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Posts Tagged ‘Close to Nature’


I gardened for a while this morning replanting my rain lilies, some succulents and trimmed the Fukien tea plants. It is a lovely weather to garden now. The sun is shining and yet there is a cold morning breeze blowing. Perfect 🙂

Two weeks ago, we had a left-over piece of Chayote inside the ref. It is a tropical fruit shaped like a pear, with green skin and white flesh, that is usually cooked and eaten as a vegetable. I love mixing it with tinola, sometimes with chop suey  or pancit.

What a great surprise when I saw these green shoots. It is a sun-loving perennial and all parts of it are edible from the roots to the tender tips of the vine. I hope this would grow well and bear fruits so I won’t have to buy some in the market.

 

In a few days, we would harvest our langka (jackfruit). It is getting so big now. There are more fruits growing at the base of the tree. Hopefully, we could cook them as veggies.

 

 

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For gardeners out there, have you tried this? I have this old post which I wrote in May 11, 2009 and posted it at my blog Gardens and Empty Spaces. Back then “like” was not yet introduced by WordPress I think but you can comment on the post. This has earned a lot of comments.  Someone commented just yesterday. I am reposting it here.

In our trip to Zambales  a few days ago, I learned some interesting facts about growing things in one’s backyard, very common of which is the papaya plant. Papaya is a soft-wooded perennial plant that has an average lifespan of 5 years and would grow about 4 meters high. The flowering stage is from five to eight months after planting and harvesting comes around five to six months after that.

My sister-in-law is a certified farmer, she underwent a complete 6-months seminar given by the Dept. of Agriculture.  She shared with us what she learned and gave us some seeds of different vegetables which are quite easy to grow, given a small space ,even just in pots.

I was not even aware that you would be able to know whether that papaya tree in your own backyard will bear fruit or not. Most of us just wait for papaya to produce flowers before we will be able to detect whether it is a male or a female.  Papaya flowers are just like jasmine blossoms. The flowers of female papayas are close to the stems while that of the male ones produce long flowers. But we really don’t have to wait for six months before we’ll be able to know if they are worth cultivating or not.  That’s a waste of time and space, according to my sister-in-law. We know for a fact that only female papayas produce those sweet and delicious fruits. One sure way of knowing is this, papaya male plants have one straight root while those of the females are branched-out, producing two or more roots, they’re the only ones that you have to transfer and plant.  Interesting!

Tomatoes are capable of self-pollination so they grow fruits on their own. Same goes true with squash. We have planted some squash  and tomatoes in our small backyard and  they’re growing  by leaps and bounds everyday.  We also planted pechay (Pak Choi) in small pots. Eggplant seedlings are sprouting like crazy. I can’t wait, I am quite excited waiting for everything to grow.

I tried planting chayote two days ago at the back garden. We have a permanent trellis there where it could climb on. It is also known as mirliton squash,  an edible plant belonging to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae.  When cooked, chayote is usually handled like summer squash; it is generally lightly cooked to retain the crispy consistency. Let us see how it grows in the next few days.

Our back garden and that’s Noki looking at some of our cats.

Planted some sweet potato vines a couple of months ago. We use the young leaves (found at the tip of each branch) to mix with our sinigang.

 

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Took a few photos this morning while the sun is up. They are the same plants but the flowers have survived the storm.

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Our grotto which we had constructed after my treatment ten years ago. We used to have Koi fish here.

I was surprised by this lovely Adenium, the flowers are no longer split.

 

A cluster of pink Vinca. Sturdy blooms.

 

A single-petaled Zinnia.

I harvested Calamansi before the typhoon. The two trees shed off some of the ripe fruits during the storm. I need to transfer my Papaya seedling soon.

Have a lovely Wednesday all.

 

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5:30 am

I was sitting at the garden waiting for the day to begin. The street lights were still on and it was dark still. With a mug of Swiss Miss in hand, I was also listening to the classical music on my transistor radio before the station signs in. It was one of those no-commercial break stations featuring those lovely music and passages from the Bible with corresponding reflections….lovely.

The morning is waking up. Cars and motorcycles break the silence. I got my garden shears and started  trimming the carabao grass. It has grown again in the whole month that we didn’t touch them. I stayed at the garden close to two hours and I didn’t even make a dent except trimming those so close to the concrete stepping stones.

That cleaner portion was the only thing I’ve done this morning.

I still have to trim the carabao grass here at the front of the house.

Only a grass cutter is practical here because we have lots of stepping stones  all the way from the garage up to the side of the house. I hope this afternoon won’t be too hot so I could garden again.

This is where my hanging plants are at the side of the house.

It’s a little tiring to stay in the garden when the sun is up.

 

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I just posted more photos of my small garden early this morning. You can find them all here.

While I was browsing Memories at Facebook, I saw two more shots of Nissa taken eight years ago. Nostalgic…remembering those moments. These are not official shots though.

According to Facebook, this is my most-liked photo of 2011.

 

My caption at Facebook says: I just love this, the two people so dear to me captured in a frame together. Nissa in a seemingly dream-like walk towards the altar and Lovell at a distance, a loving older son who’ll have his moment when he’ll be ordained as a deacon soon.

Back then, Lovell was still a seminarian. He has just celebrated his 7th Presbyteral Ordination a week ago.

Time flies….making memories!

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Just updated my gardening blog. Took shots of my green plants early this morning. You can find them all here at Gardens and Empty Spaces.

 

 

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I have this unopened seed packet of eggplants which I bought last year. It’s one of the two I bought because I wanted to have more veggies at our small yard. One survived and it is still bearing fruit until now, just one at a time though. I don’t have much space in the garden so I mixed the seed with the ground cover ornamental plants at the side of the house.  On the packet was written that it will mature in 60 to 75 days and I was thinking by January next year, I’ll have more eggplants if I am lucky enough. Direct planting of seeds is sometimes better than having them first as seedlings then transferring them to the soil later on.

The garden looks presentable again, we have trimmed the carabao grass last weekend, cut unwanted branches of my Santan shrubs and also pruned my  Fukien Tea plants. It is getting hotter by the day so daily watering is a must.  I usually stay in the garden early in the morning. Our two calamansi trees are fruiting non-stop. I have picked more than a kilo  a few days ago and divided it between  my three neighbors. They are always grateful for these small favours. Calamansi is good for marinade whether it is fish or meat, it could also be used as juice (hot or cold).  We also use it as dipping sauce for other viands like fried fish or pork chop.

I set aside reading for a while, just got so engrossed with Wordscape last night. I have used up my earned coins because the clues are simply too difficult to form into words but it is very enjoyable.  I uninstalled those block games on my tab and only have this one. You can learn more from it.  I am encountering words that I didn’t know before.

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