Monday, March 31, 2014

Stone Terraces, Part 7

I went back to the farm last weekend. The two-layers terrace last month became three-layers.

Here's how we built the 3rd layer. Big stones in the front, small stones right behind them, medium size stones at the back, and soil in between the two columns of stones. This is nearly two feet thick at the base, around two feet high.

View at the back of the third layer. Dried leaves and branches of mostly mahogany trees which changed all their leaves this February-March. The soil, where did we get it?

From the trapped top soil and organic materials that decomposed and became soil. See how deep this small waterway is. Our caretaker Nong Endring standing. He was about eight meters from the third layer of stones.

The view from where Nong Endring was standing. The height should be about seven feet or more than two meters high. He said that last year during heavy rains, this structure would trap rain water for three to four days. Meaning if there was heavy rain today, the water would remain in this pond for 3-4 days. Which means flash flood has been significantly minimized, eroded top soil has been impounded, and a mini-spring water is created in this area, slowly released at the first layer of stones hours and days after a heavy rain has stopped.

We measured how deep the trapped top soil has been since about three or four years ago when we first built the structure. About one foot deep, about eight meters from the 3rd layer of stones. About two to three meters from the 3rd layer, depth of trapped top soil could be about 1.5 to 2 feet.

Width about six feet.

On one side of this structure, I decided to build a 2nd layer of stones on this side. View before building it.

After. The 2nd layer of stones could be about 2 1/2 feet high. I decided to have a 3rd layer. Not yet done but it's there, will just add more stones to make it higher, another 2 1/2 feet high perhaps.

From one end of the newly-built 2nd and 3rd layers of stone terraces...

To another side.

An old stone terrace going to my treehouse was also raised. Then a 2nd layer was also built.

The guys who helped me last weekend, from left: Nong Endring, Boknoy, Nonong's younger brother who substituted him (Nonong worked the previous day) and Sid. Not in the photo is Danny Paragas, our 2nd caretaker as he was driving a tricycle that afternoon.

This coming May 12, I will attend a meeting at the Bureau of Soil and Water Management (BSWM) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Quezon City. A group of soil scientists and engineers from Thailand, China and other Asian countries who will attend a Philippine Soil Conservation conference in Aklan in early May, will tour some offices in Metro Manila and Central Luzon. The Past President of the World Association for Soil and Water Conservation (WASWAC), Dr. Samran Sombatpanit, will lead this team. Doc Samran is an old friend and he likes our soil conservation project in the farm, purely private initiative. He asked me if I can present our experience at the meeting at BSWM, I said Yes.

See also:
Stone terraces, Part 3, February 11, 2011
Stone terraces, Part 4, April 10, 2011
Stone terraces, Part 5, May 02, 2013
Stone Terraces, Part 6, February 23, 2014

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