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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African Night Crawler, Other Composting Earthworms Described

The African night crawler (ANC), known scientifically as Eudrilus eugeniae, is considered as the most efficient epigeic or composting earthworm in the tropics (Guerrerro 2009).

Even in 1981, Graff (cited by Guerrero et al. 1999) already reported that the ANC was used for vermicomposting in the tropics.

The African night crawler (Eudrilus eugeniae) has been widely used in mesophilic production of compost.

The ANC was introduced into the Philippines by Dr. Rafael D. Guerrero III in 1982 via West Germany, the original cocoons courtesy of Dr. Otto Graff (Guerrero et al. 1984).

The origin of this species is West Africa, but it is now widely distributed in both tropical and subtropical countries of the world (Graff 1981, cited by Guerrero et al. 1984).

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What Is Vermicompost, When Is It Mature?

According to Edwards and Arancon (2006), vermicomposts are organic materials, broken down by interactions between earthworms and microorganisms to produce fully-stabilized organic soil amendments with low C:N ratios.

They also have a huge and diverse microbial and enzymatic activity, fine particulate structure, good moisture-holding capacity, and contain nutrients such as N, K, P, Ca and Mg in forms readily taken up by plants.

They contain both plant growth hormones and humic acids which can act as plant growth regulators.

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Green Coconut Can Generate More Profit

My inclusion of green coconut as an alternative option in the master plan for the farm was recently boosted.

BusinessWorld reported on April 26, 2019 that a company in the Philippines inked a business deal to supply $36.5 million worth of green coconuts to China.

This report further restrengthened author’s impression on young nuts which already peaked upon discovery of that exceptionally prolific coconut tree in the farm.

To understand more, this ought to be read as a continuance of a separate page.

A link is provided at the bottom.

Long before the report, I already started propagating and planting these medium-sized nuts at the farm.

I rationalized that medium-sized nuts would offer more options instead of relying heavily on copra as a product for marketing.

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Contribution to the History of Photosynthesis: Jean Senebier

Jean Sénébier (1742-1809). Jean Senebier was a Swiss pastor and botanist from Geneva.

He established that carbon dioxide (fixed air) was essential to photosynthesis.

He showed that plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen (dephlogisticated air) (Govindjee and Krogmann 2005).

His research on plants was encouraged by the discovery of Jan Ingenhousz in1780 that a green leaf did not produce “dephlogisticated air” in boiled distilled water.

This means that where water does not contain carbon dioxide, a submerged leaf does not produce oxygen.

However, it was Jean Senebier who later made the conclusion (Egerton 2008).

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Review: Natural Mechanisms That Deter Self-pollination But Favor Cross-pollination

There are crops which produce fruits and seeds mainly after undergoing cross-pollination, like corn, instead of self pollination.

Knowing the inherent characteristics of any particular plant as to the natural mechanisms briefly discussed below should prove valuable to any one who wishes to engage in crop improvement.

Indeed, basic procedures on plant breeding have been designed according to the natural modes of pollination of crops.

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What Are Those Fibers Derived From Fiber Crops, Their Classifications, and Characteristics

Fiber crops are plants that are intentionally grown or otherwise managed for the production of fibers or fibrous materials with varied uses but not for dietary purposes.

Fibers are mainly  schlerenchyma cells that serve as component of plant skeleton and are often associated with vascular tissue.

These are usually long cells with pointed ends which typically occur in strands.

Any part of the plant such as the root, stems, leaves, fruits and seeds can have fibers but they differ in characteristics such as texture, length, color, strength, and chemical composition.

The abaca or Manila hemp, considered as the world’s premier fiber crop for making cords and ropes, has fibers which can reach 3 meters long.

These fibers have reportedly been used as composite materials in the manufacture of certain parts of cars (Obmerga 2011).

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Two Strains of Molave Tree Distinguished

I am quite familiar with the molave tree (Vitex parviflora Juss.), also called small-flower chaste tree,  molawintugas, and many other vernacular names.

At least I am confident enough that I can identify the tree in any size, on field or on a pot, including stocked logs and posts, with respectable accuracy.

I’m likewise familiar with the two strains or types growing in the province of Sarangani and in General Santos City, Philippines, known locally as the tugas babae and the tugas lanhan.

However, whether the two are simply botanical variants of the same species or they are distinct species need further enlightenment from plant taxonomists.

In this paper and elsewhere in this site, the use of the term strain and type are merely for convenience and does not connote an expert determination of the issue.

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How to Propagate the Molave Tree?

The molave tree (Vitex parviflora Juss.) is a plant belonging to the family Verbenaceae.

It is a close relative of the five-leaved chaste tree or lagundi (Vitex negundo).

Also called molawin and tugas, it is a medium- to large-sized, drought-tolerant, hardwood tree which is indigenous to the Philippines and other Asian countries. It has multiple uses.

In Sarangani, Philippines, these trees naturally grow on limestone, sinking their roots into crevices.

Two types are indigenous in the province. One is locally called tugas babae (“babae” is Filipino word for woman). The other type is called tugas lanhan (“lanhan” means oily).

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Agronomic Crops Compared With Horticultural Crops: A General Reference

What comprises the agronomic crops?

There is no unanimous agreement, but there is wide support that the species in each of the following plant groupings belong to the domain of agronomy:

  • cereal or grain crops;
  • grain legumes or pulses and oilseed crops for food, feed, or industrial use;
  • pasture and forage crops;
  • fiber crops;
  • sugar crops;
  • and starchy root and tuber crops.

From the different divisions or branches of horticulture, the horticultural crops consist of the olericultural or vegetable crops, pomological or fruit crops and edible nuts, floricultural and other ornamental crops, and nursery crops.

In addition, the aromatic crops and the medicinal crops are generally included.

The ornamental crops are further grouped into flowering and foliage plants which are grown for special purposes such as for cutflowers, potted plants, landscaping, interior decoration, or floral arrangement.

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