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Jul 07, 2017

Today At The Farm

We are extending our perimeter fence in some areas as we need to increase the number of fields or 'padang'.
Today, as we walk along the newly planted pillars checking on the work by our contractor, Along, we passed a fenced up existing field with chickens inside that is covered with a thin layer of agricultural plastic sheeting / mulch :

Me: So Fauzi, any more wild boar problems?
Fauzi: alhamdulillah bos, no more. Now we only have some loss due to eagles.
Me: How do you know it's eagles and not wild boar?
Fauzi: Eagles, they only eat a little, maybe the organs and some meat from the breast then they leave the carcass. The wild boar, they will eat everything and leave only the feet sometimes. Eagles may kill 3 to 5 chickens. But wild boar, sometimes up to 20 chickens.

A cheap solution to an expensive problem for farmers, without killing any wild animals. ( Simple, effective solutions unfortunately are not patentable )

wild boar, pigs, anti-pig fencing, organic farming, dq farm,

wild boar, pigs, anti-pig fencing, organic farming, dq farm,

Jul 04, 2017

Today at the Wild Farming Pilot #wildfarming

'Wild Farming' is a work-in-progress to mimic nature.  On a vegetable plot, we will plant maybe 40% non-market plants, some with insect repellent properties, some that are just aromatic to confuse insects, etc., and 60% a mix of, or a variety of, market vegetables and plants.  In our pilot plot here, the market vegetables are ridge gourd, brinjal, bird's eye chili, sweet corn and lady's fingers. 

We are expecting some sweet corn next week; "GMO free some more" 
Chilies should be plentiful next couple of weeks. Lady's fingers have started to produce. The terung has slowed a bit but we shall fix that with a compost dressing this couple of days. Over at the petola section, they are working overtime!

wild farming, sustainable agriculture, organic farming,

wild farming, sustainable agriculture, organic farming,

wild farming, sustainable agriculture, organic farming,

wild farming, sustainable agriculture, organic farming,

wild farming, sustainable agriculture, organic farming,

 

Jan 19, 2015

Hot Weather's On The Way

A bird seldom seen, though by no means rare, is the Green-billed Malkoha, Phaenicophaeus tristis. It is a jungle bird as can be seen by its habit of hopping and jumping around branches in a tree. In fact sometimes it 'runs' up a tree in a series of hops much like a squirrel.
The Malkoha has been a resident in our farm for a few years now. We were surprised to see this individual building a nest in one of our fruit trees right next to a busy farm road. It seems absolutely perturbed by our presense as it goes about gathering twigs and leaves for its nest. It must be at least 3rd generation farm-born to show this level of confidence.
We designed and maintained our farm as a sanctuary for wild-life, even predators. We hope to demonstrate that it is possible to farm and yet co-exists with Nature.

 phaenicophaeus tristis,green-billed malkoha,rare birds,malkoha,non-parasitic cuckoo

phaenicophaeus tristis,green-billed malkoha,rare birds,malkoha,non-parasitic cuckoo

 

Here's a video we took of it hopping around a dead tree gathering twigs:

Dec 12, 2013

Award for Malaysia's Most Consistent And Steadfast farm in implementing GAP.

The Ministry of Agriculture gave us a national award on December 3, 2013 for being Malaysia’s most consistent and steadfast farm in implementing and following Good Agricultural Practice since 2006.

organic certification, good agricultural practice, s.o.m., malaysia organic farm, malaysia organic standard, malaysia organic certificate,

Apr 17, 2013

Useful Plants At The Farm - Sirihan, Piper Aduncum / Angustifolium

The early European explorers to South America must have thought this plant is so important they propagated it where ever they went.  It is now found naturalised in most tropical parts of the world.

At our farm it is a valuable part of the natural remedies we have for our chickens.

sirihan, piper aduncum, piper angustifolium, natural remedies for chickens,

The inflorescence attracts squirrels, tree shrews and civets.

sirihan, piper aduncum, piper angustifolium, natural remedies for chickens,

Like its cousin the green pepper vine, lots and lots of inflorescence.

sirihan, piper aduncum, piper angustifolium, natural remedies for chickens,

In the fields, they provide shade for the chickens but be careful, they are very invasive and will take over the entire padang!

Here's the technical information : Rain-Tree.com

Crush the leaves.  If it has a slight peppery smell, you have the sirihan in your farm.  Use it by pounding the leaves and squeezing out in a pail of water, or by decoction.  Dosage is dependent on age and symptom.

Apr 16, 2013

Free-Range Egg Model for Rural Farmers

This is the free-range layer model we intend to implement as a social enterprise with rural low-income farmers.  If they sell the eggs themselves at the Farmers’ Market, each egg should fetch rm1.00 each.  We will supply them 200 pullets that are close to laying unlike what is happening now when the poor farmers are given day-olds and in no time, disease will wipe out all the birds.

