One time, an exasperated lady owner of a lanzones plantation contacted us. She was asking what crops should she grow that people will not steal. She was so frustrated because thieves harvest her lanzones ahead of her. And that is why lanzones being sold in the market are usually sour because they are harvested before they are fully ripe.
At that time, we suggested to her to plant hot chilli. Which she did. Now, we have discovered some other crops you can grow that people will not care to steal. During our trip to Batangas recently, we saw the coconut plantation of Arsenio Pecho in Tanauan City. He has partnered with Patrick Roquel and intercropped the coconut trees with Vitex negundo or lagundi.
They harvest the leaves every 45 days, dry them and supply the same to herbal manufacturers like Herbs and Nature and the Department of Health. Since the leaves cannot be eaten like fruits, people don’t care to steal them.
Patrick has also rented a lanzones plantation where he planted citronella between the trees. The citronella plants are growing very well. The orchard owner is thankful, of course, because he gets a rent and at the same time his trees are also fertilized when Patrick fertilizes his citronella.
Another herbal tree that Patrick is excited about is the Tsaang gubat or Carmona retusa. Although, it is known for its use in alleviating stomach problems in humans, he is more excited about its use for pets. For pet dogs, for instance, it is good for treating intestinal parasites. He says it is also anti-spasmodic.
The leaves can be powdered. Just add honey and feed it to the dog. That will treat the pet. The tsaang gubat leaves can also be boiled and both the liquid and the leaves can be given to the pet dog.
Other plants that thieves will not care to steal include the sambong, the akapulko and other medicinal plants. If ever some people will get some, they will not harvest them in volume. Maybe, they will get some for their own immediate need which is not much.
Poaching is really rampant, especially in fruit tree plantations. Mango, durian, pummelo and many other fruits are the favorite of thieves. So if you are an orchard owner, make sure to take the necessary measures so you will reap the reward due you.