Saturday, December 20, 2014

Leucaena leucocephala or petai belalang

So they say petai belalang are good as both nitrogen fixer and fodder plants. We have a number of seedlings ready to transform Seri Iskandar Home. Thanks to Tahir who had given away cuttings and seeds. We are planning to grow Leucaena leucocephala or petai belalang as hedge. I wonder how the hedge will look later. The soil in seri iskandar home isn't too rich, so Leucaena or petai belalang may be able to do nitrogen fixing. I am planning to regularly prune, and use leaves as mulch. Five seedlings are grown from seeds and 10 from cuttings.

Leucaena had been grown for many reasons, and mainly as fodder throughout  the world. The trees are planted in closely packed rows.

Leucaena leucocephala or petai belalang seedlings

bangchik and kakdah
vegetable garden

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Spinach / Bayam are civilised lots.

We always put too much  spinach seeds. Probably because the seeds are too small and a little pinch already take 20 to 30 seeds.  When they germinate, our hearts warm up to the lovely sight, seeing new lives coming up,  racing up for a little space to breath. We should thin them down to the right amount for a given space. Most of the time, the joy seeing healthy seedlings is so overwhelming, and we let all of them seedlings stay and behave themselves. We can see how they let the healthier ones go up and get bigger but the rest stay low, growing at a slower pace.....  When we harvest the bigger ones, within a week the rest pick up speed and grow higher.

Add caption

So in a way, they do manage themselves, wait for their turn and stay as civilised spinach community....

bangchik and kakdah
vegetable garden

Monday, December 15, 2014

Growing papaya, leaves getting greener (update no 5)

Huh, still a week to go before all papaya seedlings will be brought to Seri Iskandar Home 300 km north.  They do look strong, stems are beginning to show light brown colour. I read a gardener's post about planting 3 seedlings in a hole, and wait until they begin to flower. The strongest female will remain and the other two has to be cut.  Hmmm... I feel bad about cutting off plants, but even if we don't cut them off, these plants are good at self sacrificing....., a phenomena I have seen countless times with spinach seedlings, when plants allow the strongest to shoot high, and the others close by stay low, dormant for a while....

Papaya seedlings, a lot greener now

Papaya seedlings

Previous updates:

bangchik and kakdah
vegetable garden

Friday, December 12, 2014

Bayam or spinach

It is good to grow bayam or spinach in pots. It's visible, manageable and ornamental too. It does create interesting colour and healthy feel within the landscape of potted plants. I probably have to wait a week  for the first harvest. Yummy......!!

spinach in large pot

spinach in large pots




Spinach in small pot

bangchik and kakdah
vegetable garden

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Betik, Papaya, five lobes. (update no 4)

Someone was saying, a female papaya plant will have more five lobe leaves than  three lobe,  Now I am beginning to see five love leaves emerging....

papaya seedlings

papaya seedlings

papaya seedlings

previous updates

bangchik and kakdah
vegetable garden

Friday, December 5, 2014

SERI ISKANDAR HOME, Muntingia calabura at the front

Visiting Seri Iskandar Home is always memorable. It is a house which we never stay even for a night when it was built more than a decade ago. We built a house somewhere , but work somewhere else, so that's how the story goes. Two tenants had stayed there and now we are ready to call it HOME. That will be our only HOME after retirement. We have a few years to get used to the place, a number of projects in store to get the setting right. The house does require a bit of facelift here and there. 

There is a tree called pokok ceri in Malaysia, but known scientifically as Mutingia calabura. For the moment the tree is wild, growing and branching at will. I am going to tame it, putting it to the right shape and size....... one of the first few projects, during long end of the year holidays.

pokok ceri or mutingia calabura

Seri Iskandar Home, getting old.

Our house is not far from oil palm plantation.

bangchik and kakdah

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Growing dragon fruit from seeds

Most would grow dragon fruit from cuttings because that's the easiest and fastest. I wonder if any serious farmer would ever try growing dragon fruit from seeds. I know it's going to be a long journey.  I don't mind going through  until the seedlings are strong enough to be planted in the ground.  They will soon be in the office table. I know it's going a new craze..., with lots of huh hah..... Soon Ziela will nurse the little seedlings with spraying bottle..!!! as daily chore.

