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Zac Sarian
Zac Sarian

Tricks of the trade

Bromeliad in Bamboo Tube Most of the bromeliads we see inside homes and other places are grown in pots or containers with the use of growing media like chopped fern chips, sphagnum moss, coconut husk, and the like. One novel way that you can try is to insert your bromeliad in a bamboo or “buho” tube without any growing medium. We have been doing this with our Neoregelias and the plants thrive very well without us doing any special care. We take a piece of “buho” with a node midway. The lower half is pointed so we can stick it into the ground. In the upper part of the bamboo, we just stick the rooted plant or even the new sucker without any roots. You will see that the bromeliad loves …

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Flowers can be profitable to produce

After visiting the Hortikultura garden show at the Quezon Memorial Circle two days ago, and seeing the many sellers of horticultural products, we are convinced all the more that the flower and ornamental plant business is providing an honest livelihood to many small growers. Of course, there are also a few big corporate operators who are also making money from the industry. As they say, when people become more prosperous, they are more or less secure in their food requirements. So they can afford to buy some luxuries like flowers and ornamental plants. The big seed companies are now offering more and more varieties in their stocks of flowering plants. This means that they recognize the money-making potential from the supply of seeds and other propagation materials. Allied Botanical Corporation, for instance, is …

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Poor farmers’ sweet pepperis productive

We visited the open house at the Allied Botanical Corporation’s experimental farm three days before it opened. We wanted to be the first to see what’s new in high-value vegetables and other crops. We were not disappointed. We were particularly impressed by Clarabel, the new sweet pepper which farm manager Herlo Atole called the poor man’s sweet pepper. Why poor man’s sweet pepper? Because it is a variety that even the poor farmer can afford to grow. It is very adaptable to lowland as well as highland conditions all over the country and can be grown even in the rainy season because it has high tolerance against soil-borne and foliage diseases compared to other varieties. Clarabel is prolific but Herlo stresses that the plant has to be adequately nourished to achieve the variety’s …

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Naturaal energy

An organic garden and restaurant, which may as well be a leisure farm like the ones in Taiwan, is showing how solar and wind power can be harnessed for very good reasons. The place is May’s Organic Garden and Restaurant, which covers about four hectares and is really big to be called just a garden under Philippine conditions. It is beside the highway, in Brgy. Pahanocoy in Bacolod City. Owned by enterprising couple Ramon and May Uy, who are advocates of organic agriculture, the solar power facility has become an attraction to visitors of the garden and resto, thus becoming a tourist destination. The facility consists of 12 panels that are capable of drawing water, about 45 cubic meters, from the ground every day. The water is enough to supply the water for the swimming pool and the paddy of organic rice. It also supplies the electricity to the restaurant and May’s showroom, which displays a lot of organic food products, beauty …

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Farm field day becomes a tourism event

What used to be a simple field day where farmers are invited to see the latest crop varieties in the experimental farm of Allied Botanical Corporation in Tayug, Pangasinan is becoming an agritourism event. The open house which is open to the public on February 5 to 7 will now feature activities designed to attract groups or families for the educational as well as fun-filled recreational presentations. Among the target visitors are people who are going to Baguio for the Panagbenga flower festivities. The company said the open house could be a worthwhile stopover for the Baguio-bound travelers, or for those who are traveling to other places in the north. According to Michael Caballes, ABC president, this year’s main highlight is the introduction of the company’s green products with the theme “Live Life …

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Novel ideas at farm tour destination

You will pick up practical farming techniques if you join the AANI Farm Tour on Sunday, January 31, which will visit the feed mill and experimental farm of Agrichexers in sta. Maria, Bulacan. The experimental farm is where the products of the feedmill are tested  for their efficiency not only in promoting animal growth but also in cutting cost of production. For instance, if you are a broiler raiser, whether backyard or commercial, you might like to adopt their practice of incorporating Noni juice in the drinking water of the birds. That’s their way of preventing respiratory and other diseases in chickens. You might also want to copy their practice of supplementing their commercial feeds for pigs and chickens with Azolla. This is a water plant that multiplies fast and is relished by …

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Field Day in Tayug

If you are interested to see the latest varieties of vegetables and other high-value crops for the lowland, better attend the annual Field Day of Allied Botanical Company. This will be on Feb. 3-5 in Brgy. Lichauco, Tayug, Pangasinan. Every February, for several years now, the company has been staging the field day to showcase in its 23-hectare experimental farm the latest as well as the old, reliable varieties that can make enterprising farmers richer. In the experimental farm, the company grows many varieties of each crop to find out which ones can best adapt to the lowland conditions in the country. For instance, they grow different types of peppers. There is the pangsigang variety of finger peppers. Several of them are grown side by side so visitors can see how each one is performing. Aside from the pangsigang type, there are also different varieties of sweet pepper as …

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Black pepper in your home or your farm

Whether you reside in the urban area or in the province, you can grow black pepper for home use of for commercial purposes. Black pepper is very easy to grow with minimal care. In the urban area, you can grow your ‘paminta’ in two ways. You can grow plants that will grow up high, attaching themselves to a support, or you can grow dwarf black pepper in pots or containers that may be just one to two feet tall. Dwarf black pepper? The late Salvador Dolar who studied at UP Los Baños found that by rooting fruiting vines, instead of runners, and planting them in a container, the plants will not grow tall. Nevertheless, they are also fruitful. The other way is to grow plants that were propagated from runners or non-fruiting stems. …

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Poor Cebu corn farmers getting richer

The poor farmers in Cebu who used to lead a hand-to-mouth existence because of meager harvest from their native white corn have become much richer now, thanks to the Farmer-Scientist Training Program (FSTP) launched by Dr. Romulo Davide in the mid-1990s. Dr. Davide is a retired professor from UP Los Baños who was given a grant of P500,000 for having been named the Most Outstanding Agricultural Scientist of the Year in 1994 by the Department of Agriculture. He decided to use the P500,000 grant as seed money for his FSTP and launched a program to teach the poor corn farmers the scientific way of improving not only their corn yields but also other crops and farm animals that they can take care. Late last year, no less than 2,000 graduates of the FSTP …

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A taste for the exotic

Can we compete with other ASEAN countries when it comes to producing exotic fruits like durian, mangosteen, Longkong lanzones, and pummelo for the export market? Compared to other ASEAN countries like Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, the Philippines lags behind in the production of the abovementioned fruits in terms of volume. Thailand, in particular, is the champion as far as quantity is concerned. Its varieties are also considered superior to most traditional varieties found locally. In fact, the Thai varieties have already been introduced in the Philippines and are performing very well. The fact that the Philippines is lagging behind in production does not prevent one Filipino fruit expert from pursuing a program that will enable the local fruit farmers to compete in supplying the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) market as well as other importing countries like Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan. Of course, countries within the AEC also comprise a considerable market for exotic fruits. Singapore, for instance, is a big lucrative market. The fellow whose initiative …

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