July 23, 2011

Wick Technology Raises Gardening To A Higher Level

The application of wick technology raises gardening to a higher, almost revolutionary level. Man has used wick technology since making  the first candle. Wick technology applied to gardening called wick garden is a timely innovation.

The wick garden is simple, scientific and scalable.

A wick is a simple device. It is a piece of material that conveys liquid by capillary action {source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com}. Capillary action (or capillarity) is defined as the ability of liquid to flow AGAINST GRAVITY where liquid rises in a narrow space such as a thin tube, or in porous materials such as paper. {source: http://en.wikipedia.org}

This property of liquid, called capillarity, is the scientific basis of the wick technology. A tree survives due to capillary action of water through its trunk. In the same manner, a wick garden works due to water's capillary action.

Wick technology is scalable. It applies to plant containers up to orchards and agricultural fields. It follows that small scale technology application requires minimal investment while large scale, agri-industrial application demands large capital expenditure.

Wick technology is also adaptive to climate change for the following reasons.

First, it considerably reduces water consumption. A wick garden saves water in two ways.
#1 Wick technology lessens water loss due to evaporation.
#2 The technology captures rainwater through its reservoir.

Second, wick technology involves the creative use of recyclable and reusable household waste products. Materials can be sourced from junk shops. Composted biodegradable waste helps the technology to work properly.

It can be said that adoption of wick gardens can influence positively our community and environment.

July 21, 2011

Our Community Benefits from Urban Vegetable Gardening

Communities can benefit from urban vegetable gardening in several ways:
  • First, vegetable gardening lessens food purchases, the grower just harvests ripe vegetables for family consumption.
  • Second, consumption of garden produce increases nutritional intake since vegetables contain macro- and micro-nutrients essential to health.
  • Third, vegetable gardening creates livelihood opportunities through sales of excess produce, seedlings and other gardening-related products like organic fertilizers, seminars, etc.
  • Fourth, vegetable gardening on idle lots lessens maintenance costs and fire risks associated with tall grasses (talahib) during the dry season. Gardening requires constant weeding as unwanted plants and weeds pose competition for limited space and plant nutrients. 
  • Fifth, vegetable gardening closes the food production and consumption cycle {food production -> consumption --> waste --> composting --> food production} through the use of compost as a gardening input.  Livelihood also come from the collection and sales of recyclable and reusable materials as a consequence of segregating organic household waste for composting.
Why not start a community vegetable garden on an idle lot?

    July 17, 2011

    Vermicomposting Dog Manure

    Vermicomposting dog manure poses a greater challenge since dog manure contains pathogens (bad bacteria) that might cause disease to humans. But it can be done so long as proper handling is followed.

    Wear gloves and use tools (a dustpan or spade) when collecting dog manure. Wearing gloves protects the hands from making direct contact with the manure.

    Provide a drying bin (two bins) with cover. The bin should still allow air flow but prevent flies and other insects from infesting the manure. When the dog manure completely dries out, the material is ready for pre-composting.

    Pre-composting minimizes the pathogenic load because of the heating stage the material goes through. To pre-compost, thoroughly mix the dried dog manure with carbon-rich (brown) materials while sprinkling water to reach 60% moisture content. Place the mixed materials in a bin (e.g. rice sack) and allow it to decompose for two to three weeks. Starting on the third week, water the pile to reach 80% moisture content and to facilitate cooling.

    Earthworms can be introduced to the pile when the temperature has gone down (usually on the fourth week). Give the earthworms 54 days to consume the materials before harvesting the vermicompost.

    Biolant BM Controls Pet Cat Odors

    A pet owner successfully eliminated pet cat odors using Biolant beneficial microorganism (BM) concentrate. The pet owner takes care of nine cats - seven adults and two kittens - that are housed in a room outside the main house. The cats roam during the day. At night time, the owner confines them in their room that is provided with a litter box and sheets of newspaper beside it.

    Cat Odor Problem

    Unfortunately, the cats didn't learn to use the litter box and soiled the floor instead. So every morning, cat poop is collected and the room cleaned with a bleach solution.

    Overtime, this cleaning regimen gave rise to bad odors. It reached a point where the room had to be cleaned twice daily to lessen the foul odors. But even with that, the room still emitted foul odors a couple of hours after cleaning with bleach solution.

    Biolant Solution Eliminates Odors

    The pet owner decided to replace the bleach solution with Biolant solution. The twice daily cleaning regimen was continued for two weeks. On the third week, the owner returned to once-a-day cleaning. This is still the cleaning chore followed until today.

    Now, the pet owner wishes to experiment with a 4 times a week cleaning program. Clearly, here is one satisfied user of Biolant BM Concentrate.

    June 19, 2011

    African Nightcrawler Earthworm Supplier

    I posted this advertisement on sulit July 2010.

    African Nightcrawler earthworms for sale at Php300/one-fourth kilogram or Php1,000/kilogram (pick-up price)

    Pick-up price at Php300 per one-fourth kilogram; Php 1,000/kg.

    Minimum Order:  250grams;

    Location:  Concepcion Dos, Marikina City

    Please text/call 09222360905 or email biolant@gmail.com

    Website: biolant beneficial microorganism

    Since then, I have sold an average of two kilograms of worms per month. I also declined two bulk orders (more than 14 kilos per order) within the period. The vermi-compost produced were incorporated in the garden and plant containers.

    My customers were mostly highly educated professionals concerned with the environment. These guys bought worms just to do their part in reducing garbage.

    It seems that there is really a demand considering that I haven't been really serious in marketing earthworms. Most buyers of earthworms are farmers and avid urban gardeners. LGU's and government agencies buy in bulk for dispersal to marginal farmers. Schools and urban communities are largely an untapped market based on anecdotal evidence from farmer-businessmen raising earthworms for sale.

    I am thinking of a couple of business models to expand production and lower selling price. The models that I am studying include organic herb production in an urban setting. I hope to start by the last quarter of this year.