Inle Lake

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Edging the lake are water hyacinth and silt which left to nature would form fertile land within 50 years.  The Intha have devised a way of speeding up the process by creating 'Kyunpaw' floating gardens, .

Dredging the lake for the black silt which will be spread on the floating nursery gardens.

 

Matting woven from dried reeds and grasses is left at the edge of the lake to mature for up to ten years.  By then it is home to a  variety of plant life and the thickness of the submerged portion is 4-5 feet.  It is comprised of running stems, rhizomes and roots tightly packed together into a thick base for the water garden.  The plants are slashed and burned, the mat sliced into 4' X 600' pieces and moved to a location where it is staked to the bottom of the lake.

Tending the gardens, 

The boat is held steady with a stake firmly anchored in the lake bed

 Cauliflower, cucumber, peas cabbage, beans, and eggplant all flourish in the rich loam beds as do a variety of flowers. 

Tomatoes are the main crop and the Inle variety are known throughout Burma.  In December this is mostly what we see.  

The gardens remain fertile for about 15 years after which they gradually sink to the bottom or form permanent islands.  Even here they are not pesticide free.

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