The Rice Terraces of Yunnan Province

By Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg

The Perennial Plate, a documentary series about sustainable food, has spent its third season traveling across Asia shooting mouthwatering videos along the way. This episode, Where the Water Settles, captures the beautiful landscapes of southwest China, where a Hani community uses 1,300-year-old techniques to cultivate rice. "The river, forest, village and terrace ... form our four-dimensional living space," Chaogui Lu, a farmer and Hani scholar, says of his community. "This we call the harmony between man and nature, and we Hani people worship this natural ecology." He explains how 54 generations of farmers have perfected methods that work for the ecosystem there. "I'd love to use modernized agriculture methods, but it won't work here." In the end, he seems to say, this might just be for the best. 

The Perennial Plate was created by Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine, who also shoot and edit the episodes. Check out more episodes from the series on the Atlantic Video channel, and don't miss the whirlwind montage of their China trip below. 

For more information about The Perennial Plate, visit http://www.theperennialplate.com/.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/12/the-rice-terraces-of-yunnan-province/266470/