Palawan Natural Farming

Now I am in Palawan for a few months. Palawan is the frontier island of the Philippines, closer to Borneo than Manila. Here I have several hectares to work with, level ground, not as much rain and an owner that is born again Christian and has made the property alcohol and tobacco free (that is drug free as those are society's two most destructive drugs). Almost one hectare is overgrown with brush, a real jungle. We will soon begin to clear that carefully. The owner is attending a sustainable agriculture seminar at Aloha Natural Farm, our mentor, and will oversee the clearing, leaving many of the trees with spaces between. In the spaces will go the cleared brush and vegetation, chopped up and sprayed with Effective Microorganisms (EM). We will experiment with three practices. One will be covered with earth immediately after spraying with EM. The second will be left for a couple weeks to dry and then covered and the third will be left in the air. We want to see which one decomposes the fastest with the least problems. We hire only non smokers on the property and there is no drinking allowed anytime. We are doing an inventory of the plants on the property to determine which should be left and which cleared. We will leave enough for a canopy regardless and replace them later after the beds have decomposed into fertilizer. We will plant seedlings of narra, dao, duhat, amugis and mangis mingled with coconut, banana and papaya. As our planted trees mature the canopy left from the original clearing will be harvested for firewood and lumber. I live in a small duplex dormitory, just a room plus kitchen with an outhouse or cr as they call it here. My AA buddy and I hit the hospitals around here to see if any want AA meetings. We think we did well, one hospital has a smoker cessation program and wants to add alcohol to it. We made the case that alcohol is probably the most expensive and destructive drug. Soon the public should get tired of paying the law enforcement and health care costs of alcohol consumption and slap a high tax on it to pay for treatment and rehabilitation. There is one meeting a week already on Wednesdays and I have made good friends due to it.

Rowland Lane Anderson

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