Some Pretty Harvests And Plants Update

I did not have enough time to tend to my plants at my backyard last week when I went back to my holiday home and had the pumpkin plant removed at my front yard. It was not until on Wednesday, when I finally managed to go back again and do something there - SOME LONG-DUE HARVESTS. 

Like always, I had some really pretty harvests this time. Thanks to ' Mother Nature ' who never fails to take care of my plants whenever I am away. 

I had harvested...

Some Gynura bicolor leaves,

some Ocimum basilicum ( Basil ) flowers and leaves,

some insignificant, whole Amaranthus sp. ( Red and Green Amaranths ), 

and, some Ipomoea batatas ( sweet potato ) leaves.

All of which had been shared with my sisters back here in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

Meanwhile on the same planter at my backyard....

The two Butterfly Pea ( Clitoria ternatea ) plants which I had transplanted from my eldest sister's garden last month seemed to have thrived - though they had yet to find the adjacent fence for support. And yes, I had finally made up my mind to keep one of the accidental Winter Melon ( Benincasa hispida ) plants. For I had learnt that it requires very little care to thrive and bear fruit; which would be really great for my frequently ' unattended ' garden.

The Butterfly Pea plants could be seen at the bottom left while the Winter Melon plant could be seen at the bottom right of this picture.

The Madeira Vine ( Anredera cordifolia ), which I had planted for its nutritious leaves some months back, was really taking its sweet time, it seemed - in showing off its small, fragrant, cream-white flowers which would eventually turn black - slowly, and one after another. There was no indication that it would put a stop to its flower show anytime soon. I wonder if I would ever get to harvest any of its leaves at all. Sigh. Still hopeful though. Wish me LUCK!

All for now. Thank you for reading this. Till next month... Bye!

A Most Noble Sacrifice, Not A Voluntary One Though

After much self-debates, I finally had the pumpkin plant removed yesterday. There was no more reason I could give myself to retain it any longer. My hand-pollination done on one of its flowers has not worked. The need to do something for the nutrient, space and sun-deprived sweet potato and especially, turmeric plants ( that were growing on the same planter at my front yard ) was becoming more and more apparently urgent. 

A choice or decision has to be made fast. Either a plant or some plants must play ' Hero ' or ' Heroes ' ( be sacrificed to make way for, thus save all other plants ). ' Proudly ', it was decided that it ought to be the strong, long-time, space-dominating pumpkin plant. To be the first ever, ' appointed ' ( not a voluntary one ), most noble Plants Hero of my front yard planter.

The pumpkin plant before the removal. The sweet potato and turmeric plants were hidden somewhere underneath it.

It took me a long two hours or so to have its itch-inducing hairy vine and leaves removed completely. It had been tough for me. As my skin was very sensitive to its hairs. Though I had a pair of gloves on, I still got some red, itchy bumps on my hands; which slowed me down. As I couldn't let the itch passed without some scratching every now and then. Luckily it never lasts. 

The heap of the drying pumpkin plant after the removal

While having the pumpkin plant removed, I accidentally unearthed a sweet potato vine that had a small edible tuber at the end of its root. A white one that looked more like a radish to me. Though it was nothing rare to get a tuber, it wasn't something which I had expected. As I had planted them merely for their tasty leaves. Nevertheless, it was quite a pleasant surprise for me. I had it boiled and eaten later in the evening yesterday. Its texture was great though its sweetness was rather inferior.

The accidentally unearthed sweet potato tuber.

My fourth sister suggested that I should just cut its vine at various points and leave them on the planter to rot and act as my soil mulch. But since I wanted to spread coffee grounds around the nutrient deficient sweet potato and turmeric plants soonest possible, I couldn't follow. Allowing them to dry out and wither away on the planter would take some time however little. I was worried that the somewhat stunted turmeric plants couldn't wait any longer. I had to save them as soon as I could.

Hence, after the removal, I immediately fertilized each and everyone of them with lots of coffee grounds. I also gave them all, a good thorough bath and drink. For the sun was already up and it was getting really hot when I finished. Finally, when all were done, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. For I knew they could, from then on grow happily with ample nutrients, space and sun exposure.
One of the all-rounded fertilized turmeric plants.

