Monday, May 05, 2014

Conserving Organic Materials

Every year, mahogany trees change all of their leaves around February-March, and grow a new batch of leaves. by March-April  Other tree species also exhibit this annual process, at different period or months. So the volume of fallen leaves, dried branches, especially if the trees are already big, is huge, like below. All photos below as of yesterday, when I visited the farm over the weekend.

After collecting the dried leaves and other organic materials. Oh, the langka/jackfruit, I forgot to bring it home to Manila. It's one of the minor products of the farm. Ok, so where did we put this huge volume of organic materials?

Here, impounded by stones gathered from a nearby creek. The newly collected materials just topped off the old layers of dried organic materials.

If you remove the top layer of the dried leaves, below it are decomposed materials that became rich top soil. Trees develop new small but elaborate roots on its lower trunk, above the original soil level, to get rich minerals from their new topsoil.

Other views or angles of the collected materials.

We are just lucky to be near a creek where many big stones can be gathered, manually.

Nong Endring Paragas, our farm caretaker for many years. He is holding a stick approximately 1 meter long. This side is 5 meters long. The average height of the collected materials is about 0.5 meter high. And the width, around 2.5 meters.

So estimated volume of organic materials collected in this part of the farm is:

Volume = Length x Width x Height = 5 x 2.5 x 0.5 meters = 6.25 cubic meters,
advanced staged of decomposed materials. If these leaves were collected earlier, the volume should be double or more.

Two young boys that I hired to help collect the organic materials, Romeo and Nonong, locals or barrio folks.

These and other photos I will present in a special meeting of officers of the World Association for Soil and Water Conservation (WASWAC) this coming May 12, at the Bureau of Soil and Water Management (BSWM), Department of Agriculture, Quezon City. Dr. Samran Sombatpanit, Past President of WASWAC, also a long time friend, invited me to be one of the presenters that day. Audience will be Chinese and Thai soil scientists and engineers, plus some staff and officials of the BSWM.

See also:
Stone terraces, Part 4, April 10, 2011
Stone terraces, Part 5, May 02, 2013
Stone Terraces, Part 6, February 23, 2014
Stone Terraces, Part 7, March 30, 2014

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