Seminar with fun

Where the pepper grows

On Wednesday, September 14th, 2020 we once again visited with Hager Media team the mahogany trees in Monkayo​​, where the Mama Marth Foundation works in partnership with more than 90 famers for years. A very instructive and entertaining day, which was rounded off with a good lunch followed by a question and answer session. Emil Hager‘s agents not only talked to the people from the monitoring teams, they also talked to the farmers who take part in the lumber program, which is set up as a lifelihood program and helps the farmers to keep their farms and operate them profitably. Everyone benefits from this program: investors, farmers and nature. So it should be!
The next trip with the agents of Hager Media will be our Mama Earth planting area in Marilog, where the air is much cooler and the landscape very beautiful.

There is a lot of discussion about the correct planting spacing for timber, also in our “Tree Farming” group in the Philippines. The traditional method has been to plant seedlings close together to create an upright growth habit, often 2 by 2 meters apart. But this one advantage has two distinct disadvantages: 1. The trees have to share the nutrients in the soil with others. 2. After three to six years, the trees that are “left behind” are felled to make more space for the others. In the case of intermediate felling, the wood value is higher than the felling costs, but you can‘t really make a profit with thin trees. However, this method can be effective when limited space is available.
Modern forestry teaches us a different way of planting and provides more distances. We plant our mahogany trees at a distance of 4 x 4 meters, as we have enough space available.

Regular discussions with farmers are very important.

Peppered mahogany trees.

Our new measurement table for reading off the trunk diameter.

Our little truck next to a lumber truck.

The arguments are: 1. Mahogany is growing straight, so it doesn‘t need a direct neighborhood. 2. From planting to harvest, the trees can “draw on their abundance”. Trees that are planted in a 2 x 2 grid have 16 cubic meters of earth available with a depth of four meters. With the same depth and a planting distance of 4 x 4 meters, it is already 64 cubic meters. There is no need to explain which method is better.

Our pepper program is now on its way. If this secondary planting proves successful, we will grow more pepper plants in the next year to give our farmers additional opportunities to generate income. But first of all, the plants should prove that they are developing well. According to our local magazine „Agriculture“, pepper and mahogany are ideal partners.

We had new templates carpenter for measuring the log diameter because the previous ones were no longer sufficient.

Many of the first trees are now already 22 centimeters in diameter, so only ten centimeters below their nominal size. You have another six years to achieve this. So we can rest well, you too.

At the end of September our nursery will be empty again. The game starts over but never gets boring. The plant bags for the next 35,000 trees are currently being filled with soil and the seeds are already in the nursery. In mid-November we begin to prepare the planting areas in order to plant the seedlings between mid-January and the end of March next year. It is also gratifying that we need additional staff and thus bring work and money into the communities.

Thank you for your time

Ulrich Kronberg

Our tractors in the mountains have exactly one horsepower, as we were able to determine through measurements.

Sad: The extreme road widening from Davao to Monkayo ​​means that many old trees are felled.

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