Finally, there are new new hopes for the sweet potato and turmeric plants. Picture taken after the bath.

Thanks to the dear Plants Hero - The Pumpkin Plant, for its most noble sacrifice!

An Escape To The Back Garden...

On Monday this past week, me and my siblings went to the columbarium at Sam Poh Tong Cave Temple in Ipoh to make offerings and pay respects to our beloved sister who passed away years ago at a very young age. The place was jam-packed with people ( old and young ) who came with similar intentions - to make offerings and pay respects to their deceased family members, relatives or friends. Like everyone else, we carried out the usual, annual ritual of burning joss sticks and candles. offering foods ( we used only vegetarian foods as we are vegetarians ) and finally, chanting and dedicating merits. The whole place was like a busy marketplace. Dirty, hot, noisy and messy. The smoke from all the burning, almost choked me to death ( a bit of exaggeration here though ) and made my eyes sore. There were some close cases of me being burnt by other people's joss sticks. However, we ourselves, were to be blamed for all the mess and pollutions!

A foreign tourists or two found the whole thing interesting. They disregard all the discomforts, braved and squeezed themselves through the crowd, just to take some pictures of us from every angle. Unlike them, I never wanted to stay a minute longer no matter the reason. I made the quickest escape of my life as soon as we had finished with the ritual. While waiting for my third brother who went to look for the washroom, I found myself straying away from the crowd into the cave through one of its openings. 

I passed through a quite spacious stalactites and stalagmites ' cave hall ' filled with many Buddha and Bodhisattva statues and a short, narrow. very cooling, passageway before I finally exited into a large, quite beautifully-landscaped back garden. The garden was surrounded by some amazing, natural limestone hills. A sight to behold really. Like those often depicted in Chinese brush landscape paintings. There was an ancient Chinese architecture building in the garden, backing one of the hills; which gave me a feeling of being on some mountains in China. Though the round fountain pond never really seemed to match the building's design, it looked alright to be there somehow. 

What amazes me the most was the natural landscape. Those lush greenery that settled on those limestone hills. They looked just so magnificently beautiful to me. Alas, my camera phone never seemed to have captured their beauty completely.

The garden was functionally-landscaped with some shady and some non-shady tropical plants, concrete walkways and some garden furniture here and there; thus making it a great place for strolling around, watching nature, practising meditation or simply enjoying the fresh air.

At one side of the garden, there was a man-made pond which I am guessing, has perhaps, hundreds to thousands of various sizes turtles living in it. I had a fun time watching them swim in the pond or sunbathe on  the ' concrete beach ' or move about the place when some local tourists fed them with vegetables.

Adjacent to the turtles' pond, I spotted a lot of ' fungi ' growing on some tree trunk stools. So unique and fascinating that I was prompted to take some pictures of them. 

How quickly time always passes by when you are having fun! I haven't had enough of all the pleasures this back garden has got to offer. As I had to immediately leave it when my eldest sister came looking for me; saying that we could be late for the train back to Kuala Lumpur should I stay another minute. 

Below here is a short video clip of the turtles in motion ( the voices in the video are from some excited local tourists ). ENJOY!  

" Oh, these are real plants! "

Sometime last week, while I was shopping at a local shopping mall, I stumbled upon a very unique shop that sells dragon fruit seedlings ( tropical plants of the Cactus family ). From afar, they looked like some fake plants to me. However, when I took a closer look, I just couldn't contain my pleasant surprise. " Oh, these are real plants! How cute and creative! " I blurted out.

Whether planted in some cutely-drawn facial feature, small, white containers or natural-looking rice sack-wrapped containers and etc., or simply have them decorated with some cute, little ornaments, they make great, cheery table top gifts for oneself and others.

These little pretties ( seedlings ) must not be slighted for their size. They are not only decorative or pretty but great absorbers of radiation and carbon dioxide and are great producers of our much needed oxygen. And for those tired eyes, they are able to soothe them simply by being there in their usual, comfortable-to-look-at green colour; for those eyes to feast on.

Here are some of their pictures which I had captured from the shop ( for your eyes only! ):

Having seen these little pretties planted in such creative containers, I suddenly have the urge to create one for myself. But, using a recycled mug and my all time favourite garden moss instead. Will have it posted here on this blog once I have it created!

