The rice paddy installation at the World Trade Center's Oculus Plaza

A Rice Paddy Grows in Manhattan: LUCKYRICE Readies a Harvest

A real rice paddy is growing at the World Trade Center’s Oculus Plaza, and it’s because of Pearl River friend and lifestyle brand LUCKYRICE.

Danielle Chang, founder of LUCKYRICE, and Joanne Kwong, president of Pearl River

In partnership with the Port Authority of NY & NJ, LUCKYRICE planted five varieties of rice in wooden planters reminiscent of terraced paddy fields in Asia. The types of rice come from all over the world: Italy (Purple Jamon), Japan (Yukikihari), Madagascar (Mamoriaka), Uzbekistan (Amaura), and the U.S. (Carolina Gold).

As a sponsor, we were happy to plant our own baby sprout.

Joanne Kwong holding a baby rice sprout

Joanne Kwong gesturing at Pearl River's baby rice sprout after having planted it in the paddy

The installation also had some interesting fun facts about rice.

Installation panel that reads, "Rice is grown on every continent except Antarctica. One seed will result in over 3,000 grains."

Installation panel that reads, "When the Great Wall of China was being built in the 15th and 16th centuries, workers used a porridge made with rice along with calcium carbonate as a mortar to hold the stones together."

Installation panel that reads, "During the Lunar New Year, half the world eats sticky rice to ensure 'togetherness' as a metaphorical glue that binds friends and family."

And we loved the performance by NYC-based dance troupe, Saung Budaya. They demonstrated the Tai Piring, a traditional plate dance of the Minangkabau, an indigenous people of Indonesia. 

Two performers demonstrating the Indonesian plate dance

In about four months, our sprout, along with the others, will be all grown up and ready to be harvested. On Sept. 28, LUCKYRICE will hold a Rice Harvest Feast during which “where dozens of chefs will gather to create dishes that are an homage to rice.” Learn more at their site. And in case you missed it, check out our episode on Danielle's TV show, Luckychow.
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