Patience, Farming & a Bountiful Harvest

April 10, 2014

I am the world’s greatest farmer.

I am the world’s greatest farmer.

I am the world’s greatest farmer.

But….I am not a very patient man. This may have something to do with getting frustrated when things don’t go my way. That’s fine, if I am just working in a factory assembling battery operated vibrating toys that keep spinsters happy at night. But take that same attitude of impatience into farming especially this year when the weather is throwing one curveball after another – I guarantee you….I will be so fucked.

This year is very different from last year. Last year I cut all the right moves 10/10 result: optimal yield. If it was the olympics of farming. I would have certainly bagged the gold in my class and region…not kidding. Didn’t even have to stretch myself, all I had to do was stick to the yellow brick road and follow the farmers almanac on when to sow, harvest etc etc.

But this year is very different…everything is up in the air.. to get the same results, I probably need to be a reincarnation of Nostradamus. Truth is I can’t read the weather at all this year….I am flying blind and it’s turning out to be a game of cerebral fitness cum sudden death with bits of chickeeeeeeen! Thrown in…one where I find myself having to frequently backtrack, devise ever inventive strategies to cheat mothernature if I want to get a good yield – you see it’s not true when people say drought = low yield. Not for oil palm at least…there is loads room for improvisation and there are ways even beat the curve and win.

I must continue to believe in this idea….hard to be confident when I consider the harsh reality most farmers this year will have to content with only half of what they harvested last year…..but I am not like them…not at all. I am the world’s greatest farmer…and as arrogant and conceited as that may sound, I must continue to believe in that idea even if it is closer to illusion than reality.

So far everything is going precisely to plan. On the 26 of March, the trees were fertilised with a cocktail of nutrients comprising of 1.3 Kg of Nitrogen & Potassium @ ratio of 12.4 – 30 – 1 kg of rock phosphate – 1 kg of Magnesium and 100 grammes of Boron. This year the growth dosage was reduced to a third of the usual rate and supplements increased – this is my own formulation, one which I adapted from my extensive research on how the Israelis have been able to thrive in agriculture to regularly yield juicy Jaffa oranges despite having to farm in the desert – there are two very specific goals here.

The additional supplements are to fortify the trees against drought related diseases and the reduced dosage of growth fertiliser to a third was catered specifically to be sympathetic to trees due to the prolonged drought from January to late March – it was designed not to shock the trees.

Trees are a bit like humans. After a prolonged period of starvation. If a person is given too much food his body will not be able to digest and it is likely to go into shock and he dies. Trees are the same…in the beginning of this year till late march there was hardly a drop of rain…so naturally they need time to get back into the active cycle and the best way to facilitate that sort of recovery is by supplying only micro and not mega dosages of fertilisers – a little goes a long way here. So far this part is 10/10. As it has rained numerous times since my last manuring session and judging by the vigor of the new shoots after these recent rounds of rains – they r all good to go.

But I am not home free yet….since I have reduced the fertilization to only a third of the normal requirement that’s not nearly enough nutrients to create optimum conditions for the trees to produce heavy fruit. They still need another round of fertilisation….the question now is how much? Should I continue with another round of micro dosage or is it better to give them the whole lot in one go?

It would all depend on the rains. We are in the monsoon now and usually this is hardly the best time to fertilise as the rains are heavy resulting in much surface run off – that means the fertiliser just gets washed away. That’s no good. But if my predictions are true, that we will get significantly less rains this year, then I may not have any choice but to take the gamble.

Everything now will pivot on the next 50%. Or shall I say, one throw of the dice.

I am the world’s greatest farmer.

I am the world’s greatest farmer.

I am the world’s greatest farmer….if only I can believe.

————————————————————————-

‘Yesterday a group of Christians paid me a surprise visit in my plantation. They told me God told them to pray for me this year for a bountiful harvest. After serving them iced lemonade and going thru the obligatory small chat. I told them politely…please go away….I don’t need their hocus pocus….besides I never asked that carpenter to die for me….so if he wants to do so…that’s his pasal la(business) – I can’t understand, what’s it got to do with me.

No! The last thing I need now is hope for the sake of hope in the form of mumbo jumbo.

I need to bide for time…and stop myself from moving unnecessarily…like when I am hunting with the weapon of silent death…the bow… I will still myself till my heart slows down and I just blend seamlessly into the jungle…to even allow my sorroundings to embrace me till I disappear completely like a drop of red ink in a glass of water….that is how it is to be invisible. That’s what I need to do…to just remain patient. If I can just do that….opportunity will present itself…it will… and when it shows it’s hand…I will still bite my tongue…hold my breathe and remain so very still…closer….come closer….and even when it stands before me. I will still not move…till everything is just right. Then I’ll draw the bow in one smooth silent arc, take aim at a spot no larger than a coin…and just when it dips it’s head into the stream to drink…I will exhale ever so slowly, close my eyes and allow my fingers to relax on the bow string sending death hissing through flesh, bone, cartilage to find the heart.

I must be patient…’

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