Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Stone terraces, Part 4

This is the stone terrace that we built since around February-March 2010. It has blocked and impounded several cubic meters of organic matter like dried leaves and branches, eroded topsoil brought down by the flash flood, and so on. The Before and After pictures after the thick dried mahogany leaves were cleared on the terrace.

Here’s a comparison of the pictures, June 2010 and April 2011. This structure has survived the past flash floods during the last rainy season. Meaning the structure is stable and well-constructed enough. And the thick organic matter behind the stones have acted as supporting materials to impound everything that was brought down by the flash flood.

Another comparison of the terrace, top view. There was a huge deposit of dried leaves last month and this month under the mahogany trees. We just have to gather and transfer those that are far from this impounding area.

And here's the gully that we hope to be covered with various organic matter and rich soil in a few years. I would say that this is a rather ambitious project. The depth of the gully from its two high sides is probably around 8 to 10 meters. This area will three important functions: (a) reduce flash flood during heavy rains, (b) impound organic matter and rich top soil, and (c) beautification as the stones will become a huge wall someday.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Vegetable plots

The main products in our farm are mangos. Then forest trees, and a small rice output. I will write more about them in future “Farming notes” series.

Recently, our caretaker, Nong Endring Paragas, partnered with one of his neighbors in the barangay proper, Anoling, to plant more vegetables during the dry season. They planted sitao (stringbeans). It was a good decision. Sitao would grow up to 4 months, nearly 3 months of which a farmer can harvest twice a week on average on the same plant. So they have regular supply of free vegetables in their house while earning some money by selling the surplus products.

They also planted talong (eggplant). From the pictures I took last weekend, it seems that their talong are growing well. Photo above, that’s me . Photo below also shows some kalabasa (quash) and ampalaya crawling on an elevated structure.

These are organic vegetables. The scope of production though is small scale. Their excess harvest are sold only in the barrio or in the town center.

Nong Endring also has several banana plants. The main enemy of banana though, are the bats and sometimes rats. They attack the bananas even before the fruits would mature. Grassfire and forest fire from somewhere in the uplands would also damage bananas and other crops.