This might be something out of the norm but I think it is worth the effort.
Yesterday while taking a short break with my Indonesian workers at Bukit Pelanduk BH I was curious about the banana plantation and its surroundings.
I asked my worker to take me for a short tour.
To my surprise I found a few very interesting things that were hidden at the perimeter of the plantation.
First was a sizable fish pond that have at least 3,000 cat fish. I was taken to the pond and we did some fishing.
Those cat fish were a hungry lot and they eat nearly anything that can be eaten. Sometime even the fish hook with no bait on it.
I caught one fish every one minute. What a wonderful experience.
Second more interesting finding was a row of young figs trees planted on the elevated soil that prevent sea water from entering the plantation.
In the beginning I was not very sure but I got hold of my partner and he admitted that he planted those trees himself.
"Pak Harry, I read about Figs trees insect generating capabilities from your blog and quickly planted them around my BH. They are now about 1 years old now and about 30 trees. I think we should plant more, what do you think?"
What he did was to start a nursery planting each tree from their ripe fruits.
I told him that was very unusual and he now will be my nursery partner.
"Pak Harry you go and get the ripe fruits of any figs tree types and I will grow them for your next project."
This makes me realized the potential of getting others to help you out with what ever your wanted to use for your BH.
Most of us tend to be focusing more to the inside of our BH and give very little attention to the outside of it.
After reading this article, please view those video clips, you might want to do a bit of thinking about what can be done on the outside, I mean the BH surroundings.
To those who owned BHs with excess land, my sincere advise to you is to plant these figs trees to help in generating insects in a more natural method.
It has dual methods in generating those small insects.
First will be those figs warps that breed inside the fruits during the fruit's tender age.
The female figs warps will bore a small hole and squeeze herself into the fruit and lay her eggs into a special capsule that were specially produced inside the fruit. While moving from one capsule to another they will pollinate the flowers. These eggs will soon turned into maggots and later transformed into warps inside the capsule. The young warps prior to coming out of the open will collect enough pollen for them to carry to another fruit.
Figs tree will produce no flower. The so called flower inside the fruit. The only way to pollinate the flower is to have some insect that will enter the fruit flesh and pollinate inside.
A very interesting plant and insect working together for their survival.
The second method is when the fruit become ripe and falls to the ground.
The moment it turned red and soft the fruit will attract those fruit flies. They come in thousands and lay their eggs on the soft flesh which are decomposing.
These fruit flies are exactly the same insects that you breed using those insect generating powder.
Using insect generating powder is a bit too tedious and you need to replace the soup every 10 -14 days. Well I am not trying to discourage you from doing this method but look at it as your short term measures.
You need to spend about 50-60 Ringgit per mixing plus a labourer to help to clean and pour the soup. Once you stop doing the mixing the whole thing will stop producing.
While the Figs trees planting technique is more like a long termed method of generating insects for your BH as compared to those insect barn method. It is more self generating and less human intervention.
Hmm .... may be you should combine the two. Use the insect generating barn technique during the early period and once the figs trees are matured and starts to fruits you can stop the early activity.
The figs trees will fruit nearly a whole year round and if you can plant a few species the fruiting time will be continuous.
Much better if you have a lot of them. Per acre you might want to plant about 50 to 60 plants. It will be very effective if you create water ponds and plant these Figs trees on the elevated walls of the ponds.
Come and visit my Bukit Pelanduk BH and see how we are going to turn a part of the Banana plantation into water ponds laced with Figs trees around the ponds.
There will be at least 3 different species of Figs trees.
If you are not sure where to plant just give me a call so that I can help in giving a small advise.
I will be having a number in my new nursery soon at Bukit Pelanduk. I will also turn the land around the BH to be a figs plantation with a couple of fish ponds.
Call me at 017 755 1318 for any help.
Already collected a few ripe fruits this morning from a couple of trees in Kuala Lumpur and will pass them to my Nursery Partner.
Remember this whole thing is just my idea and it is not compulsory for your to consider it. As far as I can remember I am the only one who encourage the use of Figs Trees in swiftlet farming.