Simplicity on Mindoro

Mindoro is considered one of the most backward islands despite its close proximity to Manila. To my knowledge there is neither a mall, a cinema or an AA meeting on the island. I love it here because the farmers do not need to go back to conservation, mending or making do, they still do it. My carpenter, Reynaldo, pulls nails from old boards and straightens them. He has only one simple hand saw but will build you a house, as he did me. He built the hut I live in for Divine Word College but the duck house was built from scrap and leavings. Both are visible at my flickr site below this. The water buffaloes do the plowing and hauling but when I suggested that we design a mechanism to let them shell the corn the farmers said no, that was pitiful work for them. The respect and affection between the farmers and their animals is nice to see...especially the water buffalo. In town the seamstress is using an old foot powered machine and vehicle repair is simple and basic.

Some basic behaviors that you probably see in every pre consumerist culture:

People don't freak out when flies land on them, they just ignore them. People can squat for hours to talk or just wait. Women can walk with the grace of a deer and then climb a coconut tree. Spiders and lizards are welcome in the house. The duck house is finished now and the duck net is ready to set out. Our ducklings are due to go into the paddy in two weeks, a week after the rice is transplanted. Again, you can see all on the flickr.

We are now awaiting the arrival of our ducklings, now predicted to be just two days after rice transplanting. This is normal schedule according to Takao Furuno, but the ducklings will be young for the kind of weather we have been having. It is a La NIna condition and still raining as if it were monsoon season. I have added a few pictures to my flickr account below. I enjoy being the documentarian as it allows me to watch others know this already from my performances at Arlington West. But where are the donuts here??

During the wait I am trying to make some headway on finding mosquito fish or a better variety of dragonfly. We have some but they avoid the area of the rice paddy....maybe because of the big toads there, who have poisonous skin and are therefore the dominant specimens in an environment of hungry dogs and cats. I am also starting some moringa trees, or malunggay as they are called here. We will line the outside of the paddy dikes with papaya, trichanthera and moringa and when we are sure we have sufficient water to maintain a deep trench inside the dike we will integrate tilapia. The trench where the tilapia hang out when not feeding in the rice will be just inside the net fencing and will discourage hungry cats and dogs from ducklingicide. The integrated rice duck will also include kankong on the inside edge of the paddy and azolla throughout the paddy.

There is a good link in this about our integrated farming systems;

These are the photos:

And the stories:

This first field trial on MINDORO will exhaust the Bucks4ducks account. You can help by any small donation to;

Veterans For Peace Chapter 54 Bucks4Ducks project PO Box 21852 Santa Barbara CA 93121

Checks should be payable to Veterans For Peace Ch. 54 and have Bucks4Ducks as memo on check.

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