Monday, November 30, 2009

xxx Looking back after 300 posts.

It was like yesterday, when I first started gardening blog. Gardening as an activity has gone through much longer. Blogging is an adventure, as records of gardening adventure, new plants put to life, the ups and downs, and photographs to share. Digital camera make life a lot easier. Cant imagine this will happen, if camera is still the old way, with films and negatives, trips to photo labs, sorting and scanning.

Blogging allows learning at a good rate by visiting other blogs. We can pick interesting points and tips time to time. We learn plants name at the same time. In the end we do appreciate what most gardeners has to go through, challenges they have to face, and seasons they are in.

xxx Attempting Mulberry in pots




Round The Mulberry Bush - The Star Online - Kuali, Malaysia Recipes

Wednesday, July 09, 2003
Round The Mulberry Bush


Mention mulberry and you are likely to get the response, ''what’s that?'' Yet mulberry is a bushy plant that flourishes in our backyard. With dark green, serrated, heart-shaped leaves, the mulberry bush bears small, greenish flowers grouped in stalks, which developed into small fruitlets. The fruitlets cluster together into a knobbly berry.
The berries are green initially, and ripen to a dark, luscious red wine colour. There are other varieties, which produce white or black berries but this article focuses on the red for its eating qualities.
All parts of the plant – the root, leaves and fruit are used in Chinese herbal medicine and recognised in pharmacopoeia. It is widely cultivated in China and Thailand, and not just to feed the silkworms. It is a plant of good potential in a number of ways.
Mulberry belongs to the Moraceae family (Morus alba, Morus rubra) and produces sour-sweet berries borne along the branches. The birds eat the berries and help to disperse the seeds in the wild. The mature shrub grows to five metres tall and has milky sap.
The plant is adaptable to many types of soil. It can be grown from simple cuttings. The fast-growing branches need to be trimmed regularly, usually after every harvest, to keep it short and manageable. The harvest is done once every three to four months. A mature plant can yield several kilogrammes of fruit per harvest if it had been pruned well.
For centuries in China, the silkworms are fed with (white) mulberry leaves that no other leaves can replace. When harvesting the cocoon, the overworked farmers often suffered from red eyes and sore throat due to lack of sleep and fluid intake. They eat the mulberry berries to alleviate their sufferings and they believe that it is a miracle cure given by god.
The berry
The berries start off tart, and become sourish-sweet when fully ripe. The taste is rather like a cross between strawberry and raspberry, but not as succulent. The fruit has saccharides, carotene, calcium, tannin, malic and citric acids. It is also rich in vitamin C, B1 and B2. Malic and citric acids in fruits are digestion and appetite aids while carotene improves eyesight. The high vitamin C content makes mulberry juice a healthy drink.
Do not, however, eat unripe berries and the leaves, as they are slightly hallucinogenic and have a sedative effect.
In Chinese herbal medicine, the berries treat yin deficiency and nourish the kidneys. It can be used fresh or dried. Taking the berries regularly is said to help prevent premature hair falling and greying. It is also an energy booster.
Watch out for the juice – its stain on fabric may be hard to get out.
Culinary uses
Unlike many tropical fruits, mulberry lends itself beautifully to cooking, as demonstrated by the recipes in this feature. In general, you can replace with mulberry, any recipes that call for the use of any type of berries, for instance, strawberry and raspberry. Imported, temperate berries being very expensive in this country, local fruit farmers should explore the potential of mulberry, which has similar taste quality to many berries, and a vivid colour.
In the kampung where the bush is likely to be found, locals eat them fresh with a sprinkling of sugar. Like strawberries, they taste great with lashings of fresh cream.
The berries, when cooked with an equal amount of sugar, makes nutritious mulberry jam that tastes delicious on toasted bread, or tarts. Cooked into a sauce, it is wonderful with turkey, just like the classic combination of cranberry sauce and roast turkey.
Mulberry is also made into wine, but the commercially-produced wine is very expensive. An alternative home brew can be made by soaking cooked berries in a sealed bottle of rice wine for about a month. This drink is said to relieve arthritic pain and numbness in fingers and legs.
The ripe berries can also be cooked in sugar and refrigerated. The cooked berries make a stimulating drink with vodka.
The leaves, when boiled briefly with water and sugar, make a refreshing tea with a pleasant herbal scent.
Therapeutic uses
The leaves, branch and root have therapeutic uses in Chinese herbal medicine. The leaves are slightly bitter and sweet because of the carbohydrates, carotene, succinic acid and adenine as well as the enzyme amylase. Choline, another substance found naturally in the leaves, is known to improve memory.
The leaves are used to treat flu, fever, headache and giddiness. The mulberry leaves that had withstood the frost in winter are believed to be more effective. Boiled with chrysanthemum flowers, the leaves made a drink that improves eyesight.
The branch of the mulberry bush is bitter and has analgesic properties. The young branch, boiled in water, makes a drink, which is diuretic and can regulate blood pressure. It can be boiled in combination with other herbs to relief arthritic pain and numbness in fingers.
Storing the fruit
Mulberry can keep fresh for about a week in the refrigerator. It freezes well and the frozen fruit can be used in recipes calling for frozen berries. If your home harvest is small, gather the berries by freezing them in batches. When packing the fruit for the freezer, ensure that they are moisture-free for best freshness result.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

ROSELLE: Now, and a month later


Wordless Wednesday...

Both Bangchik and Kakdah will rest for a month and will come back for something different.

Have a Nice Day.
a nice week
a nice month!!

putrajaya MALAYSIA

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

So, plants do sleep.

Their clock is so precise...
Subject: Ulam Raja


The next day

7.00 am

Rise and Shine!!
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