We’re Doing Ok!

How many trees have we planted so far?

In 2012 we planted 238 trees. There may have been a few  more that slipped through my official list. We bought most of these trees, but a few were given by friends. Our biggest donor was our neighbor back home who gave us 40 Malabulak!

Alim  5
Bagtikan  5
Bangkal 10
Bayok 10
Bignay 6
Bignay-pugo 10
Binunga 10
Dao 5
Guijo 10
Igyo 6
Kalumpit 15
Kamagong 6
Katmon 1
Lamio 10
Lipote 11
Marang 5
Molave 6
Tibig 10
Yakal-saplungan 10
Pink Tabebuia 5 – exotic tree that grows in our backyard and is beloved by the sunbirds
Rambutan 8
Mango 3
Balimbing 2
Gold Ipe 1 – ornamental exotic that I bought at a agri show
Pink Ipe 1 – ornamental exotic that I bought at a agri show
Guyabano 1
Mulberry 4 – gifts from Ixi
Blackberry 2 -gifts from Ixi
Bitungol 2
Balitbitan 4
Botong 1
Hawili 1
Leea 6
Supa 1
Siar 1
Ardesia 4
Malabulak 40 – gifts from Dr Ed Gomez

In 2013, no trees! I don’t have any records of  buying any trees. I think we received 1 Mulberry from Richard Ruiz of Laoag. We were busy with the construction of the cottage and we were also competing in the Big Year Philippines contest. So, tree buying and planting fell by the wayside.

We are doing much better in 2014! We are still in the middle of rainy season and we’ve already planted 176 trees!

Narra 20
Banaba 30
Agoho 30
Bignay 20
Balete 22 – 1 from Mike Lu
Katmon 30
Jackfruit 1 – from Mike Lu
Alagaw 2 – from Mike Lu
Tabebuia 7 – from the office
Malabulak 2
Leeia 1
Avocado 1
Bitaog 2
Siar 2
Bignay 2
Lipote 2
Bignay Pugo 1
Kalumpit 1

Now to figure out which ones are doing well and which ones are not!
I’m still doing the tree tags that I wrote about before. Still a good idea.
We are no longer making the giant planting holes that we did in our first tree planting site. That took too much time and effort.

The tree distribution crew.
The tree distribution crew.
Narra seeds from a tree that got knocked down by Typhoon Glenda. Tonji and Franco scattered them around the farm! Who knows, they might grow!
Narra seeds from a tree that got knocked down by Typhoon Glenda. Tonji and Franco scattered them around the farm! Who knows, they might grow!

How are the birds?

We chose this area because it looked birdy. The plan was to attract even more birds into the area. For a while though, I was worried that we scared off the birds. The first bridge we built was particularly disruptive to the birds. It is a cement bridge that goes over the dry creek and the dry creek hasn’t seemed the same since. This year, when we needed to build a second bridge to gain access from the road on another side, we decided to build a foot bridge instead of another big cement bridge to minimize the disturbance to the area.

It’s reassuring to see all the birds near the house. I think they’re finally realizing that this is a bird sanctuary. I saw 2 Philippine Ducks on the grass! First I saw them behind the round pen, then sitting in the grass in front of the house!  I have yet to see a Grass Owl sitting on the grass. I’ve only seen them in flight.

And the insects?

We have some nice looking moths!
This one looks like a zebra.

Some nice looking insects. This looks like a zebra.

And this one has leopard spots!

And this one has leopard spots!

Also lots of flies now that it’s rainy season. Yuck. Still trying to figure that one out.
The worms that we got last June disappeared during summer! But our worm consultant Ben Rara said that there were sure to be eggs and all we had to do was water the area and the eggs would hatch. He was right! This has led me to now wonder whether the African Night Crawlers are as harmless and non-invasive as I’ve been told.

How’s the weather?

Wet! During summer, the grass looked so dried up that we were worried that the horses wouldn’t have anything to eat. We even tried watering part of the field, but I think we started that too late. Tonji is trying something new this rainy season. He’s having people remove the grass species that the horses don’t like to eat from their paddock. He’s hoping this will help the grass varieties they do eat to become more widespread. If it works, he thinks this will double the amount of edible grass in their paddock!


Lots of grass now!
Lots of grass now!
Even Momo thinks the grass looks yummy!
Even Momo thinks the grass looks yummy!
Batman enjoying the morning sun.
Batman enjoying the morning sun.

It’s also quite windy. The rosemary bushes that were doing so well in front of the veranda got knocked down by the wind. Then our caretaker tried to right them up again, but they did not recover. It’s possible that the horses also stepped on them. We transferred the 6 plants that still looked alive to big pots and are hoping they do well there. We’ll see!

What’s next?

More trees! Our next batch of trees will be native Philippine fruit trees. With fruits that we and the birds can eat!

Planting projects! We are looking into permaculture. From what I’ve read so far, it looks like a great system for our needs.

Horseback riding! I am really, finally going to finish the Clinton Anderson Fundamentals kit with both horses.

And.. Pizza! We will be having pizza trials this weekend. Results to follow soon!



4 thoughts on “We’re Doing Ok!”

  1. Hi mam Sylvia! I am following your blog specifically because i love the way you see nature and your concept of developing your farm. I have also a farm in Guimaras that we projected as ecological farm. Thank you for sharing your experience in this blog. Keep the faith! Tito.

    1. Thanks a lot Tito! That’s great that you have an ecological farm in Guimaras! I’d like to hear about it too. It’s very encouraging to hear about other people who want to take care of nature.

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