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.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Hoping for mango harvest next year

We have almost zero mango harvest the past 6 or 7 years because of the continuing pests, "kurikong manga". These are invisible microorganisms that come and attack the fruits from young age (less than nail/kuko size) up to about 2 months old. Once the pests attack, there is almost 90-100% crop failure. The past groups of sprayers all lost money.

Another group of mango sprayers have come, sharing now is 70-30 for the sprayers-mango owners. Gone are the 60-40 sharing because of the huge risks and high costs involved. I took these photos last September 24 when I visited the farm. This out-of-place cogon grew on one dead branch of the mango tree, funny.

The trees are somehow well-rested because they have not produced huge mangos for several years, although they produced lots of flowers and small fruits at the early stage before the kurikong manga wiped out the fruits.

The sprayers have cleared some of the mango trees. They have several workers + grass cutters. This work our farm caretaker Nong Endring cannot do anymore because he's already old but he still goes to the farm daily.

More newly-cleared areas. Not only that fire hazards from dry cogon and other grasses, vines are removed, air can also easily pass through below the tree.

One of the big trees in the farm. This is nearly 100 years old. Some branches are already dead, no leaves but the other branches have the potential to produce more fruits.

Some wild or naturally-regenerating trees near the mango area. Molave, karael, fire tree, etc.

The sprayers are using calcium nitrate for flower induction or inducing mango flowers to come out. The usual chemical for flower induction used by many sprayers is potassium nitrate (KNO3). I don't know the advantages and disadvantages of one from the other. They are in the business of mango spraying, they know better than me.

This brand can be used not only for mangos but also for bananas, corn, eggplants, etc. as seen in the white sack.

The sprayers won't be using pesticides and insecticides when the young fruits come out. They will wrap each fruit at young age (less than nail/kuko size) so that the kurikong manga cannot penetrate the fruits on a large scale. There will still be crop damage for sure, but minimal. Very labor intensive but will also greatly reduce the expenses for spraying pesticides and insecticides.

More updates when I go back to the farm late this month.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

New mini-dam

Another small project in the farm. Blocking a mini creek with lots of rocks and stones. Reduce flash flood during heavy rains, control erosion, have a mini waterfalls later.

Back/rear view. Lots of medium size and smaller stones as the main blocking force vs rampaging flash floods during heavy rains. About 1 meter thick at the base.

Top view.

Before adding a layer at the back. Our two dogs having a stroll.

About 10 meters before this structure, same canal, a bigger and taller mini-dam. 

See, New and thick rock barrier, January 09, 2017.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

My treehouse is 13 years old

My current treehouse was built March 2004 or 13 years ago. It undergoes repairs from time to time because the live mahogany tree where it is perched is growing bigger and taller. Back view of the house.

Photos taken last weekend, March 04.


Photos of the treehouse below were taken some 2-5 months ago. View from the creek....

View from the other side.

Original treehouse, very basic, was built in September 2002. I liked the experience of sleeping in the treehouse, I dismantled the old, smaller house and built the bigger, 2-storey house. With our caretakers and extra workers. Famous artist Clifford Espinosa helped me design the house, though not all specifications were followed due to limited funds.

Rice field in front of the treehouse.

The rice field seen from the 2nd floor of the house.


The scenes change depending on the season of the year -- planting, growing, harvesting, on fallow, etc.

The trees to the left and right sides of the treehouse. Photos taken last weekend, March 04.


Further at the back of the treehouse. Lots of small and medium-size mahogany trees.

See also: 
Treehouse, Versions 2002 vs. 2014, April 24, 2014
My Treehouse is 11 Years Old, February 10, 2015
Fields of Gold, Harvested, March 02, 2015
My treehouse is 12 years old, February 07, 2016