farm update

a small family does natural farming down a Philippine village by the sea

Archive for March 2011

La Niña

with one comment

Since last year we had El Niño, the weather bureau had predicted that this year, there will be no summer. Or it will be a wet summer, owing to the sister phenomenon called La Niña. After a long period of drought it just follows that there will be a long period of rain. Just one of the effects of climate change.

La Niña only hit my place  yesterday.  There was mild rain all day yesterday, and by midday today its pouring again. We’ve been bone dry since January. Last Saturday Ben was complaining the plants are not being watered enough, we are that dry aggravated by the cold amihan.  Well not today. We are wet, finally. For how long, I can’t tell.

If there is one thing I’ve learned with this climate change, is that it is as erratic as a woman’s mind while shopping.

Advertisements

Written by Veni

March 28, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Posted in farm update

Tagged with

Seed swap

leave a comment »

At the natural farmer’s yahoo e-group they’re talking about seed exchange, and a get-together party while there’s a Food Bowl going on at Centris Walk in Quezon City.  Save for saluyot, or jute plant I don’t have much seeds to swap. I wonder if anyone would like cuttings of these mulberry tree.

black mulberry (morus nigra) in full bloom

Written by Veni

March 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Posted in forage

Tagged with

The man is home!

leave a comment »

When the man of the farm is home, like since this weekend, it means a lot:

1. The yard gets a sprucing up. Weeds gets busted.

2. Seeds are sown – veggies, trees, whatever he ate and liked in the city gets home wrapped in a tissue paper. This time he got camote cuttings, which he termed biglang-yaman, as it is called locally around Laguna where he got it. Also this time he got ginger, papaya seeds. His bag got full that he forgot to buy us chocolates and his kid,  Jollibee.

3. And also, all the things that were done while he was away that did not meet his standard, got lambasted as well. Uh, tough life at the farm.

4. Anyway, flowers are planted.  Yes, he brought cuttings or seeds of flowers. The backyard gets the looks of a backyard and the farm a bit of a farm.

Thanks God for the man around home!

Written by Veni

March 23, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Posted in farm update

Sowing good luck

leave a comment »

Good luck.

I never thought that a simple utterance of  good luck could elicit such raucous laughter from my son.  He is beside me filling polybags with soil. On those he filled up, I was trying to sow the seeds of miracle fruit, 9 seeds of them, that we asked from our future farm neighbor.  He must have known my knack for planting, and as I dumped each seed I gave them my blessing. Good luck. My son was in tears from laughing too much. He is joined by his father who is raking leaves nearby, who asked what am I planting called good luck.

Have I told you how, on our trip to Corregidor Island last year, I picked up seeds of fire tree and one other that I fancy, sown them when I got back home and out sprung guyabano seedlings?  I took the soil from the compost and that is most probably where I got those guyabano seeds. Anyway, to make it short, not one fire tree came out and now I am nursing a beautiful row of guyabano seedlings.

Miracle fruit, indeed.

Written by Veni

March 22, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Posted in farm update

Tagged with

CPF piglets

leave a comment »

My new piglets have finally arrived – all 8 of them. The two biggest weighs 10.75kg while the smallest  is at 8.75kg. They had an ave weight of 9.53kg.

40-day old piglets

They took well to a newly built corner of our pigpen, happily munching on charcoal tidbits that were mixed with the last batch of bedding mix. I remarked that they seem to have a bit of a smell- coming from a conventional pigpen hehe so on their first hour at their new home they got a brief shower of IMO. That is also meant to sanitize them, huh. This is going to be my first time to try CPF feeds for piglets and I would be happy to share how they are going to fare. When they are ready they will be shifted to natural feeds to lower production cost.

4m x 4m deep-bedding system and ample ventilation on all sides to keep it dry

Written by Veni

March 18, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Red Azolla: super hopes, super plans for a super plant

with one comment

Once again I marvel at the exchange of information and the speed of sharing among natural farmers at the Facebook. Altho I had first read about azolla at the yahoo egroup, where a lot of natural farmers were so generous to share their links regarding agriculture, the sharing of photos at FB impacted more as to what red azolla (Azolla pinnata) can be.

up close - fern like azolla with a sprinkling of duckweed fronds

Red Azolla is a small, native, floating fern – one of  only six, free-floating, aquatic fern species. It grows from 1 cm to 2.5 cm wide and is a bright green colour. Its colour changes to deep red when it is exposed to the sun, thus the name Red Azolla.

Mine comes from Santiago City, which Sandy sent in a lunch box - and it looks too good to be true!

day 1: transferred to a larger container followed by addition of dried, powdered goat's manure

It is a super plant capable of lowering your feed inputs for various livestock like chicken, cows and pigs, to pond fish as well being as a good biofertilizer. And since it multiply oh so rapidly, on a shallow pool laden with piggery effluent or cow dung, azolla farming is an easy addition to a farm. And its free.

 

day 10: almost ready for a new home

It can be fermented for 3 days before incorporating to grains, or sun-dried for three days, retaining its lush green color, before mixing to feeds.

adding goat's manure to pond

 

Written by Veni

March 18, 2011 at 10:52 am

Posted in farm update

Tagged with

Beating jack in the bush

with 3 comments

For many years now, the weed Hagonoy (Chromolaena odorata) had been creeping into our grazing land. Known to have originated from South and Central America, it is commonly called siam weed, triffid weed, bitter bush or jack in the bush (King and Robinson, 1970).

It is unliked by the goats, in fact it is locally known to be a poison to them. Even the cows leave them alone. So for some time now there is no recourse but to remove them. But the roots are very tricky, a single root will still grow and once it flowered a million more will bloom.

clearing up the land of hagonoy weed

In the past I remedied by giving up the land’s use for grazing, and planted forages. This time Ben will bring in the monkey, err the bananas, in the hope that we can finally beat jack in the bush.

Written by Veni

March 17, 2011 at 9:38 am

Posted in farm update

Tagged with

%d bloggers like this: