Sunday, 10 July 2011

Prevent birds from eating crops

Summary of today's lecture

Birds prefer eating insects over vegetables and seeds. But if they can't find enough insects, for example, during the mating season, they will turn to vegetables and seeds.

Ways to scare birds away
  1. A yellow ball with a big black dot in the middle
  2. Noise - as used in the airport - bells could be used
  3. Flash/bright light - CDs - not to be used in organic farms because CDs contain heavy metals and may dissolve into the soil. Use foil paper instead.
  4. Inflatable plastic bird - the shadow of the plastic bird would scare away birds (because small birds are afraid of big birds)
  5. Dead bird
  6. Fake snake (black plastic pipe) - need to warn people about the fake snake
  7. Scarecrow - need to move the position of scarecrow and change clothes regularly because birds are clever. They observe you on the tree and they recognize people.
  8. Fine bird nets - protecting the field
  9. Dry leaves or dry grasses - place on top of the soil after sowing the seeds. If the leaves are not dry, they get rotten and bacteria will grow.
Issues on global warming
Melting of icebergs will reactivate some of the ancient viruses/bacteria.
Migrating birds might bring along diseases from the north to the south.

Birds feces fertilizer
Collected on small islands along the migrating routes
Sterilized by high temperatures
Rich in phosphorus - important for forming fruits

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Harvesting eight cumcumbers, and more to come :D

Plants grow really rapidly. They look slightly different everyday. I watched them grow from a seed to a young plant. They grew taller and bigger. Then they flowered and here comes the cucumbers, expanding in size and ready to be consumed. It took only 40 days. Amazing!

How to tell the cucumber is ready to harvest?
The yellow flower at the end of the cucumber will drop off.