Really organic Gloria

The rice paddy is being leveled and puddled using a water buffalo pulling a harrow and boards with an experienced buffalo man at the helm. Other men are splitting bamboo for the hut I will move into soon. I called it a nipa hut but it is really a bamboo hut with nipa palm roof. The farm knife, a small machete, is used, just sliding it along and splitting the bamboo evenly. The knife is used for almost everything. Everyone on the farm here smokes cigarettes and drinks. Often the drink is a seemingly potent coconut milk wine. I drink fresh coconut milk, called more correctly coconut water here. They are hard working and mostly happy guys, an agricultural engineer, a forester and several workers. The workers are paid 200 pesos a day and put in long days squatting in positions that would kill my knees. This is not a farm per se but a training center for sustainable agriculture for the Divine Word College of Calapan. For that reason we are trying to preserve primitive methods while adding new resources from other parts of the world...globalizing permanent agriculture so to speak. We try to solve every challenge with a solution that conserves resources and is sustainable and non polluting and demonstrates something other than the norm in commercial agriculture. Everything is grown organically and naturally. We have an artesian well that is not putting out quite enough water for rice duck so I am promoting human powered pumps, a demonstration of how see saws, bicycles and treadmills can be pumps too. We are near an elementary school that does not have much of a playground and I hope we can demonstrate a playground that works. Pumping water can be good exercise and fun! I may not win this one immediatly but I sense a long term openness!:>) In the USA it is health clubs that should be electric generating stations.

One of my first naive ideas was a compost bucket by the kitchen. I was not used to real farm animals. The organic peels etc went into the bucket by the kitchen door but the hungry dogs, cats, goats and chickens totally consumed and distributed everything. Call it direct use of kitchen waste if you will. The cats eat banana peels and yams and the dogs and goats eat anything.

More foods are appearing that I did not know, a tuber called camote and one called singapore. I think I will be healthy when I leave this place, which may be in the spring. All food is local and grown on the farm and my drinks are good artesian water and coconut milk....oh and coffee, the only thing that is not good for me and the only one I buy.

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