Friday, October 5, 2007

Growing Durian From Seed

Many people are shocked that I'm able to grow durian from seed. I guess even people in the metropolis view it as an "exotic" fruit, as it comes mainly from the south. But I'm telling you, the fruit can grow in Metro Manila! My tito who lives in a Paranaque subdivision was able to grow the sweetest durian ever-- on land that is coastal and primarily former wetland. Or actually, typical Manila suburbs. He just dumped copious amounts of compost on it.

Anyhow, either I soak the seeds in water for a day or two, or dump them in really damp compost, and they begin to sprout little yellow things (as pictured above). These will become roots and will bear into the ground. Later on, the seeds will lift up off the ground as the stem grows. The stem will be rough and twisty like an elephant's trunk!

It's pretty easy to grow, I think if you toss it in compost it will do just fine.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Kuya Pidel, who works for Papa, gave him two young chickens last week. Both are white. (edit: Both are female after all!)

Kuya Pidel instructed us to keep them in a cage and feed them for a whole week before setting them lose, and in this case, my dad stuffed them into the aviary.

The aviary is about maybe 10 feet high. The floor area is long enough that I can lie on it, and wide enough that I can do a split. I haven't tried, but I can assure you this is accurate. Anyway, they spent the week scratching at the ground like it had crabs and made them, overturned all the stones, and ate all the ants. Papa would occasionally throw in cooked rice or the millet seeds that the finches eat.

Then we set them loose, and they scratched manically at the rest of the ground, this time eating a more varied assortment of insects, as well as the big fat earthworms I hope they don't eat too many of. We don't really feed them anything else. After they are done with it, the compost pile looks terrible.

Papa made me hold the female and sort of pet her until she settled down. I've only attempted this once, as they run away whenever there are people around. Except when they are basking in the sun, they get pretty relaxed:

I hope they can help with the aphids come summer, as well as the higads. I am definitely looking forward to more animals in the garden.