Monday, 29 July 2013

Paddy Wet&Wild Team

(Contributed by members of Paddy Wet &Wild Team )

What’s in a team?
Knowledge, skills, new acquaintance, bonding, fun, one goal. And, of course, mistakes and lessons are very valuable.

Why Paddy Wet&Wild?

Paddy reminds us that the activities are meant for an irrigated rice crop. Wet refers to wet season 2013.  Wild because the team will brave the wet season when there are usually are  more concerns than during the dry season. Wild ideas are accepted but not wild behaviour:+)
We are the Rice Survivor Challenge Wet Season 2013_Paddy Wet&Wild Team:  Loreto “Bhoyet” Puyod, an IT expert leads the team, a snake charmer --Yuch!; Janet “Jan” Lazarte, an accountant doing HR job, files the document and watches over the expenses, loves outdoor; Lean  Mamerto “Lean” Mercado, soil chemist and the most eligible bachelor at-large at IRRI; Xiaojia “Jia” Yin, VRF, a molecular biologist from China, also  handles quick lesson on proper use of chopsticks; Ofelia “Offie” Namuco, semi-practicing crop physiologist aspiring to become a FARMER (all caps as in BIGTIME:=)); and Tsutomo “Tom” Ishimaru,  not really a virtual member, a “double-scientist” from JIRCAS, probably “double-paid”, too.

We’re the best in what we do and what we do is the best”.

2013 May 29, Wednesday

We got a plot!

So, plot 822 (or simply 822) will be “our baby” from May to November 2013.  822 is interesting: it was not planted for two seasons and lost its  hard pan but with pretty abundant “kangkong”. It was handed to the team already plowed (Thanks to ES) but quite irregular in shape.  822 had lots of garbage (scattered in the entire plot) including pieces of broken glass bottles (e.g. Sprite), pieces or whole plastic sando bags (wonder what they contained before), Max candy wrappers, twigs (enough to injure a “green-horn”). And lately, we pulled one orange umbrella buried at the “rice root zone” in one corner of 822. We knew all about these garbage because we tried to clean as much as we can clean this “little dump site” before land prep.  In doing so, perhaps we learned to “love” 822.

The team waited for sometime before the final land prep and our excitement began seeing the plot flooded, seemingly “kangkong-free”. Our enthusiasm grew! One afternoon visit (Jia, Offie, Bhoyet) for re-measurement  of the plot was even more exciting (or frightening) as we encountered one long snake—Philippine cobra? Glad nobody accidentally stepped on it (but almost). Still, Bhoyet daringly (and naughtily) irritated the what he called a “lucky snake”.

Our “kangkong-free” 822

 2013 June 23, Sunday

Good morning, pretty sunny Sunday. 

Jia, Janet, Lean, Ken, Offie, & Bhoyet drove to G6, in tow were incubated seeds in wet jute sacks-- 3 kg of NSIC Rc238 and 2 kg of Rc222, and sterilized soil.

Wowow! We got well-prepared beds for our seedlings.  Thanks to Rod Tumambo, Pisyo, and other ES staff! We were now ready to establish the wetbed nursery for manual transplanting of Rc238.  Alas, we started sowing at about 09:00 and finished at 12:30, about 3 hours under the scorching sun.  Yes, we were pretty slow but we wanted to establish the best looking

 nursery that IRRI ever had :=).  And, we believe we put up one :=) :=). 
Everyone was serious (no breakfast yet!)

It didn’t matter if the seeds were not all on the furrow :=).

1:00 PM , we started to establish a nursery for mechanical transplanting.  One wondered why we had to grow the seedlings in trays, with soil and coconut coir dust and why not just use the old dapog system.

2013 July 4, Thursday

Two days before transplanting, we (Bhoyet, Janet, Offie) mixed and broadcast phosphorous and potassium fertilizers in the plot. These fertilizers were incorporated by harrowing twice—across and along the length of the plot.  Hands on, friends.

Nobody does it better…. than the farmers.  

How difficult harrowing was, we never knew until today.  But, it was fun.  Tatang, whom we called the Green Harrower--because he wears green all the time—was cool. He did not talk much and just let us grab the wheels from him.  Anyway, we learned that he did a re-work on what the three of us harrowed.

