This One Coconut Tree Reveals Comparative Advantage of Green Coconut

This one particular coconut tree is my self-proclaimed Hall of Famer. The tree grows in my farm. Reckoned from the time the former owner acquired possession of the property, the tree is likely about 20 years old. The variety, though, is unknown.

This coconut tree is a prolific producer of medium-sized fruits, commonly called nuts, although no fertilization has ever been done. In August 2018 one bunch naturally dropped and found to contain 26 mature nuts. This was followed soon by one bunch with 24 nuts. The average was 25 per bunch.

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How We Produced Edible Mushrooms While Vermicomposting

Edible mushrooms, those wonderful saprophytic fungi, can be produced within the backyard at the same time that household wastes, sweepings, and other biodegradable materials are deliberately converted into compost through vermicomposting.

Vermicomposting is the process of producing organic soil supplement, called vermicompost, through the use of earthworms like the African night crawler or wriggler (Eudrilus eugeniae).

This technology was popularized in the Philippines by Dr. Rafael Guerrero III.

Normally, edible mushrooms are hunted during the rainy season.

We used to do this, usually from June to August, in our “playground” that is bounded to the west by the Silway River in General Santos City.

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More Efficient Mango Production Thru Integrated Farming System

The traditional Filipino farmer is not unfamiliar with integrated farming system (IFS), multiple cropping, and sustainable agriculture.

He who lives in the farm and mainly depends for subsistence from its produce should be ingenious.

He has to be, being short always of capital.

In order to maximize production from a farm with a limited area, he had to invent the “bahay kubo” or multiple cropping systems.

And then integrate it with the raising of livestock animals, poultry, and fish, where suitable.

In farms large enough to require the constant use of the plow, the carabao is always there (but click here to read the impact of Btrr corn on carabao).

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Defoliate to Synchronize Maturity of Mango Leaves, Synchronize Chemical Floral Induction Too

Mature mango leaves are essential for a successful chemical floral induction particularly in the Mangifera indica (commonly known as Philippine Carabao Mango).

By “mature” it means most leaves should have a dark-green to bronze-green color.

When crushed by hand there’s that crispy or crunchy sound like that when eating toasted bread as if the leaf blades have become brittle.

Leaves of mango must be mature before floral induction
Leaves of mango must be mature before floral induction

The maturity of mango leaves does not always occur at the same time from tree to tree and even within the same tree.

One tree may have both mature and immature leaves.

Likewise, trees in an orchard will have leaves in varying developmental stages.

To an orchard owner and to the mango contractor who induces for profit, it’s annoying that not all trees could be sprayed at one time.

Back when we were active in mango contracting, I and my working partner used to tag first the sprayable trees before the actual spraying.

This caused delay and additional costs, especially so because these trees are difficult to identify with mathematical precision.

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Bare-root Transplanting Also Applies to Adult Mango Trees and Other Crops

Bare-root transplanting is also applicable in large and adult plants including mango trees.

Transplanting is the process of moving a plant from one area where it is growing to another area while bareroots are plants that are devoid of soil or any growing medium enclosing the roots.

In a way, the roots are “bare” or “naked,” as in seedlings that are uprooted by hand from a seedbed.

Bareroot transplanting is most common in backyard gardens, vegetable gardening, and landscaping.

Most vegetable seeds are sown first on seedbeds and several days later the seedlings are lifted and transplanted into plots or pots.

It is also common in plant nurseries where seeds of certain crops, like mango, should preferably be sown in seedbeds before potting or because there are no available pots, or where there is a program to mass-produce potted seedlings using wildlings.

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Food Crops Can Be Grown in Vertical Gardens

Vertical gardens, also called wall gardenstapestry wallsliving wallsvegetal walls, and growing walls, have been introduced in landscape designs.

Concrete walls, including fences and the sides of buildings, are converted into living walls of vegetation in exquisite designs.

Vertical surfaces of structures that are either free-standing or part of a building can therefore be converted into an intriguing display of vegetation vertically, rather than horizontally as is practiced in the usual conventional gardens.

However, the potential of vertical gardens is not, and should not be, limited only to ornamental plants for aesthetic effects.

Vertical gardening is a promising technology that can be exploited within the urban areas for the increased production of food crops and other important crops, including culinary herbs and medicinal crops.

Such crops can be grown for home use and supplemental profit, as well as incorporated into the landscaping plan.

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How I Started Bonsai Shaping Before Planting and Discovered a New Technique

Bonsai shaping is a practice in making artistic “potted trees” that involves skillful works intended to transform a prebonsai stock or bonsai on-training into the desired style.

Among others, bonsai styles include single-trunked formal and informal uprights, slanting, windswept, weeping, literati, semi, and full cascades, broom, and driftwood.

Essentially bonsai shaping includes pruning and wiring of trees that are already growing on training pots.

But how do we go about those newly collected or rescued from the field?

For fresh, bareroot bonsai materials pulled out from the open field, I always practice bonsai shaping prior to planting in a training pot.

So did my mentors many years ago.

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There’s This Rice Paddy Where There Should Be None

No rice paddy or lowland rice field where the science and practice of rice production are taught? The land is unsuitable for lowland agriculture?

The remedy should be to build such a paddy out of concrete.

That exactly was what we did!

But only in limited area for instruction and research.

Concrete rice paddy with newly transplanted rice
Concrete rice paddy with newly transplanted rice

The structure is located at the Mindanao State University – Fatima Campus, General Santos City, Philippines.

Soil is sandy loam with shallow topsoil commonly only up to 30 cm deep and deeper it’s mostly sand.

Rainfall used to be very rare to the point that it became a joke in the 90’s that the climate was “dry” and “very dry”.

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The Making of the Coconut + Coffee + Chili Pepper Project Using Bareroot Coffee Wildlings as Planting Materials

Close to the end of August 2017 we uprooted coffee wildlings at Brgy. Datal Tampal in Malungon, Sarangani.

The 7-man expedition was launched to collect sufficient number of planting materials for direct planting at the Mindanao State University – Fatima Campus, General Santos City (MSU-GSC). 

The roots were immediately pruned to allow potting into small plastic bags as about one-half of the collection was intended for possible replanting.

The shoots were cut to about a foot from root collar to ensure that water loss is minimal and so prevent dehydration until firmly established.

We deemed it proper for directly planted bareroot wildlings at the project site.

In addition, the shortening of the shoot was intended to promote emergence of multiple sprouts close to the ground.

This should allow the development of coffee trees with multiple trunks or broom-style branches which later will be trained to produce a dwarf foliage.

A short coffee tree can be advantageous as berries will be within easy reach during harvesting.

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Crop Farmers, Home Gardeners, Plant Lovers, Join Us

This is a call and invitation intended for those crop farmers, farm managers, home gardeners, farmworkers, teachers, students, extension workers, technicians, plant lovers, and everyone else who may have first hand knowledge or actual experience in the application of unique agricultural technologies and practical methods in farming and gardening.

Come on, let us join hands in building an e-museum that will store and exhibit these stories.

To participate, post your story via the Comments box provided below. Please abide by our commenting rules (click here to read) and use English only.

Follow also the principles of 5Ws and 1H (who, what, where, when, why, and how) in your writing.

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