At the very least, the farmers can expect an income of between rm2500 to rm3000.00 per month.

We will be starting with five farmers in Pahang.

Apr 15, 2013

Sights And Sounds Of The Farm - Emerald Doves

Emerald Doves are usually very flighty and nervous near humans due to poaching.  At our farm, they are resident and are found in many nooks and corners.  Many times they will just swagger off, in a pigeony way (which they are) when they see us.  Here's one that's just in front of our workers' quarters.  The video of it feeding in our garden captures the sounds of the farm at around 11 am, mid-morning.  If we hadn't tell you, you would think the video is in the forest with the myriad sounds of birds and insects.  But that's what we are trying to achieve in our farming - that we can be commercial and yet be in harmony with Nature.

emerald dove, nature farming, permaculture, sounds of tropical forest,

Here's a recording of the sounds that you will hear at our farm.  You would be forgiven if you think you are in the jungle.

Apr 14, 2013

Our Chickens Love Our Fruits As Much As We Do

People ask why we feed our chickens fruits, up to 40% of their diet, and not sell the fruits and use the proceeds to buy cheap grains like corn, since fruits, especially our certified organic fruits fetch such a high price?  Well the answer is this: We Are What Our Animals Eat, health-wise that is.  Bananas for example have an omega 6: omega 3 ratio of 1:1.  Corn is 40:1.  Chickens fed corn and other grains will have ratios of 40:1 and more.  One chicken we had tested came in at 59:1.  That's scary. And what about those chickens fed organic grains?  Well, at the risk of sounding flippant, you will end up with 'organic' omega 6. 

 

Mar 15, 2013

The Yellow Birdwing, Troides helena, is now a resident

On the 1st day of this year we saw for the first time a single female Yellow Birdwing, Troides helena,  flying fast at the perimeter of our farm, as if making an aerial survey.

common yellow birdwing, helena Troides, birdwing butterflies,

From a distance, it looks like a bird

The Yellow Birdwing is protected by law and is becoming difficult to see in the wild due to loss of habitat and due to collectors.

common yellow birdwing butterfly, helena troides, rare butterflies,

The female zooming past us on the 1st of January, 2013

Just barely 2 1/2 months later, they have made our farm their home.  They are breeding and have become a familier sight.  And interestingly, they show no fear of us.  Also of interest to us is the fact that the farm has a larger share of birds than other places and yet they choose to breed here.  

common yellow birdwing butterfly, helena troides, rare butterflies,

They show no fear of us

common yellow birdwing butterfly, helena troides, rare butterflies,

You won't find wild birdwings flying around your cars!

common yellow birdwing butterfly,troides helena,rare butterflies

Flying close to us without fear.

common yellow birdwing butterfly,troides helena,rare butterflies

We leave fruits to ripen on the trees for birds and butterflies.  Our workers are instructed not to feed nor to disturb nor to stare at the birds, and also the butterflies.  We make as if they are non-existent.  We plant their larval plants and we plant flowering vines that will bloom up in the canopy for the butterflies.  And above all, no poison, no chemicals.  We co-exists, and they so enrich our lives as farmers.

Dec 17, 2012

Eco-Friendly Small Scale Slaughterhouse

We have designed and built possibly the first eco-friendly halal slaughterhouse for small-scale operations.

abbatoir, slaughterhouse, small scale slaughterhouse, halal slaughterhouse, environmentally friendly slaughter house,

Proper separation of 'dirty' and 'clean' areas are provided for.  Packing areas are air-conditioned to reduce bacterial growth.  HACCP points are established.

abbatoir, slaughterhouse, small scale slaughterhouse, halal slaughterhouse, environmentally friendly slaughter house,

All wall surfaces are coated for hygiene.

abbatoir, slaughterhouse, small scale slaughterhouse, halal slaughterhouse, environmentally friendly slaughter house,

Packing areas are air-conditioned and all walls are coated and ceilings are stainless steel.

abbatoir, slaughterhouse, small scale slaughterhouse, halal slaughterhouse, environmentally friendly slaughter house,

Slaughering is done manually by a Jakim certified slaughterer; no electro-shock stunning for us which is painful to the animals and which is subject to mishaps from the standpoint of halal.

abbatoir, slaughterhouse, small scale slaughterhouse, halal slaughterhouse, environmentally friendly slaughter house,

All wastes, including blood, feathers, entrails, etc are fermented and recycled to be used as fertiliser for our fruit trees.  Nothing goes to waste, nothing ends up in the rivers.  Nothing is processed and fed back to the chickens as 'meat, bone and blood meal'.

Our slaughterhouse is fully certified by Majlis Ugama Islam dan Adat Resam Melayu Pahang under certificate number H 1223. 

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