I have been blessed to have great producing fruit trees. Especially Oranges, Tangerines, Lemons and Apricots. Also some great vegetables. Especially like Squash (Calabasa), beans, tomatos, carrots, watermelon and more.
Each time I eat a fruit, I save the seeds. I have been doing this so long that it has become second nature to me. After saving the seeds, I do one of the following:
The BEST method for Tangerines or citrus is to take the seeds right after you extract them from the fruit, and place them in a small container, containing fresh potting soil or mix. Keep it moist and after few weeks you should see germination. The container varies depending on what is available. Some people use egg cartons and start 12 seeds in each. Others use old pill bottles and some use small pots. This germination phase can be done INDOORS to prevent freezing or other weather challenges. Closed containers allow transport to Philippines safely.
I always wash them (I do so in a tea strainer), then dry them.
First, in a dry towl, then on a piece of junk mail or newspaper. After they are dried, I place them into a small empty plastic vitamin or pill bottle. Each bottle is labeled for which seeds are enclosed.
I also check with the local grape growers and ask for “cuttings”, then place them into a large plastic container with potting soild or else dirt from the original plants’ soil. Keep the cuttings moist.
Vegetables provide “quick nutrition”, i.e., they will be providing fruit in a metter of weeks or months, whereas grapes and fruit trees take years and lots of patience.
I love it when I visit a poor family whom I have taken seeds or cuttings to months earlier, and see the smile on their faces when one or more of the foods they serve was grown by them from seeds I gave them months or years earlier.
I am always searching for sales on seeds when I am in the gropcery stores, Big Lots, Dollar stores, etc.. But one person can only do so much….
If you have seeds or cuttings that you would like to donate for distribution in the Philippines, please contact me. Not only will I take them with me and make sure they go to a less-fortunate Filipino family, usually a farmer, but I will also take photos of the family that receives it and send them to you with their name and address, in case you would like to stay in touch with them or do your own follow up.
ADDITIONAL DONATIONS & PASALUBONG:
Other things I donate and deliver in the Philippines include:
FOR DISABLED PERSONS:
I also take wheelchairs, walking canes and walkers, and have been doing so since 2004.
FOR FISHING VILLAGES:
One of my favorite things to take is fishing gear (such as fishing line, lures, jigs, traps, hooks and any and all kinds of fishing tackle. What we think of as “freshwater gear”, is definitely usable by Filipino Fishermen. Almost all of these Fishing families live in small fishing villages, on small islands. When given used lures and tackle that I purchase at garage sales, these guys are geniuses at fishing and use every single thing they receive. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to help these guys feed their families and others in their villages! They also fish underwater with a very primitive type of spear or sling caklled a “pana“. They can also dive to the bottom and gather muscles, oysters, crabs, lobetsres and other bottom-dwelling foods. What they need to do this is diving masks, snorkles and fins! (Hint Hint Hint!)
Do You Have Any Suggestions?
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We are also always searching for host families in the Philippines, for our reporters/verifiers to stay (usually just 2 or 3 days) , this allows us to save money, help host families, and be neutral in reporting since it saves us from having any fiduciary interest or link to the location/s we are reporting.. Dont worry about the size of your house, or even if it is finished, we are adaptable. Even Bahay Kubo or Dampa, we have seen and experienced it all! (Any and all Host family contacts or identification is strictly confidential.)