Fertilizer, Pest deterrent, and disease preventative

在文檔中 泰雅族的自然農業:一條朝向保持生物多樣性及傳統文化道路 - 政大學術集成 (頁 49-54)

Chapter 3. Participatory Research and Analysis of Literature Review

3.2 Species Diversity

3.2.2 Fertilizer, Pest deterrent, and disease preventative

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Figure 10 Bamboo wall surrounding the farm (02/08/2016) Location: Shilei ( )

3.2.2: Fertilizer, Pest deterrent, and Disease Preventative:

a. Natural Fertilizer

By not using chemical pesticides or fertilizers more insects and animals have been able to thrive on the farm. In a conventional farm, the chemical fertilizers and pesticides allow crops to flourish while killing pests. Yet chemical fertilizers also kill other species of insect, including potentially beneficial ones. While conventional methods are

successful in stimulating crop growth and preventing pests from eating the crops, they create an imbalance in the ecosystem. Not using chemical pesticides may seem

problematic for natural farming, because it means there are more pests, and these pests will eat the crops. However, it also means the pest’s predators are able to eat the pests, which works to sustain a more balanced ecosystem. For example, the grasshoppers eat the caterpillars and ladybugs, the mantis eats the grasshopper, the birds eat almost every variety of insects, and people eat the birds. According to Loyi, this idea of maintaining a more balanced ecosystem aligns with the principles of the Gaga. According to the Gaga it is important to respect everything, and “if you respect them they will also respect you”

(Loyi 02/08/2016). Everything, plants, animals, insects, etc. are thought to have a

specific purpose and it is important to look carefully for that purpose before mindlessly certain species off (ex: weeds, pests, etc.) (Loyi 02/08/2016).

Nevertheless, even natural farmers still need some type of fertilizer and pest and disease preventative, especially for the crops that are not native to the area. In Korea, Taru Behuy learned several different natural fertilizer techniques and also how to raise organic chickens. There are two main categories of fertilizer: nutrient fertilizer to supplement the soil with nutrients [Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium] and a natural pest and disease deterrent. Table 3-3 below, translated from Ru and Lo’s “The Local Moral World and Agricultural Activities of the Committed Organic Farmer,” describes materials used in the natural fertilizer and how they apply to different nutrients.

Table 3-3 Commonly used Natural Fertilizer ingredients [ ]

Nutrient Nitrogen Phosphorus Potassium

Fertilizer name

Translated from “The Local Moral World and Agricultural Activities of the Committed Organic Farmer” (Ru and Lo 2015, 108)

Table 3-3 depicts several different fruits (Papaya, banana, plum) used in the natural fertilizer. However, as Taru Behuy pointed out to members of International Network of Indigenous Ecological Farmers one does not have to strictly abide by these specific fruits, and whichever fruits are abundant in the area should be fine to use as fertilizer. At the time of the workshop, Taru Behuy showed that he was mixing solutions

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of watermelon and peach fertilizer, because the previous year they had many rotten peaches in the area (INIEF workshop 03/15/2016).

Figure 11 Watermelon Fertilizer (03/15/2016) Location: Shilei ( )

Besides the materials listed above Taru Behuy also learned the technique of using fermented fish along with gathering microorganisms by finding decomposed leaves in the forest. For the fermented fish, the fish are mixed with brown sugar and fermented before being used as compost. Taru Behuy started by using expensive fish from the market, but has since transitioned to using fish from Yilan. Although it is closer to buy or catch fish in Hsinchu, he found that these fish make crops more susceptible to disease (Lo 2016, 218-219). For the microorganisms, Taru Behuy was taught to find decomposed leaves in the forests, which could be used as a basic fertilizer and improve soil fertility. At first, Taru Behuy did as he was instructed to in Korea and found microorganism in the forest.

However, this process is difficult and time consuming, so now he breeds the microorganisms directly on the farm (Lo 2016, 222).

