Saturday, May 20, 2006

Organic Farming Solutions

I learned a lot today about organic farming from Mrs. Rosalina Tan who is one of the founders of OPTA and from Ed Samaniego who gave a seminar on Biointensive Organic Farming. I had five problems dealing with my vegetable plants and each one was answered today.

1. Some of my plant's leaves are turning yellow -- this is a sign of nitrogen deficiency.

2. My squash and melons die after growing healthily for 2-3 weeks after being transplanted -- might be a fungal infection due to overwatering.

3. I have an infestation of some powdery white substance underneath the leaves of some plants -- these are aphids which can be terminated with a product OPTA was selling called Bioneem, a natural insecticide made of neem extract, lemongrass, citronella and atis extract. The citronella in this mixture makes this product dangerous to all insects on the farm which includes beneficial ones. This product should only be sprayed on the affected plants.

4. Some of my tomatoes turned brown at the bottom -- calcium deficiency: add egg shells or dolomite to soil. I read a bit on dolomite as a supplement to calcium deficient soil and found out that it is not recommended in organic farming. A good source of calcium used by organic farmers is gypsum (calcium sulfate), mined limestone, legume green manure, rock (tricalcium) phosphate, wood ash, clam & oyster shells. Calcium apparently solves many organic farming problems such as resistance to disease and poor crop yield.
5. What to mix with coco coir as a mix for fertilizing soil -- vermiculture or chicken manure.

Will apply these solutions and see what happens. I had a long and pleasant conversation with Mrs. Tan who is quite dedicated in advocating organic agriculture. I'm glad to have met such an admirable woman. Cheers to you Mrs. Tan! Check this site for information on OPTA's history and mission.


celine said...

Hey Macky,

This is eye-opening - I've never really given much thought to mineral-deficient soil and it's effects. I hope the solutions work!
And I enjoy your blog too - I will definitely try the chocolate chilli truffle recipe sometime because i'm a sucker for anything spicy. It looks real yummy.

And thanks for checking out my blog and listing it in your sidebar.

Question: How do you categorize your blogs? I can't seem to do it.

Macky said...

Thanks for stopping by. I enjoy your blog as well and I love the template design.

To categorize, you can check out bloggers "help" section and go to "How do I edit my link list?". Hope this helps.

pasion said...

hey macky, finally sniffed you out using sitemeter. ;)

great blog! seems like we are on the same wavelength ... GMOs and organic food are also on our list of concerns.

btw, where exactly is the organic market? we did the rounds in makati and couldnt find the right place. help!

thanks for link too.

Macky said...

So glad to hear there's more people out there with the same interest in organics.

The Organic Market is on Gamboa St., Legaspi Vill., every Sundays from 7am-2pm at the parking lot next to Corinthian Blg. Soon it will be open on Saturdays too.

By the way, your recent post got me spending hours amusing myself with all those tests on Blogthings!

Gabriella True said...

WOW. I don't garden but I found it fascinating to read about those plants and the deficiencies and how to fix them. Thanks for coming to my site because it was great to find you.