Early Arrival of Monsoon

It has begun raining already. Since May 3rd it has rained every afternoon at the eco farm property. I have planted about four hundred madre de cacao trees in level hedgerows by inserting cuttings through the thick vetiver grass that protects the hillsides. I have several thousand more to plant. Judging from the fences, made also of madre de cacao, only about one in four will root and take so we may have to replant some. When the rain reaches its heaviest, maybe in July, we will begin to propagate bamboo along the watersheds as both erosion control and a livelihood project. We will host a bamboo training seminar, our first training, next month in June if my plans work out. That will train some locals on how to propagate, harvest and cure the bamboo. I hope we can follow up with training on crafting and building with bamboo. Bamboo grows up to 1.4 meters a day and is three times as strong as steel by weight. Check my flickr account Rowland Lane Anderson to see a bicycle and working tricycle made of bamboo. Billions of bamboo skewers are used daily in the Philippines and someone has to make them. The bamboo we have, bambusa blumanea or thorny bamboo, is good construction bamboo, the shoots are good to eat, the base of the cane or culm as it is properly called is thick and strong and the middle part is both strong and flexible. The top part might make a good fishing pole?:>)

Two puppies have been left at the eco farm here in Pawpawan, Baras, Rizal. They will slow me down as they are always underfoot but I enjoy the company. The male I call Chico and the female I call Betsey.

This is my little grass shack, the roof is the surrounding vetiver grass with roots three meters deep.

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