In addition, the farmers sometimes prepare cow bones to be used as fertilizer, because Calcium is also an important nutrient to prevent plant stems from splitting or becoming weak. To prepare cow bones to be used as fertilizer they should be cooked for an entire day and then steeped in vinegar for about a week. Yet, cow bones are something applied to the soil as needed, and Taru Behuy will not usually apply this unless there is a noticeable problem with calcium deficiency in the soil (Lo 2016, 236).

Additionally, it is common for Atayal households to raise chickens and use the excrement as fertilizer. While the Lo family farm also raises chickens, they have improved the process by implementing Korean style natural farming techniques.

Normally using chicken excrement as fertilizer, while a helpful nutrient for crops, can also be environmentally harmful by attracting many flies to the field and having a foul odor. However, the Korean style natural farming incorporates a certain type of

microorganism before integrating the excrement with the fertilizer. This microorganism helps the excrement to break down and rids it of its odor so it can be used more

sustainably on the fields. This idea of using the microorganism is an important step for indigenous communities who currently rely on chicken excrement as a source of fertilizer. Moreover, there is a type of symbiotic relationship between the chickens and the fields where the chickens eat the leftover produce that is no longer fit for human consumption and the chicken excrement is used on the fields after being processed with the microorganism. Moreover, the farmers are able to enjoy eggs and chicken meat without worrying about chemical contamination, because the food prepared for the chickens comes directly from the farm. According to Yawu Taru (Taru Behuy’s wife), the method of preparing the chickens is rooted in their Gaga.

b. Natural Pest and Disease Deterrent

One of the main draws of natural farming is that natural farming methods have been successful in finding a way to deter pests without turning to chemical methods.

Without chemical pesticides, pests have increased substantially on farms, causing pests to become a major problem for organic farmers. In order to prevent pests from wiping out crops, organic farmers spend countless hours individually collecting and killing pests. If pests invade the field and eat at the crops, it may not only be economically devastating, but it means the farmers have less food to eat that season.

Taru Behuy derived a natural pest deterrent through using indigenous ecological knowledge, mainly Atayal ethnomedicine (Ru and Lo 2015, 107). Table 3-4, translated from Ru and Lo’s “The Local Moral World and Agricultural Activities of the Committed Organic Farmer,” details on the modern and traditional use of four main ingredients in the natural pest and disease deterrent.

Table 3-4 Commonly used natural pest and disease deterrent ingredients

English Name Taxol Cork tree bark Chinese Cinnamon tree

Pearl Onion Chinese Name

Atayal Name gamin hebum hom qemu tumaw

Traditional use germicide Reduce fever, painkiller,

Target species Fruit tree, vegetable Translated from “The Local Moral World and Agricultural Activities of the Committed Organic Farmer” (Ru and Lo 2015, 108)

Furthermore, Taru Behuy also devised a natural insecticide that may be

incorporated inside the natural fertilizers and sprayed on the plants. In order to create this natural pesticide, Taru Behuy first finds and kills a number of insects using a specific type of fungus. Unlike conventional pesticides, the natural insecticide is used only to target one specific species of pest. For example, if the farmer wants to target the

caterpillar eating the cabbage they would first capture caterpillars, kill them, and then the dead insects will produce a type of bacteria that will help them to decompose. After decomposing they turn into a high protein, which is also a useful nutrient for the plants (INIEF Workshop 03/15/2016). Finally, the farmers incorporate this solution into their natural fertilizer and spray on the plants. When the caterpillar eats the cabbage it will die, because the pesticide was specifically made for the caterpillar. However, if a bird,

human, or other insect eats the caterpillar or the cabbage the pesticide will not affect them. Loyi explains that the natural pesticide is somewhat like an allergy, where some people are allergic to certain foods, but other’s are not (Loyi 02/08/2016).

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在文檔中 泰雅族的自然農業:一條朝向保持生物多樣性及傳統文化道路 - 政大學術集成 (頁 49-54)