Critical Thinking

Callie biggest causes of erosion. If we clear

Callie Weber and Lucas Fong

Mrs. Lutz

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APES period 1

“Pulling the Farm Together”

Guava PraFresh

            Before we
became Guava farmers, we had to do extensive research on the guava fruit to be
experts on our crop. We found that in Uttar Pradesh, India, guava fruits have
an ideal environment to grow. The pH of the soil is basic and ranges from 4.5
to 8.2 and the best temperatures to increase yield and growth rates is a range
from 73 degrees to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. It takes 90-150 days after the flower
on a guava tree blooms for the fruit to be ready to harvest. The guava tree
needs 15 to 30 liters of water a day which is great because in Uttar Pradesh
there are intense rain seasons. The pit size needed for the guava tree roots to
grow would be 1 meter deep and with a meter of room on all sides.     

            Guava trees
are known for being hardy and able to thrive in a range of soil types. However,
our crop is sensitive to waterlogging, so we must make sure to keep our soil
well drained. The optimal soil ranges from sandy to clayey loams which means
that the percentages could be about 50% sand, 20% clay, and 30% silt.  

            Deforestation
is one of the biggest causes of erosion. If we clear cut the existing plants to
make space for our guava trees, there won’t be any ground cover plants with
roots to hold down the topsoil and when the heavy rain and wind comes, the
fertility of our soil will decrease due to erosion. In order to minimize
erosion on our guava farm, we could grow vegetables that are safe for
intercropping in the space between our guava trees. We will grow papayas around
our trees to increase profit, biodiversity, and to decrease erosion.

            Guava trees
requires potash, phosphorus, and nitrogen to get a maximum yield of fruit.
Naturally, guava trees get the nitrogen when nitrogen fixing bacteria that take
nitrogen from the atmosphere and help fix it to be Ammonia which then goes
through ammonification to become Ammonium. The Ammonium can then be assimilated
and used by the guava trees. Here at Guava PraFresh, we will make sure that our
soil is rich in organic matter by having a healthy amount of bacteria and decomposers
to aid these processes. If there are not enough nutrients, we will have to add
the nutrients in the form of a fertilizer mulch that is mixed in with the soil.
The mulch we will use will be wood chips mixed in with nitrogen based soil
fertilizer and we will apply it three times a year. The wood chips will
decompose which continues to add nitrogen and other nutrients. By adding
nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash with fertilizers, rain and water runoff could
carry those nutrients into a nearby body of water. This is adding an extra
amount of nutrients to that body of water which can be harmful to the species
that inhabit the body of water. Even a small amount of extra nutrients in a
body of water can cause eutrophication where the plant growth and algal blooms
grow rapidly, photosynthesize, and as a result, decrease the oxygen in that
body of water.

            One pest
that is a quite unique, and major problem to our produce here on Guava Prafresh
Farms, would be the Rhesus Macaques. This member of the primate family tree is
a species that is quite abundant here in Uttar Pradesh. The Guava is vulnerable
at many stages in the process as they can be plucked off at any time, that
being said, the fruit is subject to the most danger when it is at it’s fully
ripe stage, around early-mid spring. The harm it does to the crop is not at a
rotting or chemical level, rather where the Rhesus Macaques does its damage is
simply by depleting our crop. These monkeys enjoy the sweet flesh of the
tropical fruit making it a prime target for clans. How we plan on dealing with
these pests is not by shooting them, no, that’d pose many environmental,
ethical, and legal issues for us – we plan on deterring them. How you may ask?
We plan on using IPM or Integrated Pest Management strategies. These being
playing a radio at all times to simulate a populated market setting which
causes the Rhesus Macaques to steer clear of the area as they don’t quite fancy
those types of settings. In tandem with that, we plan on using
Capsaicin-infused chemical agent and spray it at the base of all of our trees
and the fencing around the farm, abusing the Rhesus Macaques disdain for
strong, spicy scents. As far as impact, environmentally, we are actually giving
back to the earth as we are staying away from killing any of the monkeys and
aren’t going to be harming the environment in any way. Economically speaking,
the solutions of AM Radio and the spray won’t be too taxing as the FM radio
ideally will be solar, but if not, the only costs would be electricity and a monthly
batch of Capsaicin spray. Societal issues are where this affects us most. The
AM Radio on at all times will eventually get quite annoying and may disturb
those around us, however, I don’t see many ways that the spray will cause any
societal issues.

