Terrace farming for the mountains

Last year I took a bit of time out wandering around the hills and mountains of Cebu and its very easy to notice most of the land is under utilised but also cheap to buy. There is the rice terraces up on Luzon that exist but what about other crops as it doesn’t need to be rice and lets face it many of the lower lands that are level aren’t producing rice due to the cost of land that landlords want for leases as well as high costs on things like fertilizers. The The Hani people in Yuan Yang show how it can be done as a large scale operation. Not a short term investment but well worth it not only for food purposes but also to be able to catch water as demand is continuously increasing while infrastructure shows little signs of matching the demand. Using terraces the catchments of water as well as offering irrigation constructing the terraces themselves can offer a good source of food with various types of foods to harvest. Recently reading up on permaculture as well as watching videos it was interesting to see that the intervention of permaculture on terraces offered food often that couldn’t be grown in the areas normally. It was purely down to the terrace design and the ability to absorb and maintain heat that allowed things such as lemons to grow in mountain regions as its area was absorbing heat from the sun due to use of trees surrounding the plants the heat was maintained instead of lost. At the same time the seeds on a new terraced farm were randomly mixed to give a mixed crop while nearly 2000 fruit trees of various types were also spread out amongst the terraces. The odd thing being that it was the only farm in the area that was not only sustainable but also viable. The problem I notice these days is everyone thinks in monetary terms which is an easy way out of gardening even for a small vegetable patch or herbs. All I can say to that though is the current fluctuations in food prices will continue. If your looking for land in the Philippines with a small budget buying half a mountain instead of a small lot for the same money may be worthwhile long term. Not an easy decision and will involve a lot of hard work at the same time it does show to others the possibilities of using the empty spaces to not only feed themselves but once running fully the opportunity to sell some stock onwards.

On a smaller scale its good to stop soil erosion in the garden also helps stop water build up on those rainy days leaving puddles everywhere. So on a smaller scale I have also added this fact sheet you may find useful you can download here.