Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The creek and the rice field

The creek in the farm is among its most important asset. Its winding path can irrigate many areas of the farm for water-dependent crops like rice. Photos below taken last September 26, 2015, my last visit there. In this photo, my treehouse is about 30 meters away, left side of this spot.

Nong Endring Paragas, our caretaker, cleared this area of the creek so he can plant some camote (sweet potato), a crawling plant which is good in controlling grasses and cogons.

The rice field on the left and the creek on the right.

The newly-established camote, few weeks old.

The creek irrigates this rice field which Nong Endring has been tilling for more than three decades now. He plants and harvests twice a year. Harvest though is not big as there are many natural enemies there -- maya birds, rats, snails, etc. This field has no neighboring rice fields, so those pests' attention is not diverted elsewhere, only this area.

But Nong Endring keeps planting rice, partly to keep it clean and beautiful; otherwise, grasses and cogons will easily invade this area, and it will look ugly. My treehouse in the background, surrounded by mostly mahogany trees in the back and on its two sides, and the rice field in the front.

The ricefield viewed from the 2nd floor of my treehouse. I am greatly relaxed when I'm in the farm, even if I stretch my arms and muscles working on anything there. And especially after taking lunch at the treehouse, just resting my sleepy and tired body for half hour or less.

View on the right side of my treehouse.

Nong Endring expanding the rice field as the creek is shifting its path. That area where Nong Endring is standing on used to be the creek. After several years of flash flood, the water deposited eroded rocks, stones and soil here while it has shifted path on the right side.

Nature has its own work on natural landscaping and re-landscaping.

See also:
My swimming pool in the farm, 2005, June 10, 2011

Creek, canal and irrigation, September 05, 2011
Relaxing in the creek, January 05, 2013

Trees in the farm, Part 5

Photos below as of September 26, 2015, my last visit to the farm in Bugallon, Pangasinan. This is the main road going there. Passable by tricycles, non-4WD but higher clearance vehicles.

Peeping at the pathway going to the treehouse, between small mahogany trees and coconut trees.

My treehouse, surrounded by mostly mahogany trees on the left, back and right. Then the rice field of Nong Endring, our caretaker. On the left side are some acacia auri young trees.

Going a bit up, not passable to any vehicle because the creek has widened and deepened, after years of heavy flash flood every year. Trek by foot or bicycle.

Y foot path. To the left is going to the mango farm, to the right is going to the irrigation canal, more mahogany trees, and the upland.

The farm is being sold by the owners. Prospective buyers ask how many trees are there, wow. Difficult to answer, should be a few tens of thousands, big and small. Some parts have become new natural forest, the new trees just sprout like grasses.

Some parts of the farm are not conducive to any crops, not even trees could grow big. These are the rocky parts with some mineral deposits, mostly silica.

The irrigation canal. The trees here have grown rather more evenly.

Once the trees have established themselves, grasses and  cogons can no longer survive. No sunlight for them, no substantial soil nutrients for them as these have been gobbled by the elaborate roots of mahogany trees.

With zero mango harvest the past four years, revenues from selling lumber from some big trees have helped us pay for the monthly salary + SSS contributions of our two caretakers, Nong Endring  and his son Danny.

See also: 
Trees in the Farm, Part 3, February 11, 2013

Natural Regeneration of Trees, February 21, 2013
Tree Planting vs. Tree Growing, June 08, 2014 
Wasteful DENR Reforestations, October 22, 2014 
Denuded Uplands, Western Pangasinan, February 17, 2015

Trees in the farm, Part 4, June 23, 2015