Sep 24, 2010
Celebration of a life well lived
I write this blog to celebrate life; that there is to be found the work of God ( Stephen Hawking's latest book, The Grand Design, notwithstanding ), and the love of God for us everywhere, in the rainforests, in trees, in birds; everywhere.
And in wonderful people like Lechimi Raman; of humble birth and humble upbringing but of the noblest of spirit.
As I am honoured to know the rainforests, the birds, the magical plants in the jungle, so too am I honoured to have known Lechimi Raman.
It is de riguer nowadays to put the blame for youths who turn out badly on the environment, on poverty, on physical deprivation, and a host of other external reasons.
Lechimi brought up 5 sons, singlehandedly, in the most difficult of circumstances.
They completed their tertiary education, became well balanced, loving human beings despite their deprived background, and grew to become role models for all those who know them or hear of them. That is the legacy of Lechimi; that no matter the adversity, one continues to strive, one continues to do the best one can, with no blame or anger or bitterness in the heart towards anybody or anything.
I remember days spent in her humble home, and enjoying her curries and her fried curried fish. After a long day of rugby, my hungry friends and I would wolf down an entire week's provisions I am sure, but she will always be topping up, always with that warm, open, motherly smile of hers; happy that her son's friends are enjoying her cooking.
I remember well her love for us all. We were her children as well; and yes, I have had a couple of smacks from her.
Though time and distances have caused memories to fade, nonetheless the heart never forgets.
Thank you Lechimi, for being there for us in our growing up years. We all grew up well, and you were part of the reason why.
May you rest in peace.
Sep 12, 2010
Sanctuary for butterflies II
Our efforts to attract butterflies to the farm are showing results.
We noticed many new species lately, but it is not always possible to take a photo due to our limited equipment.
Here's a Common Rose Swallowtail that came and perch itself above our heads while we were having lunch.
Common Rose Swallowtail (Atrophaneura Pachliopta)
It's a beauty and behaves very nonchanlantly in the presence of humans.
Here's a Cruiser ( Vindula dejone erotella ):
Sep 04, 2010
Superfood from our forests
The latest craze in the US is black rice, touted as a superfood because of its high anthocyanin content. Here's an article from Yahoo! News.
Wait till these direct sales marketers and health food companies get hold of our black kunyit.
NOTE 22/7/2012 : TWO READERS OF THIS BLOG, ONE FROM HAWAII, AND ANOTHER FROM LANGKAWI, PAK DIN, http://herbwalk-langkawi.com.my/thewalk.html HAVE IDENTIFIED THIS PLANT AS Kaempferia parviflora, A PLANT FOUND IN NORTHERN THAILAND AND USED EXTENSIVELY FOR TRADITIONAL MEDICINE. THANKS TO BOTH FOR HELPING OUT.
THE PLANT WAS FOUND IN A FOREST NEXT TO OUR FARM. WE TAKE NOTE THAT THE FOREST IN QUESTION IS BOUNDED ON THREE SIDES BY FARMS AND ON ONE SIDE BY A FOREST RESERVE. WE CAN ONLY SPECULATE HOW IT WAS INTRODUCED INTO THE FOREST, THOUGH WE MUST ADMIT IT SEEMS EXTREMELY WELL ADAPTED TO THE CONDITIONS LOCALLY AND WE HAVE NEVER SEEN ANY DISEASE AFFECTING THE SAID PLANT.
Aug 19, 2010
Natural Flowering Enhancers
We use what's in the farm to make our own flowering enhancers. Our dragon fruits never stop flowering and producing fruits. Our durians can be fruiting two to three weeks before others.
Red Leaves 1.0
Kangkung young leaves 1.0
Acasia young leaves 1.0
Quarry dust sprinkle
Put in a container until half full (or half empty, whichever). Leave for up to 60 days, covered loosely, before proceeding.
There are a few variations to use the above (which we shall call the Mother). One way is as follows:
Dilute adding 1 part filtered Mother, 1 part molasses to 20 parts water to make a Concentrate. Let the Concentrate sit for up to 7 days before diluting further required amount to use. Add one part Concentrate, one part molasses and 50 parts water for Spraying Dilution. It goes without saying you must always use unchlorinated water.
Do not spray direct from Concentrate on plants. They may wilt. Always spray diluted. Not recommended for ornamentals.
If you are using compost tea, add one part filtered Mother to 20 parts tea, and spray. Use only on fruit trees (including pitaya).
Email me direct if you encounter problems.
1. You can find the acacia tree being grown along highways. You can use the young leaves from young trees. Acacia is an invasive, so don't plant it in your farm unless you have the patience to continually weed out the young trees.
2. Any red leaves will do.
Quality Control Inspection
Officers representing the Crop Quality Control Division of the Ministry of Agriculture came on short notice to audit the farm today. Water, soil and plant samples were taken.
Aug 17, 2010
Kacip Fatimah Propagation
Visitors to the Farm - Head of Vet Services, Pahang
The new Head of Veterinary Services Department, Pahang, Dr. Muhammad Safaruddin and his assistant, Dr. Rohaya, came on a surprise visit to the farm today.
Jul 26, 2010
Useful Plants At The Farm- Mulberry Tree
Sinseh Soon from Raub came to the farm for a 'look-see' and told us about the medicinal uses of the tree, under which he was resting.
Jul 17, 2010
Jul 16, 2010
Emerald Doves came visiting
There was a flutter and a flash of iridescent green darting up from the ground towards some thick low branches. I thought I saw a pair of pigeon.
I approached the branches slowly and they darted off again to a clump of kantan and then were gone.
I knew then that they were a pair of punai tanah or Emerald Dove (chalcophaps indica indica). They were flighty, as are most first timers (birds I mean) to the farm. Nonetheless it is great that this pair of young adults have come down from the rainforest to the farm. Hopefully they will nest here.
Emerald doves in Malaysia are shy and flighty, possibly due to over hunting. It is an honour that this pair feel secure enough to visit us.
Here's a photo I downloaded from Lip Kee's photostream at Flickr.
The incident with the pigeons happened so fast, I did not have the chance to get my camera. In any event without a good telephoto lens I would not be able to capture them. Time to invest in a 400mm lens at least, I suppose. That will set me back a few thousand ringgit. Maybe next year.