Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fermented Plant Juice (FPJ)

Often asked about probiotics.  If you read through the blog, you may use your search button, you will know why we use probiotics over antibiotics.  You can make you own.  We had been advocating natural farming and it entails making your own farm inputs.

We had been using FPJ for our chickens.  What is fermented plant juice?

Fermented plant juice (FPJ) is derived from mixing the young shoots of the plants with molasses and/or crude sugar and fermented in one (1) week.  FPJ is rich in micro and macro-nutrients.  The juice also contains rich microorganisms which give strength to plants and animals.  The shoots of plants are difficult to dissolve in water or any kind of oil but it can be done with a little amount of alcohol.  The process of fermenting the soft part of the plants with molasses/crude sugar and with the presence of microorganisms will result to a small percent of alcohol which is responsible in extracting the juice from the young parts of the plants.  The primary elements that FPJ can provide are nitrogen and some micro-nutrients like calcium, molybdenum, manganese, iron and carbon.

The part of the plants used for this fermentation is the shoot because it is this part that stores a high percentage of nutrients coming from the soil and from the atmosphere.  Moreover, plants used for FPJ are those that are fast growing such that, if you cut the shoot now, regeneration of a new part will take effect in a few hours.  We ourselves use:  Kamote, Squash, Kangkong, Alugbati, Banana, Bamboo.  You may use others with same characteristics and the ones readily available in your area.

The FPJ enhances growth and provides food for the indigenous microorganisms (IMO).  We add it to the drinking water of our chickens and spray it all around the farm on the seedlings, vegetable plots and fruit trees. 

How to make FPJ :)

1) Finely chop 2kgs of your available ingredients.  The 2kgs will be a combination of your gathered shoots of choice.

2) Mix with 1kg molasses or crude sugar.  We use molasses.

3) Place in a clay jar or plastic pail.  We use a plastic pail.  Put a rock on top of the chopped ingredients to weigh them down to make sure that they get soaked in sugar.

4) Next day, remove the rock (by now all ingredients are coated by molasses).  Cover your container with manila paper and tie a string around or have an elastic band around.

5) Set the container in a cool and dark or shaded place.  

6) On the 7th day, fermentation will be completed.  Harvest the liquid part and store in plastic bottles.  Set them in cool places.

7) Use 2T (tablespoons) per liter of water.  We use this for the Sunshine Chicken's drinking water.  This same concoction is used for spraying our vegetables and fruit trees.  No chemicals, no antibiotics :)

The leaves at the bottom of the pail, we feed to the chickens....they just love it!  Eating pickles!

BTW, great for humans too.  Gives me stamina for the day, while giving me a restful sleep at night.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Support & Trust

Thankful for friends in Agriculture who have stood by, believed and supported us through all these times.

Now that we are refocusing in using the white chickens for our endeavor, they have listened and took the steps with us.  They make us confident in going against norms and bringing  to all ,the benefits of economics and food :)

Others may belittle it, but we appreciate that friends spread the good work around and make it known to all...for others to be guided or to follow.

Philippines for natural farming!  Philippines may raise pastured chickens using the white broilers perceived only for commercial farming.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

From Farm To Market

At any given time, I have about four or five pairs of comfortable rubber boots.  They can be worn the whole day without taxing my legs.  It is worth it to invest in good pairs of shoes that will protect your feet and legs when going through farms and interesting finds in wet markets.  

Snakes, flood waters, thorny bushes, entangling vines etc...we have to be protected.  As in all cases, better to be defensive rather than offensive :)

Be comfortable.  The bonus is you can still look good when farming.

Green Daisy's Sunshine Chicken ala Hainanese Chicken

This post started it.  Daisy Langenegger of Green Daisy Organic Restaurant saw the recipe and just took the pointers and guide.  Daisy always uses the best and freshest ingredients that is available to her so following a recipe to the "T" is hardly done.

In one of the Philippines for Natural Farming Inc's working group's meeting, Daisy served her version of ala Hainanese Chicken.

It was really good!

Accompanying condiments and Chicken Rice

Monday, September 20, 2010

Poultry & Livestock Forum

WHAT: Poultry & Livestock Forum
WHERE: AANI Quezon Memorial Circle
WHEN: Every 3rd Sunday of the month, 1-5pm
WHO: Ben Rara and Doc Rey

This is not a seminar type, but a forum.  It will be focused on poultry and livestock sourcing, raising, marketing etc.  Open to the public and FREE. 

Color Blinded Or Harsh White Light?

When Mr Zac Sarian wrote a blind item about 2weeks ago in his Agripage column in Manila Bulletin, that brought a lot of interest on the Who and the Where the free ranging of the white broilers.

When I started blogging about our tests/experiments and now showed photos of the whites free ranging, we got so many calls and texts.  Some were asking, some were curious, but several calls and texts were to say that they have been doing it too!!!
The write ups and the blog made them to come out forward and speak up :)  We all were discussing that why wasn't it done before and spread?

