During Chinese New Year holiday last month, I started building chicken coop for my ayam kampung (indigenous-breed chicken) project. My parent in laws were very kind to allow their old wooden house to be repurposed as chicken coop. Instead of building from scratch, I could reuse the pillar and roof of the house, and just build the fence and door to enter the coop.
I’ve planted around 10 trees of chilli of various types at home for personal consumption, and for this bulk planting, it was intended for sale. In September last year, I bought some cili geronong (habanero pepper) and cili besar (chilli pepper) from Medan Niaga Satok, and took out the seeds.
I sowed 60 cili geronong and 90 cili besar, and 10 cili padi (bird eye chilli) a week later, with total of 160 trees of chilli in 6 germination trays. I estimated around 70 – 80 percent of them will grow up to be able to be transplanted to our vacant land beside the plantation road in Kampung Segali.
Two weeks after those chilli seedlings grew, I gave them NPK fertilizer (pink color), one small piece for each of tray hole. They grew well, except that they grew slanted towards sunlight, which caused me to move them outside of the car porch. I still kept the netting cover to prevent strong sunlight and heavy rain from damaging the plants.
During last year Christmas, we went to check the chilli trees, and we were quite surprised to see the cili besar already bear some fruits. It took only 3 months for chilli to start producing results.
In the middle of February (last month), there were heavy rain for about a week that caused flood in our area. These chilli plants were also affected, some of them that didn’t grow tall enough were submerged. To make matter worse, the flood water was mixed with some diesel leaked from nearby lorry, and might affect the plants root.
I started actively planting crops last year after moving to our rented house, which is a corner lot unit and has a large backyard. My wife planted a few sawi pahit (mustard) at the side of the house, and it grew so well that we wanted to plant more types of crops.
I decided to focus on leafy greens while my wife tried a few other crops like corn, terung asam (sour eggplant), kailan, and recently focused to plant various herbs and veggies using pots instead of on direct soil, such as chives, coriander, mint, brazillian spinach and lowland strawberries.
The backyard area is larger than its side, so it took a few months of intermittent work to dig the ground, remove a large amount of bricks buried underneath it (I guess the leftover from the house construction), remove the weeds, and create the vegetable patch. There I planted spinach, kangkung (water convolvulus), pak choy and choy sum.
Pak choy and choy sum don’t grow well, they usually have small size, and it’s because of the soil which is too hard and compact, should have mixed it with compost and sand to repair the soil structure to allow it to be more aerated.
In September 2017, I focused to plant spinach only, directly on 8 patches. Before this I germinate the plants on sowing tray before transplanting them to soil. Besides sawi pahit, spinach is one of the veggies that I can sell, because of it’s high volume of good harvest.
We harvest them by picking the large leaves and let the small ones to grow more, therefore we can harvest multiple times without needing to sow the new ones.
At first it seems like good idea, but after 2 months and 3 harvests, pests such as caterpillar, beetles, ants, grasshoppers & butterfly larva destroyed them. The veggies make the ground condition become so conducive for the creatures to live. At that time I tried to avoid any pesticide as I try to produce organic veggies, but it didn’t work, I still need to do some form of pest control.
Last year, apart from doing iOS programming (Swift) for my day job, I also got involved in agriculture. I’ve been actively doing conventional farming for almost a year now – planting mostly leafy vegetables and chillies using soil mixed with compost and chicken manure as fertilizer.
I also got to plant some fruit trees from seed – few types of citrus like lemon & lime, salak (snake fruit), nangka (jackfruit), guava and cempedak.
Since I rarely update this blog with programming stuff anymore, I thought it would be better to post about my other passion which is agriculture.
So this year, I’m planning to move further into this field, and get into commercial agriculture. I’m planning to do two side projects related to agriculture for this year – ayam kampung (free-range chicken breeding) and aquaponics (for leafy vegetables & fresh water fish)
For ayam kampung, this month I’m going to start building the coop, and try to use some techniques found online to auto feed and auto water them. Specifically for feeding, I want to build a DIY feeder which use bucket and UPVC pipe as hole for the chicken to peck the feed, and for the waterer, I’m going to use PVC tank to harvest rain and connect it to poultry watering cups inside the coop.
For aquaponics, I’ll start getting the components and build the grow bed next month. This aquaponics set is meant to grow leafy vegetables like few types of sawi (mustard) like pak choy, choy sum & kai lan, spinach and lettuce. For the fish part, I plan to grow tilapia and some types of catfish (baung, keli or haruan).
If everything is going according to plan, I’m expecting to start selling my produce in May 2018. I’m living in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia by the way, and I’ll start selling them at my in-laws village at Kampung Segali, Sebuyau, Sarawak (between Sebangan and Batang Sadong Bridge). I’ll keep this blog updated for you readers who are interested in purchasing my organic produce. See ya!