Germinating dragon fruit seeds
Scoop out the black seeds, filter out the flesh and jelly coating, 
soak for two days. 
Place them on damp tissue in clear container.
Within a week, most will sprout.

Dragon fruit seedlings

bangchik and kakdah
vegetable gardening at Seri Kembangan

Monday, December 1, 2014

Growing papaya, different health level (update no 3)

It's a habit  to germinate more than required. I suppose it's alright since we can progressively pull out the weaker ones. Now there are more than 30 seedlings growing at the front yard.  Plants are definitely getting stronger now, enjoying the sunlight and the fertiliser ! Each on average has 6 big leaves plus a few young shoots.  Judging by the pace they are growing,  there should not be any problem to transplant in the new Seri Iskandar Home, some 300km north.

papaya seedlings

Papaya seedlings

Papaya seedlings

Previous updates on PAPAYA

bangchik and kakdah
vegetable gardening

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Visiting MAHA 2014 ~ about Moringa oleifera

We visited MAHA 2014 last Sunday. It was just a short distance away from home.  MAHA stands for Malaysia Agriculture  Horticulture and Agrotourism Show which is organised once every two years.  Hall A, housed most of government agencies on agriculture. Most showcased their latest technology, products and support system. CFF booth attracted our attention. CFF means Crop For the Future.  The team from Semenyih highlighted three plants, Moringa oleifera, Petai Belalang and Bambara groundnuts.

In fact we had been discussing for the past week what to grow in our Seri Iskandar Home. Moringa oleifera or widely known locally as remunggai keep popping up in our discussion. I knew this plant since young, and I can still visualise an old remunggai tree near the open well (perigi) not far from our ancestral home in Sungai Batu, Pantai Remis Perak.  I remembered countless remunggai curry cooked by my late mother.  The tree there has gone .

So the young lady at the booth went on explaining about human's over dependence on rice and wheat. Remunggai can offer itself as alternative , more important as the world is experiencing global warming. And this plant Moringa oleifera is heat and draught tolerant..!! She said the research team is also researching on its potential for biomass and biodiesel production and for intercropping with oil palm and other food crops.

We departed with a lovely souvenir,  a little moringa plant in a very beautiful brown bag.  So moringa oleifera ( or remunggai) is definitely the first plant to be introduced in Seri Iskandar Home beside betik / papaya....

Souvenir - CFF little gift bag for moringa
MAHA 2014

Moringa seedling

moringa seedling

bangchik and kakdah
vegetable garden

Monday, November 24, 2014

Growing papaya, the scrutiny ( update no 2)

It's easy to throw seeds where we want them to finally grow and leave it to nature to deal with it. That has been the way forests evolve and sustain for million of years. Of course man, animals, rivers, seas and winds help seeds to disperse and grow further away than their mother plants.

It's papaya now. A papaya bought from Putrajaya Presint 8 Market had been peeled and consumed. The seeds then let to dry for a week and germinated in polybags. Some were placed in germinating tiny pots.  Their cotyledon leaves were very pronounced last week (Growing papaya, a closer look (1)),  even though some had pushed out tiny 4th and 5th leaves.

Growing papaya 

At this stage, third and fourth leaves had grown larger. with some showing the lobes.  We placed seedlings into poly bags and wait for them to grow bigger and taller. And at this stage it would not be easy to distinguish the females from the males. Tiny fifth and sixth leaves are quite visible in most seedlings.

papaya seedlings pic1

papaya seedlings pic2

papaya seedlings pic3

papaya seedlings in polybags and spinach seedlings in round pots pic4

We plan to transplant the papaya seedlings into Seri Iskandar Home in Perak  during long Christmas / New Year holidays, some 300 km north.  Hopefully the tiny seedlings will get stronger  to endure the long journey and settle in a new environment.

bangchik and kakdah
vegetable garden

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Kuala Kangsar, a diminishing view

