Jan 2019

Strolling in the rice fields

The rice fields are at the heart of life in Comporta and the history of the village. Rice has been cultivated here since 1925. These fields shape and colour the landscape according to the seasons. Whether they are green, yellow or a mirror-like pool of water, they instil magic and rhythm in this region.

An atypical culture

The tightly-packed shoots grow haphazardly and transfer this wild and primitive quality to Comporta. Although the rice has been cultivated by hand for a long time, this process has been almost entirely replaced with small planes that scatter the fields with seeds at low altitude. After the seeds have been sown, they fall to the ground and grow at random.

In this way, the landscape we see in Comporta today was created almost a century ago through the cultivation of rice, a rare practice in Portugal. These sections of territory are now preserved by or belong the Sado Estuary Nature Reserve, allowing for the protection of these picturesque rice fields, as well as the fauna and flora that are found there.

The call of nature

In order to truly get to know the rice fields, you have to lose yourself in them, breathe in the scent of the surrounding pine forests, and spend time observing the birds, the waterways and the old huts of fishermen. There is a gentle sense of harmony here, uniquely offset by the sound of increasing numbers of storks snapping their beaks.

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