<RV> Subject: Re: Micro-Farming combined reply
<RV> From: Roberto Verzola <email@example.com>
<RV> Date: April 1, 2000 10:09:47 PM EST
<RV> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Add to Address Book
<LP> >I'm still curious about the 2 acres--I'd like to experiment--will
<LP> >check out the links you provided.
<RV> So am I. Most Philippine farmers (who comprise the biggest portion of
<RV> our population) have no more than one hectare (about 2 acres) of land.
<RV> Many of them live in very poor conditions. If there are technologies,
<RV> practices, methods, tricks, etc. consistent with ecological farming
<RV> which can help them become self-sufficient in food and have some
<RV> surplus for their cash needs, this is a major advance. (I am not into
<RV> farming myself but I work with an organization of such farmers,
<RV> feeding them info, acting as some sort of urban contact and doing
<RV> various urban errands for them.)
<RV> By the way, EM (a microbial preparation that is supposed to hasten
<RV> composting) is also marketed here, and used by several recycling
<RV> centers and organic farms I know.
<RV> Roberto Verzola
Every farmer with a hectare of land in the Philippines can feed
his/her family a well-balanced diet, and have productivity to spare
to sell to dozens of his/her neighbors for a pleasant income.
If Philippino people pay 25% of their income for food, and a
farmer can provide half of that to 10 customers, that is an income
25% higher than local averages, whether the local currency is
pesos, dollars, rupees, rubles, francs or yen.
Ironically enough, it is Philippino farmers who just taught me a
cute trick about increasing efficiency in the Micro-Farming
I have been writing about.
While in the developed world mushrooms are grown in sterile
buildings, with HEPA filtered air, ulraviolet lights, foot washes,
glove boxes, autoclaves, and clean-room laboratory spawn,
Phillipino farmers are converting rice straw or palm leaves into
nutritious and delicious mushrooms in outdoor mounded beds.
What was a waste product (rice straw) of negligable value as
cattle feed, or even as organic residue for soil enrichment, is
bioconverted into human and animal feed, and higher quality
soil enricher in just about a month of practically no maintenance
cultivation of mushroom crops. Of course, there is some spoilage
and loss in th outdoor method, but who gives a rat's a** considering
the small investments of time, labors and materials?
If I can get 50 lbs of profit out of wastes, what do I care that I didn't
get 100 lbs the high-tech way? Rabbits will also eat palm leaves,
and many other tropical green stuff inedible by humans. The
advantages of the small livestocks (chickens, rabbits, ducks, and
fish) that I have been touting as features in micro-farming living
networks is that in countries where refrigeration is scarce, the
animal is one meal without leftovers or waste.
A pair of breeding rabbits can be 182 in one year. One six pound
doe rabbit (and her offspring) can provide 340 pounds of meat per
year. A few breeder rabbits can become a herd to any Phillipino
farmer who wants to raise them.
Raising mushrooms the "Philippino" way, if boxes are used, is
nearly identical to the raised walled beds I wrote about recently.
The next step is to put earhworms into that spent mushroom
substrate that just produced a cash crop, fill it over time with rabbit
manures, soil, vegetative wastes green layer, fish cleanings, etc.,
and than plant more cash crops right there. No digging or plowing
ever, because the worms process every speck of soil turning and
churning all it ever needs. The worms love the mushroom body
left in the spent substrate (palm leaves or straw) and they convert
it into a high-value fertile plant growing soil. The rabbit manures
are already high-value fertilizers, but the worms increase that even
The mushroom body has an anti-nematode effect, and the worms
are nematode predators, so you are starting off with a healthy
natural soil for plant propagation, extremely high in beneficial
microbes who add plant growth hormones to the soil. The worms
become chicken-feed of equal nutritional value to fish-meal, meat-
meal, or grains. In fact chickens grown on a high percentage of
worms in their diets put on weight faster than grain-fed birds..
Chicken manures and layer nest straw becomes mushrooms, worms,
plants and people as the cycling of food through the bio-conversion
food-chain webs is assisted by the farmer.
With one hectare of land any Philippino who wants to can be more
than subsistance -- they can be important contributors to the health
and improvement of their society without any machinery expenses or
high-tech chemicals. The land does not get poorer or depleted -- most
of the crops are Nitrogen and Carbon which come from the air, Oxygen
and Hydrogen which come from water and the air, Phosphorus and
Potassium mined by microbes, earthworms, grasses and palms, and
trace minerals mined by plants, worms and microbes. Crops take away
mostly water and carbon by weight, which are the least depletable
nutrients possible. The jungles and rainforests of the tropics have been
mining the earth without human help for unbroken hundreds of millions
of years, and look at them -- 90% of the world's biodiversity is based
on top of some of the world's poorest soils because life is the secret
To read more about the Phillipino easy way to grow mushroom outdoors
see the following website:
Bioconversion of Organic Residues for Rural Communities
Mushroom production technology for rural development
For information about a truely interesting "non-sterile" mushroom
spawn propagaion method based on Hydrogen Peroxide visit the
Peroxide Guy's website:
"Growing Mushrooms with Hydrogen Peroxide"
For information about Micro-Farming living systems of mushrooms,
rabbits, worms, chickens, ducks and green groceries see the series
archived at the following URL addresses:
"Micro-Farming (Part 4)
Profitable sustainable natural farming systems
of two to five acres of land."
Chickens, Rabbits, Worms, Fish and Green Groceries.
Signed, Lion Kuntz
LionKuntz@email.com, LionKuntz@aol.com, LionKuntz@yahoo.com
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