Monday, May 24, 2010

Part 3: Odaira's Yojigen - Capitalize on the natural qualities of living things in their respective environments.

Abe V Rotor

The value of a given process can be greater than the sum of its parts.

As a common practice, farmers and homesteaders plant cover crops such as kudzu (Pueraria javanica), Centrosema pubescens and giant spineless Mimosa to suppress obnoxious weeds on ranches and orchards. Cover crops, aside from being effective in controlling weeds, is also forage for cattle and other large animals. Their residues, when incorporated with the soil, add to its fertility. It also reduces the rate of evaporation of soil moisture, thus controlling soil erosion and loss of soil nutrients.

Through effective weed control, the farmer has a better chance of meeting his farming schedules, while reducing the risk of brush fire. Conserving soil moisture, especially when rainfall is sufficient enhances seed germination and survival. Beneficial soil organisms thrive best in soil with high organic matter. These include the earthworm and nitrogen-fixing bacteria that help maintain a good crop stand.

Here’s another example to illustrate this principle. The idea of burning is to get rid of farm wastes quickly. But by burning, the potential nutrient value of the straw, both as feed and as a source of organic matter, is lost. Rice straw is very useful to farmers as mulch, for mushroom production, and as well as composting material.

Many advantages are derived from these practices. First, mulching increases crop yield. It also doubles the production of garlic and onions. Mushroom can be a lucrative business, while composting contributes to soil fertility. Crops grown on soil with high organic matter do not only produce higher yields but also have higher food value.

This author would like to add a fifth postulate to Odaira's Yojigen.

Capitalize on the natural qualities of living things in their respective environments.

We know of certain natural properties of organisms in their indigenous locations. The sweetest mangoes grow in Zambales, the sweetest lanzones in Paete (Laguna), the largest and juiciest pineapples are found in Bukidnon. No bangus (milkfish) anywhere can beat the Bonoan (Dagupan, Pangasinan) breed. Sarangani (Mindanao) ranchers boast of their beef as among the best-tasting.

Benguet vegetables, like lettuce, cabbages and cauliflower, are distinctly superior over those grown on the lowland areas. Garlic grows best in the Ilocos region, bulb onions in Bongabong (Nueva Ecija), kapeng barako in Batangas, and peanuts in Jones (Isabela).

By analyzing Yojigen, one is led to know, in simple and discreet ways, the many gifts of nature. ~

Living with Nature 3, AVR

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