Monday, July 20, 2009

Pardon my chicken, a rainy day in Silang...July 17, 2009

A hurricane skirts northern luzon, pouring down rain upon the southern Tagalog region of Silang, Cavite. Mists descend over the landscape, and the temperatures drop about 4 degrees to a pleasant 26 Celsius.

Bright yellow oncidiums are about to bloom.

A single pink dahlia braves the storm. Tied up with abaca, a kakauati branch serves as support to these tall plants.

Pardon my chicken.... on this rainy day in Silang, a few have been selected to roam in the garden pen during breaks in the rain. Rain washes bugs from plants to the ground where they become easy pickings for my chickens. Chickens will run about and forage for insects, grubs, worms, or eat flowers and vegetation that come out after a downpour.

These pardoned chickens can live out their entire life laying eggs, or as they age, become my "bug" police.

Chickens are quite beneficial to an organic farm as they will keep your garden free of ants, termites, grasshoppers, spiders, even eat small lizards.

A tiny circle above the ear of the females will indicate what color of egg they will lay. A white circle indicates white eggs, and a red spot will indicate that the hen will lay brown eggs. Rooster chicks and pullets have a red comb, whereas female hens have a pale one. Female's combs will gradually redden when its time for them to lay eggs. Roosters have a spur on the back of their ankle, whereas hens don't have this fighting cock spur.

These 2 month old pullets are Bancrest and will grow to about 3 kilos when adult.

The santol tree is heavy laden with fruit. This kind of fruit has a thick pulp under the dense outer skin, and several luscious seeds that are delicious. Some like to eat it peeled with salt...others like the bottled in a variety of preperations. My friend Betty gave me a recipe I have yet to try for making santol preserves with chillies.

We finally have reached this day of the santol harvest.

Santol has a lot of antitoxidants and also helps prevent diseases relating to immunity. Eating santol restores balance. Care to have one?

This fruit has very thick skin, fiberous pulp and large seeds. This is where the sweet flavor comes from. It is like a workout to eat this fruit, but its well worth it. One has to take the fruit, cut it open, and what I do is, scoop the seeds into the mouth, carefully manipulating with the tongue to extract the sweetness from the seed which is wrapped in a soft, cotton-like covering.

These santol fruit has the same type of sweetness similar to that of a ripe apple.

Once the rain stops, everthing becomes very quiet.

The back area of my farm house is facing in the direction of the China Sea. Looking out from the terrace, my view takes in fields of coconut plantations waving their fronds in the sky on rolling hills of green.

I often sit on my terrace just watching the rain bathe and cleanse the landscape. The air is always fresh after a rain.

Its time to sit back, enjoy the cooler temperatures, catch up on my reading, and have a cup of organic coffee from upland Cavite region.

See again next week!