skimmed some of the organic buildup off the surface area and monitored the water levels, growth and


After almost 2 weeks now, you can see a marked growth in the rice plants below.  This will be tracked here until a harvest is made possible.


To help us understand the development and context of rice paddy agriculture and growth we will be tracking several rice paddies created during the Festival of British Archaeology.  Each group has been asked to create an ideal Rice Paddy given the following choices of rice plant type, agriculture, and materials to use.  In total there are 4 Paddies created, which will be displayed here and tracked until an optimum grow condition is established and a rice yield has been successfully measured.  Check back soon for photos and further details and don't forget to skeep in touch with how your rice plants are developing!

Material Seed Water
Compost Long Grain Deep Water
Top Soil Short Grain Dry Soil
Gravel Basmati Shallow Water
Cling film Sushi Regular Changing (Irrigation)
  Archaeological Japonica  
  Archaeological Indica  
  Wells Rice  

Page last modified on 06 aug 10 17:36