            Here on
Guava PraFesh farms we specialize in none other than guava. Guava is a fruit
that requires a lot of water to grow, 15-30 liters a day to be exact – not even
factoring in rain. Because of this Drip Irrigation is without a doubt the most
suitable and therefore, the most commonly used amongst guava farmers. There are
several advantages to utilizing a drip system in a guava field, to list a few:
Drip irrigation saves water, saves money off energy and/or labor costs, revokes
water from potential weeds or other plants as it is a targeted style of
watering a plant, etc. The main, and only really, disadvantage to drip
irrigation systems would be the fact that they are high maintenance and
expensive to install and upkeep. Unlike the careful eye and assuredness you get
from a groundskeeper, you rely on systems to output the proper amount of water
and essentially determine the yield and success of your crops. Where they can
be expensive is the installation but also in upkeep. These systems require
regular flush outs to make sure nothing gets clogged or snared so a
professional has to come and do just that on a basically monthly basis if you
don’t know how.

            Naturally,
to any farmer, the number one thing we prioritize would be sustainability. Now,
with our recent success and growing demand for guava, we have seen a drastic
increase in sales and because of that, profit. We want to save more money while
also maintaining the environment that allows us to do what we do. That being
said, we have our sights set on a more sustainable Guava Pradesh. The way we
plan on doing this is essentially by embracing the future. Firstly, we intend
on installing Solar Panels by our local solar energy provider – S S Solar Energy. What this will do for us is
utilize the intense sun rays and use it’s natural thermal energy to convert and
provide electricity to our farm; powering our radio, generator, lights, etc.
Another way Guava Pradesh is looking towards the future is in the department of
heat. We were planning on installing geothermal heating pumps to go underground
below our farm/home and take advantage of the earth’s natural heat rather than
using up more electricity. The final way we intend on making our farm more
sustainable is by not forgetting our roots. Though the future is here, we are
still farmers who tend to the land. We will not be using heavy machinery as it
is bad for the environment and not necessary for our job. If we see weeds we
pick ’em, if there is garbage we throw it away (proper bin), if there anything
has gone awry amidst this process,we will do everything in our power to stay
away from machinery and use nothing but our hands and the tools we put in them
to solve it. Adding on, we will educate the heirs to the farm of our methods we
used to both protect and sustain our farm.

 

Sources

Guava
Cultivation Information Guide. (2017, March 22). Retrieved January 25, 2018,
from http://www.asiafarming.com/guava-cultivation/

 

High-Density
Guava Plantation. (n.d.). Retrieved January 22, 2018, from http://keralaagriculture.gov.in/htmle/bankableagriprojects/ph/guava.htm

 

Jonathan
H. Crane and Carlos R. Balerdi. (2016, December 19). Guava Growing in the
Florida Home Landscape. Retrieved 22, 2018, from http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg045

 

Santos,
A. (2015, March 3). Advantages And Disadvantages Of Drip Irrigation In Your
Landscaping. Retrieved January 25, 2018, from http://www.nkolandscaping.com/blog/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-drip-irrigation-in-your-landscaping

 

Sauls,
J.W. (1998, December 10). Home Fruit Production-Guava. Retrieved January 23,
2018, from https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/citrus/guava.htm

 

What
is Sustainable Farming and Best Sustainable Farming Practices? (2017, June 11).
Retrieved January 25, 2018, from https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/sustainable-farming-practices.php

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