Till then... Bye!

Garden Updates - March, 2018

These updates are somewhat belated. I should have got them written and posted last Thursday when I came back from my holiday home where my small backyard garden is. But having two other posts that I felt more excited about ( which I had posted HERE and HERE ), plus some handmade fabric flower orders on both my Etsy and Blog shops that needed my immediate handling, I had got no choice but to put the writing up of these updates at the bottom most of my to-do list. Forgive me for playing favourites and prioritization.

Back then ( before I came back to Kuala Lumpur last Thursday ) at my backyard.....

I had planted two Butterfly Pea ( Clitoria ternatea ) seedlings at a corner of my planter. I would make them trail up the fence when they are a little taller ( longer ). I did not grow these seedlings myself. I got them from my eldest sister's house. She has many of them in her garden as a result of split matured seed pods from her existing plants. I had pulled out two and kept them hydrated in a water-filled glass bottle on the day I traveled back. They looked fine before I transplanted them two days later. Hopefully at least one of them would thrive, if not two.

The Butterfly Pea ( Clitoria ternatea ) seedlings are kept hydrated in a water-filled glass bottle after they were pulled out from the soil.

Some Winter Melon Benincasa hispida ) seedlings had emerged from the soil of my planter. On further investigation, I found out that they had germinated from the clump of seeds which I had lazily and thoughtlessly, dumped onto the planter instead of the rubbish bin during my previous trip back in February. Usually I am very careful with seeds disposal. As I do not fancy removing any of their young ones as weeds later. Somehow, because of my thoughtlessness back then, I had got many seedlings to deal with, which caught me in a dilemma. Winter melons or no winter melons? ( Decision to be made the next time I go back... )

The winter melon seedlings

My previous green and red Amaranths ( Amaranthus sp. ) had self-seeded on my planter before I harvested them in February. Some of them had germinated. Again, I am undecided as to just thin them out or remove them altogether as weeds. Either way, I feel cruel for depriving them of their chance to live on.

The Green and Red Amaranth ( Amaranthus sp. ) seedlings

The replanted sweet potato ( Ipomoea batatas ) cuttings had established and were doing quite well. Judging by the look of them, I am almost sure they would provide me with lots of  tasty vegetables the next time I go back. Hurray!

The sweet potato plants which I had grown from cuttings sometime back in February.

The Gynura bicolor plants had progressed rather slowly with few new leaves growth after the harvest back in February. Perhaps it was because the weather had been a bit dry with little rainfall. Also it could have been that these shade-loving plants found it too sunny during this time of the year at my northwest facing backyard when the sun tend to settle in for a longer time everyday.

The Gynura bicolor plant.

The Basil Leaf plants ( Ocimum basilicum ) were doing quite well. There were quite a lot for harvest when I went back two weeks back. Like always, I harvested only the top parts and left the bottom parts to continue growing. These plants have always been great contributors to my flavour herb needs. They never disappoint.

The Ocimum basilicum plants.

The Madeira Vines were going to flower profusely soon. There were lots of flower buds everywhere on the vines with some cute, little white flowers already in bloom. It looked like they had used up all their energy in producing the flower buds as there were generally little leaves produced. 

The Madeira Vines.

Meanwhile at my front yard....

Having harvested the most delicious though cracked pumpkin, I had thought of removing the whole plant to give way to the sweet potato and turmeric plants to grow better. But, with so many flower buds appearing everywhere on the vines, I eventually decided to abort my intention to get rid of it. On the second last day of my stay there, I called myself lucky to chance upon a male and a female flower blooming on the same day. I jumped at the chance and did my first ever hand-pollination on the female flower. Hopefully, it would be a successful one. ( My previously harvested pumpkin was a blessed,  generous gift from nature ) 

A pretty, blooming pumpkin flower and some flower buds.

Lush pumpkin vines and sweet potato shoots

Again, my poor turmerics plants ( Cucurma longa ) ( I have at least ten of them ) would have to wait for their chance to enjoy the space and full sun. Their growths had already seemed somewhat stunted. I wonder if they could ever make it till their chance come. I feel extremely sorry for them. Forgive me plants! ( If only someone would adopt them, they would definitely be able to enjoy full space and direct sunlight... )

My poor turmeric plants have neither enjoyed direct sunlight nor grown any taller since they first emerged from the soil three months back.