Maybe the marketing of the veterinary companies wanted us blinded to the fact that the white broilers used by the industrial poultry industry, has to be reared using all those veterinary products.  Maybe the companies producing the colored chickens had hypnotized everyone to the fact that it was only the ones they produced that are able to free range.

Maybe the above paragraph is my imagination.  Maybe it was all of US who simply presumed, because we grew up with the white chickens raised caged and bombarded with chemicals.

We thought the better option was raising colored.  Now we have a better choice.  Raising the cheap and readily available white chicks, free ranged and natural farming methods.

Remember, the taste is in the age of the chicken.  Harvest at a later date than the industrials at 30days.  The safe and healthy chickens are in what we fed them and how we reared them.  

Combine both and now you get a good Sunshine!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Debutantes Stepping Out

We had several batches on trial runs for the white broilers for free ranging already, done, observed, harvested and eaten :) Starting with 100, 200 and 300 at a time. I was never around to see them step out for the first time as work took me most of time away from the farm.

We had all been blinded about the whites not being able to survive on the open range, but in our pursuit to give the farmers cheaper and safer food alternatives, there must be a way to have cheaper and more accessible free ranging chicks :) Thus the study on the whites. These chicks are readily available in most areas and pricing range dips to a level that will be very attractive to farmers.

Doc Rey here observing them while inside the brooder. He was ready to let them out now at 18days, just instructing for a manual count and weighing in before set out to range. 14days is what he practices now for brooding time. That will be a separate topic on the observations on brooding the whites for free range.
Average weights taken and head count done....the side doors were opened. See how happy they are? Doc Rey and I were discussing that you never see the industrial white chickens this way in their cramped coops. We thought that all they knew was eat, sleep and fight. Well I guess it is really on the environment. See how happy chickens are chickens naturally? Irregardless of their color :) Same characteristics when out on open areas.
Rats are the biggest problems, so Doc Rey instructs that a side of the metal walling of the brooder be lifted. That way, it will be easier for them to be herded back to safety after they go home at night. This is done as precaution because they are let out open at 14days.
Early evenings, once grouped inside, the metal sheet walling may be slid back to position so they will be safe from the Rats.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Healthy Gizzard Sisig

The gizzard is naturally crunchy so it gives the healthy sisig the needed crunch and different textures. No chicken meat, just pure gizzard. To make it creamy, we added chicken liver. This is one of our sought after products, the healthy gizzard sisig.

You may sizzle it in a hot plate, heat it up in a thick skillet to give it that brown and toasted look. Simply, it is OK to heat it up in the microwave.

Serving suggestions: over rice, wrapped in lettuce, topping in salad, using tortilla wraps, top crackers. Endless variations with your healthy and tasty food choices.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Holding Well

After several trial batches and taste tastes, the whites stood up well to the colored cousins.

The taste was really in a slow developing chicken. Harvest at a much later date and encourage slow growth and free ranging abilities, you get great tasting chicken. As for the health benefits? It is in how you raise and feed the chickens. No antibiotics, no hormones - translates to healthy chicken on our plates :)

From day1, they are given probiotics, fermented plant juices and fresh herbs. See the red siling labuyo?

When left out on their own, they enjoy the same things that their colored cousins do. Look at her run with glee to her treasure find of fallen Aratiles fruits. I will love them too for myself!

They also love playing around.

And rest. Notice that unlike when their white sisters are raised in captivity, they always seem sleepy? But when let out and free ranged, they are always alert. Even when resting, they prefer to sit by in their terrace.

The white chicks are far cheaper and easily accessible to all. There will be a favorite poultry supply store in the market, selling these. Just like the Sunshine Chicks, look for their properly printed chick boxes so you know you are getting premium grades of chicks.

Just for the record. We have type casted them for the caged and industrial chickens only. They may be free ranged :)

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Luxury Of Experimenting

Since start of 2010, I had been restless and knew I had to do something new or different. Marketing Sunshine, gone into healthy sausages, got the levels of the dressed chickens business to a comfortable level....what is next?

Have to go back to what was said about this 2010 in terms of Astrology, but I knew it drove me to make changes and movements. For one, I had learned to love the dressed chicken side. It wasn't part of the original enterprise, but it was part and parcel of marketing, to elevate consumers' awareness.

Been so quiet because I detached myself somewhat, to be able to see myself and where to go. I want to plant Camote! But I love my chickens too. Think of how you can do better to mankind. Think of how growing their own food will be more accessible and cheaper.

I had the luxury of time and effort. Can you guess what I did?

Look at where experiments may take you. This will help a lot of backyard farmers and people who will want to grow their own food. White broilers are readily available and cheaper.

It is in the raising!