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Jun 29, 2009

Logging - Who Benefits? Part II

There's this report in the Star today, headlined:

Chopped down in the name of reforestation

by Geetha Krishnan

The report clearly illustrates that the people and the country do not benefit from logging. Instead it illustrates a cynical abuse of power and of our laws.

Read the full report here:


09:56 Posted in Blog | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: the star, logging

Jun 18, 2009

Logging - Who Benefits?


 Saw this on the way back from the farm today.  There were 6 of these trucks.  Some of the logs must be from trees that are 80 to 100 years old. 

Wish I were an economist; then it would be a simple matter of working out the numbers that nobody benefits from cutting down these trees.  Not the people, not the country. 

Not when you add up all the indirect, long term costs, including costs of ensuring steady supply of clean drinking water, costs of piping water from Pahang to KL, costs of mitigating landslides, loss of fisheries, cost of storm damage, etc.

Ironic isn't it, that one of the greatest loggers of all, a Malaysian, will soon be knighted by the Queen of England. 

And even more ironic; on the one hand we spend millions promoting the planting of trees while on the other, we continue to hand out logging concessions.

19:00 Posted in Blog | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: logging, timber

Hatching Techniques

Jeremy of L.A., USA made my day with the following email:

 "Thank you , Thank you , Thank you,

 After 6 attempts and 3 years of trying I had a great hatch of healthy strong mountain quail this morning. The only egg that didn't hatch but piped was one that I thought wouldn't because it had only lost 6%. The eggs that I put into another incubator with lower humidity did the trick also. All the eggs hatched  with a weight loss of 11% to 18%
I'm elated and cant thank you enough for helping me. I'm ready to take on a condor or  passenger pigeon egg (LOL).  
I attached some picture for you.
Again thank you!
Jeremy Corselli "

Here's a photo of his great hatch :

mountainquail jeremy.jpg


In case you are curious, this is how an adult male mountain quail looks like.
(Drawing taken from wikipedia)
Here's my articles on weight-loss method of hatching:

Apr 08, 2009

Earthworms - Count 'Em, Jimmy Loke

Jimmy Loke, a gentleman farmer came visiting and expressed the hope that I can share more knowledge with him and his brother.  Well, the first thing is, count the earthworms in your farm, Jimmy.

Early in the morning, when the earthworms come out to feed, count them.

mark out 1 cube.JPG


Mark out a foot square. 


dig out the cube.JPG


Dig out the foot cube of soil.  Do it fast as earthworms are  sensitive to vibrations and many will make off.


start counting.JPG



Count 'em.


count the worms.JPG



In DQ Farm, we have up to 60 earthworms per cubic foot of soil.  On a good day, it can reach 100.  In some Western countries they are happy with 10 - 15. 

And here in Malaysia, with such good soil, we are dumping synthetic fertilisers and stuff to kill them off. 

So Jimmy, count your earthworms, and if they are lacking, build them up to at least 40 before we talk about organic farming.


20:04 Posted in Blog | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: earthworms, organic farming

Mar 04, 2009

Today At The Farm...


The herb spiral I had built last week in two hours is coming along very well.  At a later post, I shall discuss how to build a herb spiral and how the design makes for easy ( low energy ) maintanence.





 tandukrusa3 copy.gif

The tanduk rusa IMO brew is coming along very well too.  When we opened the canister, the brew just bubbles over.  The pH is an excellent 3.7, and the color has a nice purple tinge to it.



When we rub some of the brew on the palm,  one can feel the tingling sensation almost immediately, and it is not the tingling from the bubbles.  It is like little spikes.  And the palm becomes noticeably reddish, as if the brew draws blood to the palm.

before copy.gif







The palm before the brew.

after copy.gif







The palm after touching the brew.


Today's highlight was this little bird building a nest in the mulberry bush, right next to the staff kitchen.   This shot was taken about 4 feet away and it was not bothered.  It is a wild bird and nobody feeds it or anything; we are just too busy.  I don't think there are many farms where birds fly around without fear.

bird next to the kitchen.gif

bird at kitchen close up.gif






Today's bummer was the continuing heat-wave.  The road leading to the farm has become a heat-bank and the grasses lining the road on both sides are burnt from the heat:








Hope the weather changes soon.  The animals are being affected and the workers too are feeling irritable from the continuing heat.  Noonday temperature now can hit the low 40s.


Feb 23, 2009

Panas Terik - Heat Wave

It's "unseasonal", the heat at our farm lately.  Noon day ambient can reach 38 celcius.  Chickens stop eating and some drop dead from heat stroke.

Bukit Tinggi, Bentong, has it's own unique micro-climate, generally wet and humid throughout the year.
But for the past few years, we noticed changes to this micro climate.
We have really screwed up!  As an individual we can help by buying local and by supporting sustainable ( not just organic ) agriculture.  Industrialised agriculture,  both traditional and organic, is a major contributor to global warming.


Feb 21, 2009

Organic Tiffin Carrier?