It was a rare view indeed, behind rows of modern shop houses in Kuala Kangsar, Perak.  I wouldn't think such view would last for much longer as old houses are changed to join the fashion of the day. Even the sugarlike plants at the front is difficult to find nowadays. These plants are natural alongside rivers and little streams.

a diminishing view, Kuala Kangsar

bangchik and kakdah

Monday, November 17, 2014

Growing papaya, a closer look (update no 1)

Papaya is betik in our language. It's a short lived plant,  The first attempt in Putrajaya way back in 2009 and 2010 lasted to the end, died due to termites attack. It had given numerous fruits during its healthy life. Another attempt in 2011, of five papaya in Tanah Merah Kelantan was much shorter simply because we moved to Pasir Gudang, but we did enjoy a few fruits...

Now we are germinating papaya seeds for Seri Iskandar home, the house we would eventually settle down soon. We will wait for the seedlings to toughen a little bit with 8 - 12 leaves. We cannot be planting more than 15 seedlings due to limited space.

Now we are baby sitting the little seedlings.....

Papaya seedlings

Papaya seedlings - three leaves

Papaya seedlings - 3 leaves 

Papaya seedlings, 4 leaves

Harvest of the day : KALE
Harvest of the day: ONION LEAVES

Early Sunday morning, we pulled out kale and onions. They looked fresh, and lunch was very much home garden based.

_____________bangchik and kakdah_____________
vegetable garden

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Rearing chickens

We had discussed at length, about rearing chicken. Kakdah seems to agree, but she put down a certain prerequisite. The neighbours must agree, she said.  It's still a plan, as we would soon get into Seri Iskandar HOME.  It's sort of retirement plan, so to speak. It's a long way to go, but it is worth going through things we would do, to fill up space and time.

We had given the tenant ample notice, two months ago, about us wanting to get in middle of December 2014. Last week we paid the tenant a visit. Yes they found a new house to rent nearby. Saiful mentioned about a mango tree that had to go..., the roots had meandered too far. He works with Petronas.

We had gone through chicken rearing way back in 1983 - 1986. That was while we were staying in Ipoh. What a lovely experience that was. So many eggs collected, and so many home grown chicken ended as most delicious dish. Neighbours had fair share too......  I can still remember the look of that chicken coop, a simple 5x3 house, and surrounded by fishing net. Chickens had a space of 15 feet square to roam about. And at times we open up to let them free..... Over in Ipoh, the space was big, half an acre compound.

Seri Iskandar Home is small.... space is limited. There is one neighbour on the right, none on the left and back. So only one person need to give his approval to our adventure. I suppose if the number of chicken is kept to a certain number, and if cleanliness is priority number one, no weird odour going round the air, No one would mind. Give aways in form of eggs and chicken meat would make it more agreeable, a a true community consent to benefitial activity.

I wonder if Majlis Perbandaran (Town Council) would allow such activity.....

bangchik and kakdah
my little vegetable garden

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Turquoise, colour of the River Aare, Bern Switzerland

View from the high bank , 
looking down at pristine turquoise colour of  River Aare.


Monday, October 27, 2014

River Rhine going across.

It wasn't much of a holiday, it's actually WORK as the three of us and Alex the German guy went around Germany and Switzerland the past week. It's true as they say, flowers add colour in spring, leaves paint various shades of yellow and brown in autumn. It's River Rhine that attracted my attention as we moved along the river the first day and went up the viewing platform. Breathtaking is all I can say..

Rhein in German and Rhine in English, refer to a long river stretching from Swiss Alps to North Sea.

River Rhine 1

River Rhine 2

River Rhine 4

three beautiful houses at the top of the hill

Viewing platform - looking down

walkway to the top of viewing platform

Souvenirr Shop

Lovely colour of autumn

Autumn colour

Autumn colour as we were leaving 

___________bangchik and kakdah___________

Monday, October 20, 2014

Red is the colour

I wonder what's so special with RED. It's the colour of blood, signifying bravery of highest kind, ready to go to the limit.

___________bangchik and kakdah___________
my little vegetable garden

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