Cacao Seeds Sprouting Inside the Fruit

I’ve always assumed that in order for a seed to sprout it should be taken out of its fruit and be planted on the ground, but my assumptions were wrong.

Cacao fruit being opened.
Cacao fruit being opened.


We visited a friend’s house here in Palawan and it turned out that they have not harvested their cacao tree for quite some time. Some of our friends said that they would help them out since we were not doing anything.

It was the usual process for harvesting cacao seeds. Open the fruit, get the seeds and gather them. But one fruit decided to be different by making it seeds sprout inside the fruit.

Cacao seeds that sprouted inside the fruit.
Cacao seeds that sprouted inside the cacao fruit.


Normal cacao seeds when fruit is opened.
Normal cacao seeds when fruit is opened.


Normal cacao seeds.
Normal cacao seeds.


I’m not sure though whether they got the fruit from the tree or they picked it from one of the fallen fruits. Continue reading Cacao Seeds Sprouting Inside the Fruit

Spotting the Eggplant Stem Borer

I was planting eggplants before but I stopped planting because of the many pests it has here in Palawan. The Stem Borer (Euzophera perticella) was one of my many problems with planting eggplant here in Palawan.

If you’re not an experienced farmer looking at the eggplant garden would only look like they are all okay.


But on closer inspection you would see that some of the stems of the eggplant are wilting.

Eggplant Stem Borer
Wilted Eggplant Stem Sprouts

When you see wilted stems and leaves in an eggplant, most likely you have a Stem Borer problem. Continue reading Spotting the Eggplant Stem Borer

Starting Pechay Seeds on a Foam/Sponge

I’ve been watching a lot of youtube videos about hydroponics and one of the things that I notice Hydroponic Farmers have are seed starters like rockwool. What I’ve noticed about them is that they look a lot like a foam or a sponge and somehow had the idea of starting my seeds on a foam. So I did more research on growing things on foam and found out that you actually can. But there are still a lot of questions on my mind that I never read or watched on the videos. Plus what is written on the internet is really not enough, I still have to prove things on my own so I did it.

My 3 styrofoam cups where I put my pechay seedlings that grew on a foam
My 3 styrofoam cups where I put my pechay seedlings that grew on a foam

 Can you start seeds on a foam? The answer is YES! And I have done it.

How did I do it?

I went to a general merchandise shop here in Roxas, Palawan and looked for a dishwashing foam and found one. The yellow one is 5 Pesos/piece (4″ x 3″ x 2″) and the blue one is 10 Pesos/piece (8″ x 3″ x 2″).

The foams I bought from the General Merchandise Store
The foams I bought from the General Merchandise Store

Then I cut the yellow one into 1″ x 1″ x 2″ and cut a 1/4 inch deep slit on the foam so I could place my pechay (Bok Choy) seeds on them. Continue reading Starting Pechay Seeds on a Foam/Sponge

Transplanting to Hydroponics: Sili Labuyo Alive and Dead

We transplanted 2 Sili Labuyo Seedlings (Bird’s Eye Chili) on September 25, 2013 and I get to check them out yesterday (September 30, 2013). So 5 days after one of them is dead and the other is still alive.

The Alive One

The Alive Sili Labuyo after transplanting to Hydroponics
The Alive Sili Labuyo after transplanting to Hydroponics

I was very happy that at least one is alive after 5 days of transplanting. The leaves are now greener and healthier. The roots have also added in their number. It just feels great to do something succesful.

The roots have increased their numbers.
The roots have increased their numbers.

What we did when we transplanted this 5 days before was we placed it on plain water that we get from our faucet. We did not add anything to it. Continue reading Transplanting to Hydroponics: Sili Labuyo Alive and Dead

Makahiya, Legume that is both Friend and Foe

When I was still in elementary I had this fascination of the Makahiya. It’s usually treated as a weed as it grows almost everywhere. The remarkable trait of this weed is that when you touch its leaves during the day time it abruptly folds or closes. Thus it is called the Makahiya, or in plan simple english “The Shy One”.


