Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Gift for the New Year

On this last day of the year, I took ample time to walk around my eco-farm . I had the best gift for the new year. From the hundreds of fruiting oil palm trees and for the first time around, I managed to gather the first batch of ripe fruits since they were planted from the tiniest of seeds in December 2006.

The above bunches came from five trees. A morning harvest of one ripe bunch per tree, makes my day even though they are just 5 trees out of 600. Average weight of a bunch was 3 kilos. Today's first harvest weighed 15.5 kilos. This is so important for me because I have spent hundreds of thousands of Malaysian Ringgit to develop the farm over the last three years. Currently there are 600 trees in different stages of fruiting covering an area of 10 acres.
My excitement today is beyond words. It is my fervent hope that the bunches will grow heavier over the coming year and many, many years to come, albeit with more fertilisers and appropriate agronomic and other cultural practices. For those who are not familiar with the oil palm tree you may like to note that the economic life of an oil palm tree is 25 years, after which they are replaced by re-planting programmes or the holding may transform into other profitable land use e.g. an eco-resort or a housing development area. At the peak of growth ( 10-15 years) one ripe bunch may weigh between 25-40 kilos. In other words my pension are my trees.

Close-up of a 30 months old oil palm tree ( Elaeis guineensis) at my eco-farm ( Tree tag no: ZA-18) bearing the first ripe fruit bunch, weighing 3.5 kilos. On the average one tree may have 10 - 20 bunches at differing stages of inflorescence and ripening. Normally you can undertake two rounds of harvest a month/tree.

No comments: