Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~ aromatic pink

aromatic pink
 ~  bangchik ~



my little vegetable garden

Monday, October 29, 2012

Ulam Pegaga dalam pasu


Pegaga is as old as malay traditions. It's one of the easiest herb to find in the wild. It can adapt and will grow  better in gardens.  I even try growing pegaga in pots. The plant is primarily a creeper but it doesn't mind   growing in  plastic container.  Both of us don't consume a lot, just two or three leaves will do as salad.

For those who are keen on benefits of pegaga ( pennywort ), should read of this article:

The Pennywort herb is a member of the dill and carrot family. Also known as Gotu Kola, Pegaga or Centella, it boasts numerous health benefits. These include increased youthfulness and vitality, improved eyesight and memory, relief from pain associated with arthritis and relief from insomnia. 

Li Ching-Yuen, a Tai Chi Chuan Master, was rumoured to have lived for a staggering 256 years because of his daily use of Pennywort. Sri Lankan King Aruna was said to have given Pennywort the credit for giving him enough stamina to satisfy all 50 women belonging to his harem during the 10th century.
click here to read more >>>   Improve memory and increase vitality with Pennywort by: Shona Botes

Pegaga in pot

pegaga: healthy clean leaves


pennywort - pegaga

pegaga - pennywort

and pegaga in pot would push it higher 
on ornamental value.

bangchik and kakdah
my little vegetable garden

Saturday, October 27, 2012

butterfly, a rare visit.

a butterfly

enjoying the pink flower
 blue rings circling white dots
white at the edges.
otherwise all black

the same butterfly came back 
for the white flower

it is male Jacintha Eggfly

bangchik and kakdah

Monday, October 15, 2012

Bakawali changed it's schedule.

So I thought I know all.  I had formed some mental conclusions that bakawali is a plant of extreme rigidity and precision, that it will start it's blooming process from dusk and everything will end by dawn, a nocturnal flowering. This particular bakawali wish to be different, showing it has a will of it's own, controlling when to bloom and when to end.

Bakawali flowers: four of them 

Bakawali flowers, well spread.....
pictures were taken early in the morning around 8 am
 after the last two had finished blooming.

There were four of them, coming out at different nodes of a single leaf. One bloomed earliest, followed by another the next night and the other two the third night. These flowers seemed to open much later than normal. Previous blooming started around 7 pm. Withe these it was much later, around 10 pm.

It was fun to watch how the stalk and flowers all spaced out nicely, no neck twisting or locking. The distance between the four were almost the same, like a synchronized blooming show..... and that is NATURE..

bangchik and kakdah

Friday, October 12, 2012

Growing chili centil: shining green.

Growing chili is fun. After years of growing chili, we know what to expect during germination, then transplanting and so on. We can almost tell when the first flower would appear as the main stem branch out. There would be rounds and rounds of flowering and fruiting.  Then somewhere along the way, problems would appear, leaves yellowing, leaves wrinkling,  white flies visits, aphids sleeping at the underside of leaves and many more. There would be harvest after harvest, then the plants get too old that they had to go.

Seven chili plants centil variety are still going strong at the backyard. I think we started with 9, then two become stunted, that I decided to pull them out.  These plants are 4 month old. Last two weeks, I harvested every single chili on the plants, both red and green. The plants reacted well with organic and foliar fertiliser, and now the plants are fruiting with zest!! All green....., and it will a week or two before some will turn red.

chili centil, full of green hot fruits

chili centil

chili centil

chili centil

chili centil

chili flower

chili flower

green chili

chili plants

TV Show scheduled for TV1, Saturday 1.12.2012 10 am
Watch bangchik in person!!

The crew came yesterday for shots. I was there giving my views 
on the whole entrepreneurial program and strategic milestones on  institutional development.  

bangchik, Karl Shafek and Fiza in chili field

putting across my views on entrepreneurial programs, 
an effort to bring the best out of youngsters. I was asked also about 
the overall strategic approach 
on institutional 

Munira, Karl Shafek and Bangchik
Munira explaining about the downstream economic activities 
beyond chili growing.

Kakdah said "It's alright to be a little bit nervous" in front of camera.

bangchik and kakdah
my little vegetable garden

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fish Head Curry: Kakdah's specialty

Sunday Morning, adik, the youngest was here and that made three of us.  We went over to a friend's house in Kota Chahaya Masai for fish, fresh from fishing trip. We ended with a kilo of ikan duri, kembung, talang and mayong. There was a nice fresh looking fish head (ikan jenahak) that attracted my attention. All together RM40..... and a baldi full ( a pail full). So, it's fish head curry for lunch!

Fish Head Curry - Ikan Jenahak

Curry on the stove: fish head

curry on the stove: ikan mayong

curry on the stove: brinjal

Even with gardening as hobby, we still had to purchase certain vegetables from the store. For Kakdah's cooking of  fish head curry, some ingredients were fresh from the garden;  small chili, long chili, brinjals, okra and rose onions.

