Thursday, March 24, 2016

Numbering the trees

We started numbering the various forest tree species in the farm, at least those that are about 5 inches or wider in diameter at breast height (dbh). Danny is in charge of this work. First he used white paint, but it was not visible enough, so he bought blue paint, now more visible.

Those that are at least 8 inches dbh and are harvestable are numbered 01 to 80+, as of last Saturday, March 19 when I visited the farm. Those that are 5-8 inches dbh are numbered 101 to 580+ as of last Saturday.

There are tens of thousands of trees in the farm, mostly mahogany in the lowland, followed by gmelina in the upland, then some eucalyptus, acacia auri and acacia mangium, narra. There are many local and endemic species like molave, karael, etc.

These are planted mahogany trees about 7-8 years ago perhaps. They are standing on rocky soil so they cannot grow fast and big but they are able to survive and thrive.

No big and mature tree that produce seeds yet, so there are no naturally growing trees yet and hence, the spacing is maintained. Once a big tree will produce seeds and scatter them, this area will look "chaotic" with thousands of new saplings growing every year in between those bigger trees.

The old canal that diverted part of the water in the creek into the other side, via a small dam and 3 hoses.

When trees of different ages grow, they look like this. This is between the well-spaced trees above, and the rice field near my treehouse.

Danny will be numbering the gmelina trees in the area that got burned two weeks ago. He will need an extra worker to assist him as Nong Endring is already old to walk and work long in far out areas of the farm,

See also:
Trees in the Farm, Part 3, February 11, 2013Trees in the farm, Part 4, June 23, 2015
Trees in the farm, Part 5, October 13, 2015

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Mini-dam terraces

* Note: The original title of this  post is "Terraces, Part 13". Four entries and sets of photos here.

(1) February 28, 2016

Last weekend I visited the farm. Little time as I have to go back to Makati same day, we only worked on this area. The 4th layer or row was repaired after the soil it was standing on has sunk.

How tall is this mini-dam, well compare its height with Danny, Nong Endring's son and helps his father in the farm, and Danny is about 5"10'.

(2) August 02, 2015

I visited the farm last Saturday. Previous weeks, we added the 4th layer as the stones continue to shrink, though at low rates now.

Side view, and left side of the structure, below.

And here is the adjusted structure, moving to 5 layers from the previous 2-3 layers. Nong Endring is standing at the top putting new grasses and leaves. See his height compared with the height of the structure. It's simply getting higher, sturdier.

The mini-pool at the back of the structure, the impounded water. Above photo,  taken 3 weeks earlier.

(3) July 14, 2015

The 3-layer terraces, March 2015 (top photo) and July 2015 (below). We started building the 4th layer last month.

(4) March 13, 2015.

Two weekends ago, I visited the farm. The big "wall" that we built several years ago, the stones are shrinking, as the soil below them becomes compacted. Time to adjust them. We removed one layer of stones each on the first and second rows, and put them on the third row.

Below, before we  worked on it. Notice the 3rd row, the sinking is visible...

After. The 3rd row became higher and more prominent.

Top view, before and after. Behind the big stones in each row are many smaller stones to stabilize them. Plus soil and organic matter as additional but weaker back up materials. Where did we get the soil and additional smaller stones...

From here. The trapped organic matter that has decomposed and became very soft soil. We removed about six inches deep on average here. This area becomes a temporary pool of trapped water and organic matter during heavy rains. Meaning, it can reduce a huge volume of water and hence, reduce flash flood, and reduce or prevent erosion of precious top soil in this part of the farm. 


See also:
Terraces, Part 9, July 07, 2014 
Terraces, Part 10, August 30, 2014
Terraces, Part 11, October 22, 2014
Terraces, Part 12, November 28, 2014