Scared of the pink-egged snails! We hired two macho (daw) kabesilya workers  to build canalets around the plot. These GAS ought to drown themselves in the canalets.

2013 July 6, Saturday

The weather was not so threatening. Perfect for a big haul for the team. The energy was high.The Paddy Wet&Wild was too excited to haul the seedling trays and transplant the seedlings to half of plot 822.  Everyone was in Rice Survivor t-shirt, with caps, and sunblock, and too ready to work.  But, we missed Tom – the guy on home leave.

With a million minutes of never-ending initial lesson from Coach Pisyo Malabanan, the team was ready for the day’s work—mechanical transplanting. And yes, using the Kubota mechanical transplanter.  The Paddy Wet&Wild Team members took turns to transplant NSIC Rc222. Everybody was in “LOL mode” to see how one did---after comparing rows.

If Mr. Pisyo could wear boots while mechanical transplanting, why couldn’t we?  The boots were difficult to pull from the mud but we managed


The series transplanting and the coaching and transplanting and coaching and transplanting finished in less than two hours. Isn’t that cool and neat and efficient? Oh yes, we needed breakfast so we rushed to the canteen to have rice or pandesal breakfast.  And YES, we had to return to the field to review (or appreciate) our work, and to replant because at least two of us stepped (LOL) on someone else’s row :=).  

Not so bad, ES?

Finally, Mr. Pisyo was happy his trouble :=) was over!

Nobody seemed tired—only hungry and thirsty. So after rinsing we treated ourselves with aaahhh gooood lunch, large fish, BBQ chicken, fruit shake, water, or (who had?) beer.   That was the cool down for the day. When we returned to 822, there already was a “Warning”: Kuhol Buster (saponin) was applied. 

2013 July 8, Monday

Today, one gray and one oh-wange boys pulled the Rc238 seedlings for us. Oooh, we had a lot of Rc238 seedlings and they were really healthy (As we said we’d make the most beautiful wetbed nursery that IRRI would have).

2013 July 9, Tuesday

Another big haul for the Paddy Wet&Wild—manual transplanting RC238 to the other half of 822.  Manual transplanting was no fun and seemed the most difficult task we did, so far. Imagine bending under the sun the whole time?  Ahhhh, but nope (or No way!), it was not the whole time.  We asked help from four women kabesilya workers who actually transplanted 75 % of the seedlings.


For the team, manual transplanting was not a new thing though. Remember we re-planted the missing hills in the mech-transplanted Rc222; and that was basically manual transplanting.

Yey! We’re done for the day! Really, really tired (and burnt!) but we were an accomplished bunch! And so we had something cool—another treat for ourselves. A post-lunch fresh DURIAN Feast . Isn’t that great?

2013 July 11, Thursday

Well, it’s time to nourish the seedlings, we (Bhoyet, Janet, Offie), applied ammonium sulfate, after consulting with Jorge Alvarez on the proper way to broadcast fertilizer.  (Just like the rain dance!) Was Jorge successful in teaching us? Half-man hour for Jorge versus 3- man hour for P W&W. But, see outcome to appreciate.

2013 July 15/18, Monday/Thursday

Lovely! The plants quickly recovered from malnutrition… oops, transplanting shock is the better term.

“Go SNAILS & ZOMBIES. GO finish the PW&W crop. Lusob mga kuhol”, posted by two of Bhoyet’s good FB friends. But hey, cool off, gentlemen. Didn’t you know that Bhoyet scattered a sack of fresh papaya leaves (Sorry, Cabuyao neighbor)? all around 822.  And, there was another dose of Kuhol Buster today. 

(Shhhh, don’t tell the gentlemen.  Some cutie little Zombies already feasted on a few rows!)

This Zombie was caught in the act! Did I hear Janet said oh-em-gee!?

2013 July 24/25, Thursday

Feeling a little desperate seeing many missing hills, we asked two oh-wange girls to finish re-planting (Ok, real farmers do that? They call it “hulip”). 

Trivia for today:    Did you know that P W&W has a Snaky Charmer?  That’s value added attraction! Wait for the show, it’s coming soon... after Wolverine!

Heard about the “Preggy Path” or the “Buntis Path” (coined by Bhoyet).  Come, visit our Rc 222 area. There are also “sexy paths”. Free visit and LOL.
So far so Good....

50th day after seedlings.. Applying fertilizer with the whole team.