Lake Inle, Burma


In the 1960’s, Inle Lake in Burma, became the site of an agriculture practice that has slowly decreased the size of the lake, the second largest fresh water lake in Myanmar, but has provided fresh, nutrient rich food for the surrounding lakeshore villages and their increasing populations. 

Locals grow vegetables and fruit in large gardens that float on the surface of the lake. To build the floating garden beds, an extensive amount of manual labor is required. The farmers gather up lake-bottom weeds from the deeper parts of the lake, bring them back in boats and make them into floating beds in their garden areas, anchored by bamboo poles. These gardens rise and fall with changes in the water level, and so are resistant to flooding.

The constant availability of nutrient-laden water results in these gardens being incredibly fertile. Rice cultivation is also significant.


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