24 October, 2009

A Harvest and a Feast

This morning I feel elated for two reasons. Being away from Bintulu for about three weeks now I miss exceedingly my eco-farm here and therefore to drive away the blues I started to do a little bit of labour of love. Then while walking around the farm I met with a surprising encounter with a lovely beauty that seems to enthrall me forever. First, the harvest. As can be seen on the left (inset) the oil palm fruits freshly harvested today, are about 3-5 cm long with a diameter of about 3-4 cm which I consider a pretty good size since planting them three years ago. And there are good tasting. It's no wonder squirrels love them and BTW there are plenty of these cute creatures around at the farm here.
A ripe fruit bunch like above could easily weigh between 10-15 kilos.

This morning I started to harvest Zone D, located just behind my chalet. The tree that I harvested is seen on the left of the picture above. Note the diversity of planting in an eco-farm which allows for multiple harvesting of oil palm fruits, seasonal fruits, and other jungle produce items like edible ferns, herbal plants etc. besides my favourite inter-cropping of landscaping plants for advance growing and propagation purposes.

Before Harvest
After Harvest
To be an expert harvester you got to be able to cut the base of the leaf stalk with one single thrust of the chisel and another to cut the fruit bunch. Well I'm beginning to love this work especially when I can strike one with a clean cut. It gives much satisfaction and needless to say perfect exercise because at this low height you need to bend your body many times to complete harvesting about 4-5 fruit bunches per tree. Well, my record this morning is 10 trees and the rest I'll just let my worker continue harvesting. At today's price a tonne of the fresh fruit bunches fetches between RM 350-RM 380. Normally I would harvest the farm twice monthly.
And a Feast for my Eyes
As the butterfly flutters its wings I feel a strong rush of excitement and thrill to see how this regular visitor clings to the flowers to extract the honey. It is one of those moments when we suspend all thoughts and just love life for what it is - to be enjoyed.

For your eyes only.
This lovely flowering plant is of the Clerodendrum genus and commonly called the Pagoda Flower due to its bright orange to red flowers arranged in a pagoda-like structure, and is found in many regions of Asia. From this genus comes another favourite of mine called the " Bleeding Heart Vine" ( Clerodendrum thomsoniae)

The leaves are broad, glossy and deeply veined. But what attracts me to this plant is the pyramid-like tier of hundreds of tiny salmon pink flowers. This plant flowers throughout the year and thus qualify well as a "Kambatik Garden" favourite.

This LS view shows partly its growing habit. The above specimen is just a few feet away from my verandah and seems to grow excellently in damp but well-drained soil.

2 comments:

  1. Ah I so enjoyed this!!! What an incredible shot of the flower and butterfly!;))
    You know it is almost surreal to see these fantastic exotic pictures when here we are nearing the barren winter season.
    I love the lushness of your garden and I love the exotic plants as well.;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh,I'm so happy to hear your comments.Indeed I was lucky enough to be able to come close to the butterfly and have a good shot using my camera hand phone. Thanks for droppin' by.

    ReplyDelete

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