Moringa is one of the world’s most useful plants.
This fast-growing tree is grown throughout the tropics for human food, livestock forage, medicine, dye, and water purification.
It is known by several names in different countries, but is popularly called the “drumstick tree” for its pods that are used by drummers and the “horseradish tree” for the flavor of its roots.
∴ Where it started: little India!
Living in Kuala Lumpur, I (re)discovered the diversity of the Indian cuisine. It’s a constant mix, an assortment of spices and herbs.
Shopping around in Little India one evening, I (literately speaking) bumped into my first Moringa seeds. I took a picture (see on the right): I did not know what it was at the time. Looking surprised, the staff assistant came to me and said, proudly:
“Moringa tree, oh very Good. Eat and brain & skin very strong!”.
I needed to learn more. Ready to get your feet dirty in a small plantation in the deep Cambodia land?
∴ A family-owned organic Moringa tree in Cambodia.
In my earlier article, we explore the multiple benefits of the Moringa tree. Today, we head to a local plantation to understand how Moringa trees can be produced in a natural and economical way.
I hope you will enjoy my post as much I enjoyed visiting and talking with the owner of the plantation you will discover below.
As mentioned, it was during my trip to Cambodia that I had the chance to travel around the country and meet local producers that specialized in chemical-free Moringa tree plantation. There are many different species of Moringa trees, the one I have uncovered is the Moringa Oleifera.
- Trees are often spaced in a line one meter or less apart in order to create living fence posts
- Moringa trees do not need much watering, which make them ideally suited for the climate of places such as SEA.
- All the picture shown in this article represents Moringa Oleifera, the most widely cultivated specie.
- Moringa is resistant to most pests.
In the first and third pictures, you can seed Moringa seeds. Those seeds are used to create Moringa oil. A pure Moringa oil, with no additive or preservatives, apply to your skin daily, or after a weekly exfoliation help the skin rejuvenate.
∴ What makes Organicly produced Moringa trees better?
The answer: the compost! The botanicals used to produce Moringa trees are grown in soils that are free of chemicals. Chemicals such as pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers are actually prohibited and never used.
The major issue nowadays with so-called ‘organic’ composts available to farmers is that they add the composted contents of green waste from our household recycling centers.
The farmer I met produced his own compost from animal manure (mainly from the cow) and it takes approximately half a year of storage to become completely ready for fertilizer.
∴ What are the benefits of using compost?
- Increases organic matter in the soil.
- Higher yields – studies show that you can improve maximum yield potential by increasing the amount of organic matter in the soil.
- Inorganic fertilizer substitution – compost contains slow release, crop-available nutrients, including phosphate, potash, magnesium and sulfur.
- Improves soil structure for better workability and better crop establishment
- Better soil structure and water management – adding compost improves soil structure, which is good for crops (good water infiltration and retention) and also makes it easier to work, saving fuel and time.
- Increases water infiltration and retention.
Are you into gardening? Then, Moringa trees is for you! I learnt that they are fast growers and can be havested while just 1.5-2meters tall. Moringa can grow in a diversity of environment, (South Carolina, Ethiopia, you named it!): it can grow in dry, poor or sandy soils.
How to harvest a Moringa tree? Simple. Cutting away half a meter form the tops and drying the the shade.
After the harvesting, the leaves are collected and sent to the wharehouse for cleaning and drying.
The Moringa leaves are then washed with water and salt and rinse at least twice. It is then left to dry 2 or 3 days before any further action.
∴ In summary,
→ Moringa trees is widely available in SEA, production has been in the recent years industrialized, and in my quest for organic alternative, I noticed how challenging it was to visit a 100%organic farm. Yet, they still exist 😉
→ Once cleaned, dried and packaged, Moringa trees offers a variety of benefits. Women can used it to improve their skin strength, keeping a nice and natural glow in their face.
→ The seeds, once pulverized are sold as powder supplement, multivitamin drink for athletes. It is said to be helpful within a balanced diet.
I hope you enjoyed my post, first article in my serie “Miracle trees“. If you want to hear more about the others miracle trees that I will explore, feel free to add your email address to my subscription box! I will keep you posted 😉