farm update

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

Posts Tagged ‘water cabbage

Finding Quiapo

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With the buzz about azolla and how it could replace a great portion of livestock feeds, I set out to find mine. They say it can be found in the wild, on still bodies of waters. On one side of our farm was a shallow creek , where all the carabaos in the barrio take their respite from the midday sun. Its water runs down the sea. Not the place to go to. Inside the farm is an even smaller canal, where a large pool of rainwater from the adjoining plains gather, and empties in to the previously mentioned creek. Some times of the year it dries up. Not this one either.

As I was talking to the plumber-guy-with-four-kids how raising pigs can now be done without smell, how cost can be lowered by planting forages, and how I was looking for more kinds of alternative to feed mine, my farm-all-around-guy overheard us and announced that he thinks he just got the problem solved. Then he went to the idle land beside the farm, where there was a large hole with water, and fished a single water plant.

quiapo

I then published it on my Facebook and singling out azolla, as by this time I am getting familiar with photos of azolla from my friend’s photos,  identified it as duckweed.  Well,  it’s not a water lily and I don’t know any other water plant anymore.  But the photos on the net doesn’t match. Then I saw one at Moje’s photo album on the recently concluded Horticulture display at Manila Seedling Bank in Quezon City. She then identified it as Quiapo,  Water Cabbage  or water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes).

water cabbage/water lettuce/quiapo

Next I read on how it can be of use. On some areas it is regarded as a highly-invasive weed. Alone or in a small group floating on a pond, it does look good forming a rosette of wedge-shaped leaves. I cannot find info on its nutritional content. I read from Sandy’s blog her new native piggies doesn’t like it.  I read from Jojie it is a good amendment to compost, as it is high on phosphorous.

On a pond with azolla or duckweed, it will overwhelm the little ones. Cultivate it alone, or fish to add to compost.

Written by Veni

February 25, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Posted in farm update

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