Callie Weber and Lucas FongMrs. LutzAPES period 1″Pulling the Farm Together” Guava PraFresh Before webecame Guava farmers, we had to do extensive research on the guava fruit to beexperts on our crop.
We found that in Uttar Pradesh, India, guava fruits havean ideal environment to grow. The pH of the soil is basic and ranges from 4.5to 8.2 and the best temperatures to increase yield and growth rates is a rangefrom 73 degrees to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. It takes 90-150 days after the floweron a guava tree blooms for the fruit to be ready to harvest. The guava treeneeds 15 to 30 liters of water a day which is great because in Uttar Pradeshthere are intense rain seasons. The pit size needed for the guava tree roots togrow would be 1 meter deep and with a meter of room on all sides.
Guava treesare 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 soilwell drained. The optimal soil ranges from sandy to clayey loams which meansthat the percentages could be about 50% sand, 20% clay, and 30% silt. Deforestationis one of the biggest causes of erosion. If we clear cut the existing plants tomake space for our guava trees, there won’t be any ground cover plants withroots to hold down the topsoil and when the heavy rain and wind comes, thefertility of our soil will decrease due to erosion.
In order to minimizeerosion on our guava farm, we could grow vegetables that are safe forintercropping in the space between our guava trees. We will grow papayas aroundour trees to increase profit, biodiversity, and to decrease erosion. Guava treesrequires potash, phosphorus, and nitrogen to get a maximum yield of fruit.Naturally, guava trees get the nitrogen when nitrogen fixing bacteria that takenitrogen from the atmosphere and help fix it to be Ammonia which then goesthrough ammonification to become Ammonium. The Ammonium can then be assimilatedand used by the guava trees. Here at Guava PraFresh, we will make sure that oursoil is rich in organic matter by having a healthy amount of bacteria and decomposersto aid these processes. If there are not enough nutrients, we will have to addthe 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 soilfertilizer and we will apply it three times a year.
The wood chips willdecompose which continues to add nitrogen and other nutrients. By addingnitrogen, phosphorus, and potash with fertilizers, rain and water runoff couldcarry those nutrients into a nearby body of water. This is adding an extraamount of nutrients to that body of water which can be harmful to the speciesthat inhabit the body of water.
Even a small amount of extra nutrients in abody of water can cause eutrophication where the plant growth and algal bloomsgrow rapidly, photosynthesize, and as a result, decrease the oxygen in thatbody of water. One pestthat is a quite unique, and major problem to our produce here on Guava PrafreshFarms, would be the Rhesus Macaques. This member of the primate family tree isa species that is quite abundant here in Uttar Pradesh. The Guava is vulnerableat many stages in the process as they can be plucked off at any time, thatbeing said, the fruit is subject to the most danger when it is at it’s fullyripe stage, around early-mid spring. The harm it does to the crop is not at arotting or chemical level, rather where the Rhesus Macaques does its damage issimply by depleting our crop. These monkeys enjoy the sweet flesh of thetropical fruit making it a prime target for clans.
How we plan on dealing withthese 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 beingplaying a radio at all times to simulate a populated market setting whichcauses the Rhesus Macaques to steer clear of the area as they don’t quite fancythose types of settings. In tandem with that, we plan on usingCapsaicin-infused chemical agent and spray it at the base of all of our treesand the fencing around the farm, abusing the Rhesus Macaques disdain forstrong, spicy scents. As far as impact, environmentally, we are actually givingback to the earth as we are staying away from killing any of the monkeys andaren’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 radioideally will be solar, but if not, the only costs would be electricity and a monthlybatch of Capsaicin spray.
Societal issues are where this affects us most. TheAM Radio on at all times will eventually get quite annoying and may disturbthose around us, however, I don’t see many ways that the spray will cause anysocietal issues. Here onGuava PraFesh farms we specialize in none other than guava. Guava is a fruitthat requires a lot of water to grow, 15-30 liters a day to be exact – not evenfactoring in rain. Because of this Drip Irrigation is without a doubt the mostsuitable and therefore, the most commonly used amongst guava farmers. There areseveral 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, revokeswater from potential weeds or other plants as it is a targeted style ofwatering a plant, etc. The main, and only really, disadvantage to dripirrigation systems would be the fact that they are high maintenance andexpensive to install and upkeep. Unlike the careful eye and assuredness you getfrom a groundskeeper, you rely on systems to output the proper amount of waterand essentially determine the yield and success of your crops.
Where they canbe expensive is the installation but also in upkeep. These systems requireregular flush outs to make sure nothing gets clogged or snared so aprofessional has to come and do just that on a basically monthly basis if youdon’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 drasticincrease in sales and because of that, profit. We want to save more money whilealso maintaining the environment that allows us to do what we do. That beingsaid, we have our sights set on a more sustainable Guava Pradesh.
The way weplan on doing this is essentially by embracing the future. Firstly, we intendon installing Solar Panels by our local solar energy provider – S S Solar Energy. What this will do for us isutilize the intense sun rays and use it’s natural thermal energy to convert andprovide electricity to our farm; powering our radio, generator, lights, etc.Another way Guava Pradesh is looking towards the future is in the department ofheat. We were planning on installing geothermal heating pumps to go undergroundbelow our farm/home and take advantage of the earth’s natural heat rather thanusing up more electricity. The final way we intend on making our farm moresustainable is by not forgetting our roots.
Though the future is here, we arestill farmers who tend to the land. We will not be using heavy machinery as itis bad for the environment and not necessary for our job. If we see weeds wepick ’em, if there is garbage we throw it away (proper bin), if there anythinghas gone awry amidst this process,we will do everything in our power to stayaway from machinery and use nothing but our hands and the tools we put in themto solve it.
Adding on, we will educate the heirs to the farm of our methods weused to both protect and sustain our farm. SourcesGuavaCultivation Information Guide. (2017, March 22). Retrieved January 25, 2018,from http://www.asiafarming.com/guava-cultivation/ High-DensityGuava Plantation.
Retrieved January 22, 2018, from http://keralaagriculture.gov.in/htmle/bankableagriprojects/ph/guava.htm JonathanH. Crane and Carlos R.
Balerdi. (2016, December 19). Guava Growing in theFlorida Home Landscape. Retrieved 22, 2018, from http://edis.ifas.ufl.
edu/mg045 Santos,A. (2015, March 3). Advantages And Disadvantages Of Drip Irrigation In YourLandscaping. 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 Whatis 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