Ok

By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.

Mar 05, 2012

Flowering Enhancers - I

Some of the fruit trees shall be flowering soon.  Time to make some flowering enhancers.  Fermented flowering enhancers provide potassium and phosphorus, plus microbes to help the plants absorb the nutrients.

We use a large plastic container with a lid.

bio nutrients, em, nature farming, sustainable farming,

Add 10 kg of kangkung.

bio nutrients, em, nature farming, sustainable farming,

And 10 kg young acacia mangium leaves.

bio nutrients, em, nature farming, sustainable farming,

And 10 kg of red colored leaves.

Now add the potassium and phophorus:

bio nutrients,em,nature farming,sustainable farming

25 kg of papaya and 25 kg of bananas.

bio nutrients,em,nature farming,sustainable farming

Put them together, leaves at the bottom.

bio nutrients,em,nature farming,sustainable farming

Add some molasses (agri grade, from Pertanian), about 20 kg will do.

bio nutrients,em,nature farming,sustainable farming

Sprinkle about 500gms quarry (granite) dust into the mix.

Cover with a plastic sheet, close the lid, and let ferment for 30 days.

(To be continued : Flowering Enhancers - II; How To Use)

Nov 23, 2011

Free Range Layers I

We recycle used tires as nests for our layers.

Free range layers, organic eggs, grassfed eggs, used tires, used tire nests, uses for used tires,

Here's a double decker.  It can also be a triple decker, both sides,  like an 'A' frame.

 free range layers,organic eggs,grassfed eggs,used tires,used tire nests,uses for used tires

Hens selecting their nests for the evening lay; they can be fussy. Our flock size is 150 hens. 

free range layers,organic eggs,grassfed eggs,used tires,used tire nests,uses for used tires

Sometimes several hens just want that particular nest!

free range layers,organic eggs,grassfed eggs,used tires,used tire nests,uses for used tires

Last one to lay!

 free range layers,organic eggs,grassfed eggs,used tires,used tire nests,uses for used tires

This particular flock have 200 sq ft of grass field per hen.  That's chicken heaven!

Nov 19, 2011

Durians - Organically, Sustainably.

Durians are in season at our farm.

durians,organic durian,sustainable durian farm,organic durian farm

durians, organic durian, sustainable durian farm, organic durian farm,

The trees are laden with fruits. 

durians,organic durian,sustainable durian farm,organic durian farm

durians,organic durian,sustainable durian farm,organic durian farm

Branches need to be supported or else they will break from the load.

There's zero purchased inputs into our more than 800 trees.

We ferment discarded organs amd innards from our chicken operations to provide nitrogen for the trees.

We spray compost tea made from humus (from our compost) once a week to keep fungus and insects at bay.

That's it folks, plus of course integrated pest management without chemical pesticides.  Resulting in the only certified organic durians in Malaysia.

Oct 14, 2011

Slope Farming I

Land is getting scarce and sometimes we have to work on very steep slopes. 

uses for used tires, tire gardening, tire stairs, permaculture, sustainable agriculture

uses for used tires, tire gardening, tire stairs, permaculture, sustainable agriculture

Accessibility and erosion then become major concerns.

Using used tires to make stairways is one way to create permanent, stable access with minimal erosion.

uses for used tires, tire gardening, tire stairs, permaculture, sustainable agriculture

uses for used tires, tire gardening, tire stairs, permaculture, sustainable agriculture

The top rim of the tire should be removed (using a full tang, heavy survival knife is best for this job).  Earth used to fill the tires should then be compacted. 

This stairway has been holding itself very well with no erosion or stability problems through two monsoon seasons now. 

Jul 05, 2011

Tire Gardening

We are becoming quite an expert in tire gardening.

tire gardening, making concrete posts, making drainage holes in tires, uses for old tires,

An old tire garden on soggy clayey soil producing sweet potatoes, and various herbs.

 

Tire gardens can be used on patches of land that otherwise will not be productive. Tire gardens tend to require less work for weeding and are suited for perennials. The initial hard work mixing the soil and then filling up the tires will pay off in the long run because you need invest less 'running costs' such as weeding, less leaching of nutrients and being a raised bed, less fungal and nematodes problems . 

 

tire gardening, making concrete posts, making drainage holes in tires, uses for old tires,

A new ginger garden coming up on a patch of land that has a lot of construction debris.

 

tire gardening, making concrete posts, making drainage holes in tires, uses for old tires,

A serai / ginger / sweet potato garden in a corner with hard soil. 

 

Proper piping reduces the time taken to water the plants.  The pipes are raised on self-made concrete legs. We prefer PVC to poly pipes as we do not cement the sections of the pipes so we can dismantle and adjust or remove as needed.

tire gardening, making concrete posts, making drainage holes in tires, uses for old tires,

Neat, sturdy, DIY.

 

It's easy to make the concrete legs:

tire gardening, making concrete posts, making drainage holes in tires, uses for old tires,

Knock some used discarded construction plywood together to form moulds. 

tire gardening, making concrete posts, making drainage holes in tires, uses for old tires,

Newly stripped from the mould

 

The rebar sticks into the soil to prevent toppling.

