When you drive around in southern Louisiana you will see a many flooded fields on both sides of the highway. In Texas a flooded field typically means they are growing rice but in southern Louisiana it most likely means they are growing crawfish! So we decided to pay a visit to one of the local Rice/Crawfish Farms called the Crystal Rice Plantation.
This family farm has been around since 1890 initially growing rice and over time the family came up with their own strain of rice. By 1912 they had success in creating their “Crystal Rice” strain and between 1912 to the 1940’s nearly 70 percent of all rice grown in the USA was his strain. Before long the family began growing crawfish as well to supplement their income.
They do so by growing a crop of rice and while the fields are still flooded they “seed” in some crawfish. We took a tour of the plantation in Crawley, La and learned a few facts about rice and crawfish farming. One rice grain produces about 300 grains and unlike rice farming in Texas in Louisiana they soak the rice grains and then plant them by airplane! The tour was interesting but we were disappointed that it was just a video and a lecture about the farming. We had hoped to get out and see some of the harvesting equipment and visit a farmed field.
Since the tour (we paid $5 each for this tour) didn’t include all the things we wanted to see we set out on our own in search of an active farm. Just down the road we spotted a mud crawler that uses a hydraulic paddlewheel to move around the muddy flooded fields to harvest crawfish from their traps. The traps are roundish with a hold above the water level that has a slick collar on top to keep the crawfish from being able to crawl out. One they enter these traps they are caught! A little further down the road we stopped to watch a mud crawler harvest crawfish. The rice field was full of crawfish pots like in the picture above. Even thought the tour was rather weak we made the most of our adventure by supplementing it with our own crawfish field trip of sorts…
A cold and cloudy Monday rolled around the group at Betty’s decided we should celebrate St Patty’s Day with a corned beef and cabbage lunch. Several of the RV residents purchased supplies and cooked up the corned beef and cabbage. The rest of us signed up to bring all the side dishes. At 1:30 in the afternoon the mostly green clad residents (well some jackets and coats covered a lot of the green) gathered in celebratory fashion as is custom here at Betty’s RV Park.
What great food and fun we had for lunch . Just about the time lunch had ended it was time for the daily happy hour at Betty’s! So we continued our St Patty’s celebration with another round of food and fun along with some green beers and an occasional shot of green Irish whiskey.
Yep they know how to have fun here at Betty’s RV Park!!!