Grilled Fish - Ikan Talang

grilled fish wrapped with banana leaf

grilled fish: ikan talang

It was just a coincidence that, earlier in the morning Ruhaznawati had been messaging about gardening issues. She asked what's for lunch, fish head curry I replied.  She practically shouted that curry had been their Sunday standard menu for many years!.....

There we go, thousand miles apart, menu for the lunch was the same!

bangchik and kakdah
my little vegetable garden

Monday, October 8, 2012

Growing Pineapple: ready to bear fruit.

Pineapple is the name of this fruiting tropical plant. In Malaysia, it is commonly known as nanas or nenas. There are variations over the sound, where it is lanas ( or lanah ) in Kelantan and  in the northern states, people name it nangnaeh.  

So after months of waiting , one plant at the edge of the row decided to bear fruit.  A sweet colour indeed, pinkish red!

The first baby fruit of pineapple
mutiara variety

Pineapple:  mutiara variety, the first baby fruit



Pineapple: just a tiny baby fruit



pineapples: Mutiara Variety,  leaves meeting leaves

pineapples: madu variety

pineapples: the row of madu variety

The leaves are quite spiky. Faizal, Kakdah's brother mentioned about pineapples producing thorns as a sign of stress. Poor soils, prolong drought and congestion are stress factors. I am not too sure which factor really encourage thorns along the leaves with our pineapples. Thorns pose no real problem, except it would be difficult to do weeding around the plants. I remembered the mutiara variety as seedlings, they were almost clean without thorns.

In fact I dont expect the fruit to appear so soon, since the plants are not a year yet. I remembered sometime last month I did spray flower inducement fertiliser, the leftover  for Kakdah's orchids. That probably trigger the flowering or fruiting. The foliar spray has boron micronutrient, necessary for flowering and fruiting .....

It will take about six months for the tiny baby fruit to develop and mature ready for harvest.  Therefore it would be interesting to see how the tiny baby develops through October, November, December, January, February, and March next year. I wonder which one will bear the next baby fruit, among the twenty  plants.

ealier post on pineapples :
growing pineapples not a thorny issue.  25.3.2012


bangchik and kakdah
 pasir gudang johor

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

stevia, sweetener not forgotten

A natural no calorie sweetener. Stevia is the answer for diabetics to have the old life back when coffee is so sweet and refreshing.

The other day Aina came and asked for stevia. She took one. I saw money and stevia changing hands while the two were talking. I never ask how much Kakdah charged, because the business side of our garden is in the hands of Kakdah. That's her freedom......

stevia,  at our pasir gudang garden

stevia, 100 polybags

The latest addition to our stevia is 100 seedlings, a different specie to what we had before. The leaves are rounder and bigger. They are in shade now until strong enough to bask under the hot sun! 

........... b a n g c h i k      a n d      k a k d a h ..........
j o h o r

Monday, October 1, 2012

Ulam Raja, tracing the roots.

All of us fall within a particular family tree and if every birth is recorded since the beginning of time we can really understand more how each family interact with another family tree through marriage. I can only trace to  our great grandfather by the name Mat Saman. The elders used to relate stories that Mat Saman was a man of importance in Kedah sultanate. One of his son Mat Isa  moved out of  Kedah  after a feud,  as a teenager with his younger brother and settled in Pantai Remis Perak. We have stopped trying to trace the family roots beyond Mat Saman as we had figured out the reasons of Mat Isa departure southwards. There is no reason to scrutinize old wounds and the best is to come to term with ancestral history and live with it.

On Kakdah side, her family can be traced back to Yemen , and she retains the sharp middle-east features. That's how life goes....

Ulam Raja in our garden, Pasir Gudang Johor. (dated 14.1.2012)

It's about our ulam raja. I remembered taking seeds while visiting Kakdah's elder sister who lived in Tanjong Rambutan, Perak. Those were the seeds later germinated to fill up a section of our Putrajaya garden in the year 2008. Then we moved northwards to Tanah Merah in 2010 and a year later traveled southwards and settled in Pasir Gudang, Johor. It's almost nomadic, each time bringing along the whole family, belongings and seeds. Ulam raja traveled too........

Ulam Raja at different location, our Pasir Gudang garden
(dated 1. 6. 2012)

Over here in Pasir Gudang Johor they are almost to the third generation already. First planted late last year, then the seedlings around the mother plants were moved to different corner and they are flowering now. Three generations in Putrajaya, two generations in Tanah Merah, and already two generations in Pasir Gudang Johor. After seven generations, they still are ulam raja, same look, same smell, same taste, same flower. The genetic code is intact, secretly locked in seeds to the end of time.... at least to the end of our time....

_____ bangchik and kakdah _____
my little vegetable garden

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