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Manayan Farm, Malalam, Ilagan

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Farm 04, Cadu, Ilagan

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Hilltop, Santo Tomas, Naguilian

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Cadu, Ilagan Farm 03

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Property near IDGH

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Integrated schematic map of Farm 01 to Farm 03 in Cadu, Ilagan

Unlike the complex terrain and biodiverse vegetation of the Santo Tomas, Naguilian Farms and the upland (hilltop property) in Malalam, Ilagan, the Cadu Farms owned by the Eugenio-Magano Family are mainly gentle rolling hills with vast areas of flat lands. This terrain is characteristic of the farm lands in Cadu, Ilagan. Three of the four farms owned by the  Eugenio-Magano Family are contiguous. 

Schematic representation of Fam 01, Farm 02 and Farm 03
Fig. 01. Schematic representation of Fam 01, Farm 02 and Farm 03. Fig. 01A.. Top view of the three farms separated by the barangay road and a Right of Way, partitioned from the Eugenio-Magano property. Fig. 01.B. Lateral view of Farm 02. Fig. 01.C. Lateral view of both Farm 01 and Farm 03, separated by a Right of Way (RoW).

While Farm 04 (schematic map not shown at this time) is separated from the three other farms shown in Fig. 01, Farm 04 is close enough so that the operation (e.g., water sharing may be integrated). According to Fernando Eugenio, the current caretaker of the farms, water is pumped from Farm 04 for use in the other farms. This is possible because the rice fields in Farm 04 is the lowest location in the vicinity of a number of rolling hills; thus, it serves as collection pond for runoff rainwater during the monsoon season.

Water Sequestration -- a Priority

Planned Ecoculture Projects
Planned Ecoculture Projects.

Water source. The area in Cadu where the Eugenio-Magano Family farms is located is quite far from any surface source of water (creeks, revers, etc.), Thus, farming in the area is very much dependent on rainwater that is abundant only during the rainy season; and whatever water may be extracted from subsurface.

Farming in the area therefore is always in a constant threat of flash flooding during the monsoon season, and, the exact opposite of threat of drought during the dry season.

Creation of Ponds. In view of the above conditions, water sequestration into ponds and in place will be a priority during the rainy season. The goal is to collect the maximum rain possible from the land area of the contiguous farms.

From our initial survey of the farms, The zone c in Farm 3 will beside of one of the major sequestration ponds (see lateral map in Fig. 01C for rationale of this choice). A high location in zone b in Farm 01 (mainly a cornfield with some fruit trees) will serve a the main reservoir pond. Creation of both ponds will involve excavation and embankments (using the excavated land). Because of its high location, stored water in zone b in Farm 01 may be distributed to the other contiguous ponds by gravity flow  (see lateral map in Fig. 01C).

Further, because of the higher rolling terrain just West of the farms, owned by the Acierto family, it is possible to divert as much of the rainwater coming from the higher elevation into the water sequestration ponds to be created in the farms. [The run-off water must be directed into a styling and treatment pond and not mixed directly with the main pond.]

Kahon-Kahon. Terracing is another strategy for transient sequestration of water to remain in place when there is high rainwater precipitation, i.e.,  during the height of the rainy season or during a typhoon.  This may be achieved by terracing or planting of Vetiver plants, or a combination of strategies to retain in place as much as possible. The transiently sequestered water must then be diverted to settling ponds to avoid waterlogging of susceptible crops. Alternativetively, crops cultivated during the rainy season must be those that may not be susceptible to transient water logging.

Holding ponds for runoff rainwater. Based from our initial survey, there are three potential areas in the contiguous farms that may serve as transient sequestration ponds for excess rainwater:

  • zone d in Farm 01
  • zone g in Farm 02
  • zone g (mainly the rice fields in zone g) of Farm 03

In case of more excess rain, e.g., during La Nina, the following areas may be used as additional more transient water sequestration areas:

  • zone c in Farm 01
  • zone f in Farm 02
  • zone d in Farm 03
  • the inclined transition between zone a and zone g in Farm03

Transient rainwater sequestration in these zones may be achieved through high embankments terracing, organic porous dams using Vetiver rows (opposed to the angle of water flow), or a combination of both and other techniques.

The Design and Engineering proposals will be outlined and presented in the schematic maps for each farm.

Subsoil water re-charge. The ponds and transient water sequestration strategies, if prepared properly has another important function in EcoCulture strategies -- that of re-charging the subsoil with water.  If done regularly through the years, there might be enough water stored in the subsoil reservoir that may be tapped judiciously during long term drought conditions experience during the advent of El Nino.

Visit separate articles for fishpond construction and management to convert the above ponds for fish cultivation.

Windbreaks. The Cadu area is essentially devoid of dense  groves of large trees that could serve as windbreaks. Because of strong winds that visit the area regularly during typhoons, one of the long term goal in our EcoCulture strategies is the development of windbreaks in the farms.

 [More later (present)]

Advantages

  • Good road system towards the farms
  • along the road
  • Very close to the center of Ilagan
  • Contiguous
  • Mainly flat

Possibilities

  • Development into an EcoPark
  • Ecological Intensification Projects
  • EcoCulture Model Farm

Challenges 

  • Trespassing by cattle owners
  • Lack of motivated farm labor
  • Threat of El Nino in 2014