Saturday, August 30, 2008

Drying Stevia Leaves

Air drying is the cheapest and easiest way to dry stevia leaves but it takes time. Not to mention that its hard to do this during rainy season.
At Daily DOSE Farm, we use a small oven to dry our leaves. Just make sure to dry them at around 60 degrees Celsius for at least 20 mins or when they're crunchy enough. Simply use a coffee grinder to pulverize them.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Seven days later...

This time she made sure that I wasn't cheating and looked immediately at the weighing scale.

170 grams in 7 days.
She's the biggest among 102 chicks. Average weight would be 140 grams.

A bigger home

The Sunshine chicks are growing fast, we have to keep up and make bigger homes for them.
It took me several days to look for a perfect spot to keep the birds safe and warm.
I was eating some rambutan when my imagination finally gave me an idea. Then i found myself hauling a truckload of rice hull from my neighbors rice mill.
My friends are now installing nets and roofing as I type.
My dad's going to kill me... :D

Five days later...

Sometimes i talk to my chicks and try to convince them to eat more... I think they did... :)
This was a conversation between me and one of my chicks...

Me: WOW! You weigh 100 grams already...

Chick: WHAT!!! I'm not that heavy!

Me: Well... Take a look...

Chick: I really am heavy...

Me: Don't go on a diet now...


STEVIA!!! Stevia kayo dyan... :)

My favorite herb... 15 times sweeter than sugar, 300 times sweeter when processed. WOW...
I won't put more details about stevia here since there are thousands available on the net. What I want to show here is that this herb can easily be propagated and commercially produced here in our country. I started with two (2), yes two, small pots of this herb a year ago. Now I've propagated about four thousand.

I plant them in small seedling bags.

Stevias produce flowers but don't produce viable seeds. We propagate them through cuttings. Use the non-flowering soft tips for propagation.

This is a good example of a non-flowering tip.

Always remember to prune your stevia. But if you have lots of it, it's OK to let it bloom. They invite lots of beneficial insects.

We've decided to allot a small portion of our small farm for this herb.

Please remind me to post instructions on how to propagate this lovely herb.

Enter the Dragon (fruit)

I highly recommend planting Dragon Fruits under trees or beside walls or fences. They provide great tasting fruits. And also they are very hardy come rainy days or the hottest of weathers.

There are three kinds of dragon fruits that are grown in our country. They differ in taste and meat color, white (common), red (sweeter than the white one) and yellow (the sweetest among the three).

The one with white meat (shown in picture) produces the biggest fruit.

The Sunshines at Daily DOSE Farm

Our very first batch of Sunshine Chicks
Our Brooders.
I made three of these. It has a floor area of one square meter and a height of around 18 inches. Elevated 12 inches above ground. With four 25 watt bulbs with individual switches so we can regulate the heat easily. It took me 4 days to finish 3 sets. I never knew i had carpentry skills 'till i tried building these. :)

Nice pose!!! Now that's one hot chick... :)

This is their first day at DDF, they seem to like it. Average weight at day one was 35 grams.

Organic Termite Elimination

Termites are one of the most abundant insects in the world. They can be found in rainforests up to the deserts. They're also the most destructive. The most effective and surefire way to eliminate a termite colony organically is to find the queen and put her to permanent sleep. One kind of fungus is said to infect termites - metarhizium anisopliae. It's locally available but used only for the control of weevils and other beetles.
Look at the size of that queen termite!!!

Oooopppsss... Where did it go?
Yum yum yum!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Organic Fruit Fly Attractant

These are Oriental Fruit Flies. Fruit tree growers and most farmers are very familiar with these insects or, most would say, "pests". Organic farmers use pheromones placed inside traps to attract and confine them. The pheromone contains methyl eugenol as active ingredient. This mimics the scent of female fruit flies thus attracting the males.
But why are these fruit flies gathering around this plant? This plant contains methyl eugenol. This plant is very common, its a basil.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Organic Breakfast

Nothing beats beaten eggs... :)
Look at the eggs, see how they shine? That's because they're eggs from our Sunshine hens. :) (corny... hehehe...)
Some of our Sunshine Chickens are now laying eggs... They taste great!!! We sometimes eat them raw or mixed with hot rice. Here we made an omelet with potatoes and tarragon. Sarap!!!


... and we're back :)

I never knew the herb tarragon can grow up to five feet tall. I always see them in small pots being sold in almost every herb shop. A friend of mine gave us some and we decided to propagate them. Their leaves were less than an inch long when we took the cuttings. Look what happened after several weeks...

the leaves grew more than 3 inches long...

and now the they're more than two feet tall...