Saturday, September 5, 2009
GODMOTHERS TO A MABOLO TREE....
typhoon season comes to an end. The rain continues, but the Philippines will be going into the "cool season". The "ber" months of Septemeber, October, November and December usher in our brief springtime weather ranging from a high of 85F in October, to a cool 69F in late December. The ground is moist, and the soil is easy to till. This is an ideal condition for planting a new bed of lettuce, carrots, celery, cabbages, and starting plots of tomatos before the summer heat sets. The air becomes drier, and the temperatures soar to about 80-100F after Chinese New Year in late January or early February.
This is a photo of me doing what I normally do at my farm...get down and work with my plants. Betty Samson, her friend Fely and I act as the "godmothers" of this baby mabolo tree. Spot, the Dalmatian ,( lying comfortably on the grass beside Fely), and I ( wearing the hat). The Photo is being taken by Betty my friend ( not in this photo). Betty had donated the mabolo tree. I always have a "tree planting" ceremony, to record our contribution to reforestation of the hardwood and fruit trees in our area. The Cavite watershed forests in the uplands are fading fast. I have observed almost 15,000 hectares of forests have been cut down to make room for industrial sites, subdivisions, and golf clubs. The deforestation of the Philippine countryside is alarming!
There are few mabolos left in the forest. This mabolo tree is one of the rare rainforest tropical hardwood tree with edible fruit. Mabolo is locally called "kamagong", or "ebony" in Africa;and it is a rare , native Philippine teakwood. Furniture made with Kamagong wood is prized by those who collect antiques. In most parts of the country, the older trees of this variety have almost become extinct. I think this is why the name of this tree was changed to "mabolo" for few connect this fruit tree with the hardwood tree that was cut down and sold by the millions of board feet to Chinese merchants in the ancient times to the present. These ancient trees were brought back to Taiwan, and to mainland China and make into cabinets, tables, and chairs.
This area we selected, is beside the pony-stables, and goat pen. The manure from the grazing animals will provide constant source of fertilizer and yearly pruning will prevent it from becomming a real problem later on. This tree will take about 7 years to reach maturity and bear fruits that look like velvet skinned apples, but have a thicker skin and very soft, white pulp with tiny seeds. I have never eaten one, but those who have can only compare the taste of the fruit to that of persimmons.