I have a friend in the Phillipines who is trying to grow his own food. During the rainy season everything floods. He's planning of using cinder blocks to make raised beds. Any other ideas? The blocks are expensive. The land looks like it is quite flat but they are digging some drainage.
When I lived in Bangladesh, there is a serious monsoon season there as well. Most people don't grow much except rice, except on a few quite raised sites. There are a few vegetables that can tolerate sogginess and flooding.....local people probably know about these. Kangkong (Ipomoea aquatica)is one that comes first to mind. Many growers there would focus on growing in the residual moisture still in the soil after the rains and rice harvest....sometimes starting seedlings during the end of the monsoon under little plastic shelters, open on the sides for air circulation, on raised mounds of soil out of the way of flooding. The seedlings of tomato, brassica, and such like would grow for a few weeks there and then be transplanted into larger areas weather permitting.
Many ordinary tropical fruits, also, are intolerant of flooding; and most of the tolerant ones will probably already be present in the local area. Where I was it was common to plant papayas right up under the overhang of a house roof, where the roots could get into comparatively dry soil under the house....eventually the stalk would bend out and the top of the plant grow up and over. Bananas would thrive in such niches also.
posted 6 years ago
Thank you Alder Burns. He had made some pots out of old tires. I'm concerned about the toxins leaching. He's doing wonderful work in helping typhoon victims. I'm doing the Back to Eden method but he can't do that without a chipper. Can they add anything to the soil to absorb the moisture? Drainage that can prevent erosion?
Location: northern California
posted 6 years ago
Perhaps if the soil is very sandy or loamy and raised out of the reach of flooding then some other plants might work. Okra, eggplant, various cucurbits, corn, Indian spinach (Basella), and some other tropical things might be worth trying. The big problem is that if the rains are frequent and heavy enough, and the soil is at all clayey, you will get waterlogging no matter if the soil is in raised planters or not. Something loose and fluffy in the bottom of the beds, like coarse organic matter, might help too.
Oh,yeah, and taro (Colocasia and relatives)....These are grown in various places in the tropics, often in rice-paddy like conditions deliberately or not-so-deliberately kept flooded. Various varieties exist, some grown for the roots and others for the stems or runners. The leaves of most are edible if well cooked, and can be an important source of nutrition. If his goal is to provide calories, this and rice might be the best bets for wet season. Hyacinth or lablab beans (Dolichos) and winged beans (Psophocarpus) should work, too; on raised sites out of the water and with something to climb on since they are vining....both provide green beans and dry, high-protein beans later.
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