Not exactly, but Calvinn and Adeline do deliver to your homes, home-cooked meals (cooked by Adeline) from mostly organic ingredients.  In 2002 they started on a business model of providing a "screening" service for customers, i.e. they make it their business to check out all those food brands and their claims by interviewing the people behind them and then visiting the factories or farms and seeing for themselves how things are done.  They can tell you some horror stories. Those brands that meet their high standards will be endorsed by them and delivered to your homes.

We first met them in 2002 and in the years thereafter they never fail to 'check' on us by visiting the farm and checking the nooks, crannies and corners. 


They try to lead a LOHAS lifestyle.  Their children are home-schooled, and food is mostly organic, whole food and home-cooked.


Jan 29, 2009

Talking To Monkeys

There’s this troop of about 30 long tail macaque that’s been giving my friend, Nirmal’s household a hard time.  They would make an

appearance 3 times a day without fail. 


Long Tail Macaque


They will make a mess - salt, onions, potatoes, will be everywhere. In the garden, they will topple potted plants and break off branches and just create general mayhem.  It became so bad that my friend’s family is locked in everyday with all the windows closed.


The alpha male is especially BAD.  You threaten him with a stick or something and he glares at you, shows his fangs and make several threatening launches at you. And he is big, about 10kg.



Reporting to pest control is out of the question.  Their solution can be drastic; culling or forcible removal of the whole family.  That will not solve the problem.  Another troop will take over the territory.  We need to co-exist but how? How do we tell the monkeys that, hey, you stay at that side of the fence, and we this side and we leave each other alone.


A few days ago, I had a brainwave and hatched a plan.  After discussing with my friend, we proceeded.   I tossed just a few bananas at a chosen spot within the property.  The alpha female came with her children.  But because it is just a few bananas, maybe two or three got to eat them.  I did that over the next couple of days.  Just a few pisang at the same spot to tell them, here’s where you get good food.  The intention was to attract the alpha male as I have a plan to TALK TO HIM and arrive at a truce.


Sure enough, one day he appeared.  The rest of the troop kept a safe distance from him as he gobble up the pisang and left nothing for the rest.  So far so good.  Then I set a trap with one banana inside and slices leading to the trap, to inside the trap and to the bait.  And I have him!!


 Huge guy, about 10 kg and MEAN.  He was trashing and baring his teeth and hissing away.


With Nirmal to distract him, I proceeded to spray bright red paint on his body and limbs while avoiding his eyes.




He was livid.  Then after about 3 to 4 minutes he started to notice the red paint and he must be going, I am injured, I am bleeding to death.  Suddenly, he flops over and shows his belly.  I have him! 



So I tell him, well, ok, now we understand each other.  This here is my territory, you come in here you are going to get a trashing and you will bleed to death.  And I stop the spraying.  He jumps back on his feet and suddenly bared his teeth again.  You just can’t trust a monkey! And I started to spray the paint again.   And he looks at his red palms and feet and arms and he flops over again, ok, ok, you are the man, you are the boss.  I am not going to enter your space anymore!



This time I believe him.  I hold off for 10 to 15 secs for him to get his breathe, and then I opened the cage and he dashed out.  Not in fear or in anger, no, he dashed off looking like a subdued monkey. 


The next day the security cameras showed the troop hanging around the perimeter.  Later in the afternoon, the alpha male, with some of the red paint still intact,  could be seen walking on top of the fence but not once did any of the troop crossed the boundary.




Today is the third day and still no monkey crossing the boundary.  Our little talk worked. 

Jan 19, 2009

Mystery Bird Cont.

Today I captured the mystery sound in audio video.  I am trying to add a link here and I hope it works as I am doing it the first time.

Here goes:

The recording comes out a bit tinny and does not do justice to the actual sound.  Perhaps if you up the bass and the mid range, you might be able to get a closer approximation of the sound.


The sound was coming from this nest I build for the chickens to lay eggs.  The edited video containing clips of the sound is only about 20 secs long.  The actual unedited video is 19 mins long - way too long to upload on this blog.

If anybody wants to view the full 19mins, you can email me.  The video will show me shoving a stick around the inside of the nest and you will see nothing, zilch!  Then suddenly, the mystery bird sound from thin air.  Enjoy!


The flower pot you see here is where I placed my video cam to record the scene.


00:36 Posted in Blog | Permalink | Comments (2)

Jan 15, 2009

No Price Increase - Chinese New Year

Apparently sellers of 'ayam kampung' or 'choy yin kai' are increasing their prices for the Chinese New Year.  This is an annual profiteering exercise disguised as 'traditional business culture'.  Prices are expected to hit rm13.50 per kg by next week.

We are not increasing prices!  Our prices remain the same for the past year or so, at rm12 to 12.50 per kg. 

Take your pick - pay more for a chicken that is saturated fat-laden, with an omega 6: omega 3 ratio of 25 to 1 and above, or pay a reasonable price for a chicken that has been lab-tested to have up to 50% less saturated fat and having omega 6: omega 3 ratios that can be as low as 4:1.

Nonetheless there are some savvy buyers out there.  At Jusco Taman Equine a customer just ordered 300 birds for delivery tomorrow, 15/1/09.  Yes, that's correct, 300 birds.

Happy lunar New Year to all our Chinese and Korean stockists and customers.

11:47 Posted in Blog | Permalink | Comments (0)