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Peat Farmer

Pak Sukri from Punggur, West Kalimantan (see String of Pearls) is one of the best farmers I have ever met.  Even more so given that he is successfully farming a substrate that agronomists will tell you is unproductive, i.e. peat soils. Deep peat soils.  Over a period of several years, he drains, compresses, and carefully burns the peat. When he has reduced the peat layer to within a meter or so of the mineral soil underneath (now enriched by the slow release of nutrients from the organic material above), he  uses double-transplanted seedlings with long roots and a 2 meter dibble stick to start planting rice.  The rice seedlings are tapping into the mineral soil; the peat simply provides support and continual moisture. I am convinced that Pak Sukri could figure out a way to farm the moon. [NOTE: Elysa worked with Pak Sukri and took this photo (thx, Elysa); pineapples, cassava, rice, coconuts, and taro are visible in his field].

Reader Comments (2)

I adore this photo.

February 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterejh

me, too.

February 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterchuck

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