Friday, July 22, 2016
Madre de Aqua
This afternoon, my wife and I went out to the property to give my wife's Papa money for pig feed. While we were there, he told us of a tree growing on the property, the leaves of which - according to a German he met - make good feed for pigs. As can be seen in the photos, the pigs love eating it. I took photos of the tree and leaves and thought I'd search the Internet and find out more about this shrub.
I've learned that the scientific name for the plant is Trichanthera gigantea. Common names for the plant include madre de agua and nacedero. The plant is native to Central and South America but has been introduced to Philippines, Cambodia and Vietnam because of it's suitability as animal fodder. Research has show it to be a cheap feed source for organic native pig production.
This is good news for us. I had been looking for a plant we could use to supplement the pigs' diet. I had hoped that the butternut squash would be ideal, but I'm afraid the climate here is too hot for that particular plant.
The quest now is to see if other Trichanthera shrubs are growing on the property, as well as looking into propagating the shrub.