Saturday, November 03, 2018

Hoping for another mango harvest

Nong Endring, the lone farm caretaker. Behind him are my treehouse, his harvested rice field, and a branch of mango flowers. 

Then a big mango tree, hoping that we can get a share and taste of the mango harvest sometime early next year. The past seven years until this year, straight no mango harvest in the farm because of 'kurikong manga' pest.

The rice field in front of my treehouse, Nong Endring suffered losses in the 1st cropping because of new rice pest, he and his partner harvested only 6 cavans. They hope to earn in the 2nd cropping.

Meanwhile the mango area really needs wide clearing of those tall and thick grasses.

The sprayer group will come back later this month to resume flower induction spraying, also clean the area.

Many years ago when Nong Endring was still stronger, he has 3-4 cows that regularly clear and eat the grasses. Now either the mango sprayers or occasional forest and grass fires that reach the farm would clear those tall grasses.

Paved road to Bugallon MRF

The barangay road going up to the mountains of Bugallon (Pangasinan) materials recovery facility (MRF) and solid waste area has been finally completed about two months ago. Photos below I took last October 18, 2018.

The dirt road turning left is going to the Millora Farm.

End of the road at the top. A big resthouse or structure. Some of the trees felled by storm Mangkhut last September.

The not-yet segregated solid wastes.

Nonetheless, this new road is a good project for the barangay. There are many houses and farms along the way -- rice fields, mango plantation, endemic forest trees.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Treehouse and agro-forestry

I took these photos today of my treehouse in the farm in Bugallon, Pangasinan. It's now 14 years old.

And view from the 2nd floor of my treehouse overlooking a field of gold, mature rice ready to be harvested. The farm caretaker Nong Endring and his partner-farmer planted the rice.

Closer view of the treehouse. It is perched on a big, live mahogany tree. The trees around it except the front view are mostly mahogany.

No electricity in the area so a bit lonely at night but very quiet except for some chirping insects, a dog barking from time to time. I don't sleep there anymore at night when I visit the farm. Other parts of the farm are planted with mature mango trees.

Nong Endring said they expect small harvest here because a new pest has attacked the rice when it started producing the grains, so there are fewer mature grains now. This is among the problems of non-mono-culture, pests (including rats, maya birds, etc.) hiding or residing in nearby trees and grasses can attack the crops. Mono-culture can deprive these pests to establish elaborate hiding areas.

Again, this is NOT my farm, I don't own it, Millora Enterprises own it. I just visit it regularly, the Millora family is my second family in Manila.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Reducing flash flood

My little dam in the farm (Brgy Laguit Padilla, Bugallon, Pangasinan) is strong enough to impound water and hence, help reduce flash flood during heavy rains. No cement and steel, only stones, sand, soil, organic matter. And no government funding, tax money or agency involved. Pictures taken last Wednesday.


How it looked in April-May 2017.

Rear view of the impounded water, picture last Wednesday.

 How it looked in January-February 2017.

People should prepare for rising creeks, rivers and lakes, not rising ocean. Lots of sick and dead people in Pangasinan flooding the past 4 weeks alone due to prolonged flooding and leptospirosis.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Our dogs in the farm, Part 3

Among the things that I enjoy at the farm is walking with my 3 dogs, Scaredy, Milo and Shiver. The first two are males, Shiver (to my left in the photo below) is female. My daughters gave those names Scaredy and Shiver when they were still puppies and stayed in our house in Makati. To my right is one of two dogs that guard the farm and my treehouse 24/7. He just grew up there.

Scaredy trying to lick my face, agh.

Scaredy walking past the tomb of Zorro, a Japanese spitz and among our dogs from Makati who were later transferred to the farm. He died about 10 years ago.

Nong Endring followed by the 5 dogs.

Taken few weeks ago, Milo, Scaredy and Shiver (left to right) trying to play with this young cow on our way to the farm, a carabao is looking nearby. Young cow says to the dogs, "Shooo, go away."

Dogs also tried to approach a young carabao, perhaps 1-2 month/s old, baby carabao went instead to its Mama.

See also:
Our dogs in the farm, July 17, 2007 
Our Dog Gives Her Milk to Kittens, July 08, 2014

Our dogs in the farm, Part 2, March 08, 2017

Rip-raps repaired

At the base of my treehouse is a thick layer of stones cemented to protect the base from soil erosion and occasional flash flooding. I noticed that one section has been eroded and hence, needs repair. I and Nong Endring gathered many stones, big and small, to repair and protect the eroded section. 

Side view. Dried leaves and grasses, small vines were put behind the stones.

In another section of the farm, these stones are holding on.

A rock barrier to minimize flash floods, collect and trap eroded organic materials and topsoil.

Another rock barrier, near my treehouse.

Corn in the farm

Our farm caretaker, Nong Endring Paragas did not plant rice 2nd cropping because of plenty of natural enemies in the farm -- mostly maya birds, then rats, snails, etc. The sister in law of his son Danny who also helps in the farm, proposed the planting of corn. Fine, continued cropping prevents the growth of unsightly cogon, vines, other grasses in the rice area in front of my treehouse.

I have three sets of photos here taken on three different dates.

(1) February 14, 2018.


Center view, facing the treehouse and on the 2nd floor of the treehouse.

(2) March 11. Corn are now taller and bigger.


Center view from the 2nd floor of my treehouse.

(3) March 30.

View from the 2nd floor of my treehouse.


Projected harvest I think is late April to early May. I hope they will earn here so that their four months of labor will be rewarded.

The tree in the treehouse

My treehouse is attached to a living mahogany tree in the middle. So during the rainy season, lots of leaves would be sprouting in the tree trunk. And even during the dry season, a few leaves would sprout. I took this photo last weekend.

The trunk is getting bigger and taller. Below, braces of the stairs handle are slowly swallowed by the tree. I took these photos 3 weeks ago.

Braces are either swallowed or being pushed out of the tree.