 

Tires need drainage holes otherwise the roots will rot:

tire gardening, making concrete posts, making drainage holes in tires, uses for old tires,

Use a half inch or larger, auger

tire gardening, making concrete posts, making drainage holes in tires, uses for old tires,

Drill multiple holes on three sides of the tire

 

Make sure the holes are clean, otherwise the holes will close with moist soil.

 

PS

For home gardening, if you want a more aesthetic look, you can do as follows:

tire gardening,making concrete posts,making drainage holes in tires,uses for old tires

Remove the rim using a sharp knife

tire gardening,making concrete posts,making drainage holes in tires,uses for old tires

The tire after the top and bottom rims are removed.  You can use it as it is (no necessity for drainage holes), or you may want to reverse it:

tire gardening,making concrete posts,making drainage holes in tires,uses for old tires

We intend to create potato stacks with these; maybe three tires high; the drainage would be better than uncut tires.

Nov 02, 2009

Sustainable Farming - A Model

To be sustainable, inputs must be less than outputs.  Inputs include fuel and all forms of energy, labour and raw materials.  Even treatment of wastes must not consume excessive energy.  For a farmer to practice sustainable agriculture, he must derive a reasonable income from his efforts.

 

This is a model for sustainable agriculture we developed at our farm (click to enlarge):

 sustainablefarmmodel.jpg

 

 

The only purchased inputs are corn and other feed ingredients.  From here, all 'wastes' are recycled.  Dung, carcasses, etc are all composted and made into high quality humus.  Using humus and compost tea and proper management, an acre of land can produce 30 tonnes of high protein napia grass.  This is fed to goats and fish. Using humus and compost tea, and selecting low-nitrogen demanding heritage seeds such as bayam pasir, terung telunjuk, etc we can produce abundant market vegetables. 

 

This how an acre of land may look like (click to enlarge):

grassplanJPGWeb.jpg 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We calculated a net income of RM3000 to RM5000 per month is possible from such a farm.

 

Jul 27, 2009

Charcoal for Sustainability

We produce our own charcoal for multiple use at the farm: to bury carbon as part of the requirement for responsible animal husbandry, to use it to absorb urine and reduce ammonia in litter, to act as a filter in aquaculture, to clean waste water before discharging into rivers, to use as fertiliser for our fruits and vegetables, and to use as a more efficient source of fuel. 

We plant fast growing trees such as acacia mangium and gliricidia septium as a renewal source of wood for charcoal production.  The fast growing trees are planted where ever we have chickens, even right next to the coops or rebans. 

In the fields, they not only convert CO2 to carbon, but also absorb nutrients from the chicken dung.

In this way, we try to reduce our carbon footprint, which should be a required part (and parcel) of the process of raising animals for food.

Click on the picture below for enlarged view:

biocharweb.jpg

Jul 25, 2009

Grey Water Treatment; mini wetlands

The farm produces some grey water - from the workers' quarters, from when we wash the rebans, from overflow from the fish ponds. 
All grey water is fed into a mini wetlands; first into a large pond planted with aquatic plants, then led into a biological filter using microbes before being led into a mini wetlands made up of slow flowing meandering channels planted with more aquatic plants. 
The entire zone is planted with water-loving, edible plants - bananas, papayas, pumpkins, misai kuching, galangal, pegaga and various tubers. 
Before discharging into the river, the water goes through a charcoal filter from charcoal made within the farm (click on the picture for a larger view):
water filtration systemWebSize.jpg
*note: the biological filter and charcoal bed are not in the drawing.  They were added during construction.

Jul 01, 2009

First Pumpkin

Harvested our first pumpkin today.  It is actually a variety of Japanese squash, weighing in at 2kg.  We saw one sold at Hock Choon for RM10.50 per kg.

dqpumpkinJuly1_2Web.JPG

dqpumpkinJuly1_4Web.JPG

dqpumpkinJuly1_3Web.JPG

Barely 6 hours after harvesting it, it is changing color nicely to a dark golden-brown.

Can't wait for the aging period to be over to taste it.

Jun 28, 2009

Sustainable Farming

Sustainable farming in practice here:

zpumpkin28June3Web.JPG

  1.  This is a 'No-Dig' 35 feet x 10 feet pumpkin patch.  Barely 2 months, we now have 42 pumpkins (the red tips mark the pumpkins), with more to come judging by the flowers.

  2.  The original soil is sandy.  We build up the beds using compost, some soil and mulch.

  3.  Three varieties of pumpkins are planted here, creating diversity to reduce outbreaks of insect or fungal and bacterial problems.  So far we have had one bacterial problem which we quickly addressed by uprooting and destroying the plant.  Fungal problems have been minimal and have been addressed by quick action using cassia alata juice. Insects have not been serious.  The beetle  A. abdominalis is present but does not seem to cause any problems to the pumpkin plants.

4.       No purchased fertiliser, or any other input have been used here.  We only use our farm made compost.

5.       We are now looking forward to see whether a second crop of pumpkins using the same plot of land can produce similar yields.  That would really be a test of sustainability.

zpumpkin28june4Web.JPG   zpumpkin28June5Web.JPG