Tag Archives: sustainable

Alternative Livelihoods and Sustainable Living

Goat raising for meat and milk
Goat raising for meat and milk

The native goat is a bit smaller in size, however the farm I visited is cross-breeding it with a larger imported variety to produce hybrid goats.

Seeds from some of the Filipino spinach, winged beans, peanuts, cowpeas...
Seeds from some of the Filipino spinach, winged beans, peanuts, cowpeas…

Filipino spinach is very different than American spinach. While there are several tropical spinach varieties, none are very common where I live.

Container Gardening!!!
Container Gardening!!!

Reduce, reuse, recycle. Consider reusing plastic bottles to plant vegetables. Here we planted some pechay, a leafy green. Once the plants get too big for the containers they are transplanted.

Papaya, eggplant, peanuts, cucumber, onions, green beans and many others
Papaya, eggplant, peanuts, cucumber, onions, green beans and many others
Vermicompost
Vermicompost

The African Night Crawler worm is an ideal decomposer because it has a huge appetite for breaking down organic waste. This species can produce 3 cocoons with 2-15 new baby worms per week and thus it can double its volume in 90 days.

Seaweed Farming

Our boat to Sibuyan. We needed a backhoe to unload all of our supplies.
Our boat to Sibuyan. We needed a backhoe to unload all of our supplies.

This past weekend, I traveled to Sibuyan Island, considered “the Galapagos of the Philippines” for its endemic terrestrial diversity. While I hope to return in the summertime to hike the infamous Mt. Guiting Guiting (6,752ft), the objective of this trip was distributing materials for seaweed farming to local fishermen as an alternative livelihood project. These materials are provided for free to the fisherfolk families as compensation for damages to the fishing industry in response to Typhoon Yolanda and also as a means to reduce pressure on declining fishing populations.

Rope, twine and floatation rings were distributed to fisherfolk after a training session on seaweed farming methods. Here is the basic construction of the farm: a net system that has seaweed seedlings tied in rows, and grows in the ocean just off shore.

In 2009, seaweeds were the 3rd largest fisheries export from the Philippines after tuna and shrimp.* The seaweeds grown are often shipped to France, Denmark, Japan, USA or UK after processing in the Philippines. Although raw seaweeds are used for consumption, died seaweeds are often processed for carrageenan, commonly known as seaweed flour, or kelp powder and in a huge variety of products.

What everyday goods are made from seaweed components? Toothpaste, shampoos, ice cream, yogurts, pill capsules, paints and much more! Eucheuma seaweed is a commonly farmed red seaweed, however many different types of seaweeds can be farmed. Check out the link below for more info.

*http://region5.bfar.da.gov.ph/PDF/Seaweed.pdf

Ma'am Rita teaching a fisherman how to attach seaweed seedlings to the rope net.
Ma’am Rita teaching a fisherman how to attach seaweed seedlings to the rope net.
Briefing the fishermen on farming practices before dispersing materials. Notice the stacks of materials on the right ready for dispersal.
Briefing the fishermen on farming practices before dispersing materials. Notice the stacks of materials on the right ready for dispersal.