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Mar 14, 2009

Mandala, Bird's Nest and Snake-Shaped Pond

Mandala Garden and Bird's Nests

The twain can meet. Here's how:

mandala n bird's nest for web.gif

























I intend to build this at the farm. The mandala shall be 40 ft across. Swifts need a roving area in front and a large water source, and that will be the mandala's centre.

The animals produce lots of gnats and mosquitoes during the wet season and swifts eat them, thus doing the farm a service.

The mandala in front will provide a conducive environment for the swifts and enhance production of the edible nests. One house will produce up to 40 kg of nests; selling for rm4,000 per kg, that's rm160,000 per house per annum.

 Semi-Intensive Snake-Shaped Fish Pond

Commercial fish ponds pollute the environment and are energy intensive. Because of intensive farming, the ponds use pumps and motors to aerate. Waste are typically just discharged to the environment.

zigzag fish pond web size.gif

















This snake shape pond will use gravity to flow the water from Point A to Point B, from Point B a wind powered pump will lift up the water to the filtration pond which shall comprise mechanical and biological filtration to clean the water. Throughout the length of the snake-shaped pond will be surface disruptors to aerate, as the water gravity-flows throughout the length of the pond. 

My bank which advertises that they are 'friends' of farmers told me my mandala and bird's nest, and snake-shaped pond, is not agriculture, it's hobby farming!

Looks like I have to sell off some asset to fund these ideas. Eco-solutions have to make financial sense for farmers to adopt them. I think these two ideas can produce good income without damaging the environment.


This sounds exciting. I am not surprised at the feedback from your "friendly bank". They only want conventional ideas. The non conventional ones are always rejected.

I'll be keenly following up on developments.

Posted by: ladangfatima | Mar 19, 2009

Yes, they also threw out my proposal to start a bigger scale charcoal facility as it does not make sense to them that I should want to grow fast growing trees like gliricidia sepium, convert them to charcoal and distribute them to local farmers for free to amend their soil. Haha, it does not make sense to me too but we need to start somewhere to 'bury' the carbon that's warming the earth. Can you imagine how much we can contribute to taking carbon out of the atmosphere if a few thousand farmers start burying powdered charcoal made from pokok pagar and acacia? They get healthier, bigger plants, we help reduce global warming.
Can we start a 'tabung' (fund) to do this?

Posted by: HS | Mar 19, 2009

Just a note to say that it is not a good idea to mix bee farming with swiftlet farming. We found the cause of our dwindling bee population at the farm - the swiftlet ate them up for food!

Posted by: HS | Mar 31, 2009

this is very fascinating. i do not currently operate a farm, but may embark on that journey soon. call me still in the 'do i really want to do this' stage.

it is disheartening to hear that sustainable energy/low impact operations ideas are deemed as hobby farming, instead of early proof of concept at least, for future farming models for malaysia.

my back of envelope sketch of my 'dream farm' does include sustainable energy as a model, and instead of a windmill, i was thinking some form of waterwheel with windmill assistance.

anyways, i laud your effort in reducing the impact to the land :-) maybe someday our paths shall cross.

all the best.

Posted by: azman | Apr 04, 2009

Hi Azman,
Thanks for your insights.
The industry is led and managed by dumbkopfs. As an example, in this enlightened age, farmers here are still encouraged to go into contract farming arrangements with easy loans, and end up living a life akin to that of an indentured laborer.
I don't have hopes that things will changed. On the one hand, millions of public funds are given out to plant trees in schools, housing estates, etc and given national press coverage. On the other hand, contracts are awarded out to log millions year old jungle.
This surely is the ultimate dumbkopfism!



Posted by: HS | Apr 04, 2009

Great illustrations.

Posted by: littlem | Apr 14, 2009

April inspired me many moons ago when she showed me some of her sketches.
Love 'gustoso'.



Posted by: HS | Apr 14, 2009

The comments are closed.