Usually it’s a foe because it grows where you do not want it to grow. It also have torns that really hurts. I remember a farmer telling me that he was happy to have boots because the makahiya could no longer hurt him.

Closed Makahiya
Closed Makahiya

Contratry to popular belief, the Makahiya is actually a legume. Therefore it could get nitrogen from the air and process it to be put to a node in its root, further improving the quality of the soil. Continue reading Makahiya, Legume that is both Friend and Foe

Pursuing my Dream of Becoming a Sili Labuyo Farmer

When I moved here in Palawan to do farming, one of my major goals was to farm a lot of Sili Labuyo.

From my frequent trips to the local market and supermarket of Metro Manila they always tell me that the long red chili they have was sili labuyo. Unfortunately, it is not Sili Labuyo. I do not know what that was but the Native Sili Labuyo I grew up with were short, red and hot. That is what I want to plant.

Sili Labuyo Sprout

Being the non-experienced farmer that was easily swayed by suggestions last year, I never got to pursue my dream of becoming a Sili Labuyo farmer. Now, after a year of failures and lessons, I’m refusing to give up as a farmer. I will now be firm with my decisions and only pursue a few projects that I am capable of supporting personally.

Sili Labuyo Sprouts
Sili Labuyo Sprouts

I’m now startming my sili labuyo project by starting the few seeds of the Native Sili Labuyo from a friend. Currently, there are only 17 seeds that sprouted. Some may die during transplanting or while growing up, but even if there is only one that grows well then I’m sure I could reproduce it to many more sili labuyo.

I’m starting again. This time slower and only to what my abilities can do.

Carbonized Rice Hull – The Easier Way of Making

So you’ve heard about the wonderful effects of the Carbonized Rice Hull (CRH) or what we Filipinos locally call “uling na ipa ng palay”. But when you researched on how to make it,you found it difficult since you still have to make a structure that has a chimney to produce it.

Rice Hull - Ipa ng Palay
Rice Hull

Was that contraption that has a chimney really necessary on making Carbonized Rice Hull? The answer is a straight NO!

You can actually make Carbonized Rice Hull without the machine. But it would take a lot longer than when you have one. Continue reading Carbonized Rice Hull – The Easier Way of Making

Trying the Bokashi Compost Method

7 days ago I researched about the Bokashi Method of composting. Most that I have found out is that it takes around 2 weeks or 14 days to harvest and a lot of technical stuff.

Since I wanted to try it as soon as possible, the next day I tried making one with my limited resources and it worked.

I’m not sure if you can all what I did a Bokashi Composting Method but here’s what I used. Continue reading Trying the Bokashi Compost Method

Mexican Bean Bug pest to my Eggplant

Last year I planted 150 eggplants on an elevated plot which was formerly a rice paddy. The plants were healthy when they were growing. I saw what seems to be a Red Lady Bug and I was really happy.

Turns out that the Lady Bug is actually a pest in the field. It was a Mexican Bean Bug that was usually mistaken for a Lady Bug. Most of them were colored orange but they also came in colors of orange.

Mexican Bean Bug
Mexican Bean Bug at a Sunflower

They would lay their eggs on the bottom of the leaves, away from the sunlight and when they hatch they would eat the leaves. Though not fully.

People around the farm suggested that I spray insecticide, which I eventually gave into. We sprayed and the bean bugs left. A week after they came back.

Bad Mexican Bean Bug. Bad.

Mexican Bean Bug back shot
Back shot

I should have sticked to the plan of spraying Oriental Herbal Nutrient (OHN) once a week to prevent this outburst. I’ll try this very soon and I hope it works.

Aphids on Pechay Leaf

I was looking at a newly harvested Pechay Leaves when I noticed that there were yellow insect eggs on the under side of one of the leaves. So I took my camera to take a picture of it in macro level.


What I saw it through my camera the eggs were moving! It turns out they were aphids.

They were cute but a problem to a farmer.

Aphids Macro Photo

Oh well, we just washed it of the leaf and threw it on the Nilagang Baboy that we were making.