“A chubby one looking great, such big strong legs!”, Quipped Christian the dairy federation’s technician. Well, after downing 4 liters of milk, and that’s just for his morning fill, he sure looks like a winner.
Ben named him Hero because he was born last National Heroes’ Day. We finally had our future herd sire, with 75% holstein breed in his blood.
It’s been a week now that we’ve been squeezing milk out of our newly calved dairy cow. It’s been a long road, more than three years to be exact, since we had the cow dispersal.
First off, what we had was what you might call “foreclosed” couple of cows and one 3-month old female calf. They were originally shipped from New Zealand way back in 2005. The farmer-beneficiary wasn’t milking them and just generally wasn’t taking good care of them hence, they got transferred to our farm.
We spent a lot of miss in breeding them, after an even more time in rehabilitating their health. Astig, one of the cow, finally gave birth to a female offspring in Dec 2013, while the one with calf in tow, whom we named Gurangan, just calved last Aug 2015. It was a male born on National Heroes’ Day so we are naming our future herd breeder, Hero.
Astig barely had just enough milk to sustain her offspring, and we were not able to milk her for human consumption. But this time, three years after, Gurangan’s health completely reconditioned, we are ready to spend a long time in the milking stand, every morning and afternoon.
But then after such a long time of dry period, we had mastitis, a common occurence in dairy animals, to deal with. After a shot of antibiotics, we squeeze milk to feed the baby cow Hero and give the rest to our guard dogs. The withdrawal period will be a week after each shot.
Once we have the milk clean and fit for you to drink, we will deliver them to the processing plant in Pili, Cam Sur.
It’s been weeks since my grapes had started flowering, and so i need a concoction that will provide potassium and additional nutrient to support this change-over period.
Potassium will serve to sweeten the young fruits. As the famous researcher Shibada Genshi remarked, the enzymes found in fruits are as sweet as honey.
Since the bignay (Antidesma bunius) is in bloom like crazy these days, i am going to use this for FFJ.
1. Plastic pail
2. Manila paper
3. 3kg Molasses
4. 3kg ripe bignay fruits
5. Something heavy to crush the fruits. Here i used a small glass container.
How to do it-
1. Crush the fruits using the bottom of the glass container.
3. With the container at least 3/4 full, to allow for fermentation to occur; cover with manila paper and tie tightly with a string.
4. Store in a cool and shaded place for 7 days. 5. This will yield at least 6 liters of FFJ.
How to use-
1. Mix 10ml of the FFJ to a liter of water. Or to a backpack sprayer, fill with water until almost full and add 150ml concoction (you can use a small sardine can for measuring).
2. Spray on the leaves and around the soil of frui-bearing trees either very early in the morning or in the late afternoon. This is to allow for the live microorganism to get under the soil while the sun is not yet up as they will be killed by the heat.
3. Apply once a week from change-over or flowering until one week before harvest.
Towards the end of the month, we devote our time for strawberries.
First we will bag runners, let them root while still attached to mother plants for at least 3-4 weeks.
Right after bagging they are treated with fse (fermented seaweeds extract), the cord secured with a “strawberry cord” formed into a “^”.
This summer’s both very hot and littered with sudden rain every other day or so. The result is very good with the mother plants sprouting runners like crazy.
After a month runners are cut loose from mother plants. See them runners with their own runners. How prolific!
They are then grouped together according to stage of maturity and kept out of direct sun for at least a week to recover and harden.
Lately i am having a lot of baby ducks. Finally we have a secured area for them. That means the dogs could not get into their eggs, and presto, more eggs get to see the light as baby ducks.
The only thing left to pester them are rats. While they have a brooding pen, i can still see rats trying to get in. The solution will be to brood their mother duck with them!
And then, when they grow bigger, they will join the rest of the duck herd. There’s a pool for them, also a good place to munch on azolla. It’s a duck’s world.
Unlike last July’s typhoon Glenda, in whose eyes passed right upon here, thereby wrecking a lot of tall trees, typhoon Ruby had been a gentle lot.
A couple of days was spent on securing the animals, its dilapidated shelters, and cleaning up the box-like feeds warehouse, the safest place in the farm. It is made of cement all over and had housed 2 families during typhoon Glenda.
This time we have four families inside the farm, staying for two nights instead of the usual sleep-over. A lot of rain, tho a trickle at most and the wind moderate, it slugged on as if not wanting to leave.
It made first landfall in a town called Dolores in Samar, hopping next to nearby Masbate island , and a few more landfalls but thanks to better-be-prepared-than-sorry mindset after supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan), the whole country suffered lost lives less.
And when the weather cleared, nearby Naga City declared a state of calamity.
Here i had an entirely different calamity. But like the weather when it cleared a whole wide universe of possibilities opened up for me.
Life is good.