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.

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