 All for now. Till next entry... CHEER UP!

Welcome Weeds!

Yes. You read it right. I welcome weeds. Those that grow on those cracked concrete spots at my backyard. I find them very pretty and unique. They make each of those spots resembles a miniature ferns-moss-weeds rock or stone garden. I did not and never have to plant them. Nature did and would do it all. I just have to sit back and enjoy. Now is only the beginning. They have just settled in not long ago. Hopefully I could see them grow, mature, reproduce, die and rot. Again and again. On those cracked concrete spots. I may be adding more planters of plants at my backyard in time. But never would I interfere with the beautiful works of nature on those cracked concrete spots. I want to see how those landscapes there would evolve over time. How nature would work wonders with those plants that people so-called ' weeds '. Those weeds that I so welcome!

I Had A Cracked But Delicious Pumpkin!

The pretty side of my harvested pumpkin

My heart really sank when I alighted from my sister's car and saw my pumpkin last Saturday. I had never come across one that had cracks on its skin like mine before. Nor had I been warned that pumpkins could crack sometimes under certain conditions. I was rather shocked and sad. My heart just sank at the sight of it. 

Without a second thought, I dashed back into my sister's car, took out a big, sharp scissors and immediately cut it off from its hard and woody stemmed vine. It was a rather small pumpkin and gave a reading of a mere 1.22 kg when placed on my kitchen scale. I held it with both my hands as though it was a precious gem. I examined the whole of my pumpkin carefully and in detail. Visually, it looked pretty normal except for the cracks. The skin's orange colour was quite even and beautiful. I tried to pierce its skin. It was so hard that I almost got my fingernails hurt. I buried my fingers into the cracked scars. They felt dry and hard. My heart lifted a little bit with hope. Relieved. It could still be edible, I thought to myself. Since there were no signs of it rotting. I gave it a few hard knocks with my knuckles. It sounded full and solid, not hollow. I was quite puzzled. A lot of people had told me before that pumpkins should sound hollow when they are mature. My pumpkin's skin and stem had indicated that it had matured. But somehow, the sound indicated otherwise. I had got to find out soonest possible.

So, first thing in the morning on the next day, I went straight to my kitchen for a knife. I laid my pumpkin on the wooden cutting board which I had placed on the concrete floor of my backyard. I was not going to cut it inside my kitchen. In case there are wriggling insect larvae coming out from it. It would be scary to have them wriggle or jump about in my kitchen.

I dissected my pumpkin into half. To my surprise, there were nothing that I had feared or imagined. No inner rotting. No larvae. I was relieved. My heart jumped with joy. I was right about my judgement on my pumpkin the day before. My pumpkin was perfectly great despite the cracks. The flesh was thick ( no wonder it sounded full and solid ) and had a nice looking bright golden yellow colour. Though its soft seeds indicated that it had yet to reach full maturity, the harvest was timely. The flesh looked great.

I cut the flesh into four portions and gave them to four of my siblings to cook. All of them agreed unanimously that it was one of the best tasting pumpkin treats they had ever tasted so far. They even complimented that its sweetness and texture were second to none! 

I could never have been more contented and pleased. Thanks to My Dear Cracked Pumpkin ( whose remains are only in memories and pictures now ) !

My dear poor pumpkin with a long horizontal and a slight vertical crack on its skin.

Nice colour and thick flesh within.

Let's Use Urine In Growing Our Vegetables

The other day during our chat on WhatsApp, my eldest sister told me how she had recently resorted to using urine in curing her under nutrition leafy vegetables. She told me that despite having fed her leafy vegetables with many types of organic fertilizers, they were never prettier until she watered them with her diluted urine. She said her vegetables looked significantly healthier and prettier in about just two days or so. 

The idea of using urine as fertilizer is not something new to me. I had learned about it long ago from my mum. In fact, it was one of the most easily available fertilizers commonly used by people long before her time. It is just that I never wanted to accept it before. I scorned at the use of it and thought it was a most dirty and stinky way to fertilize plants, especially vegetables. I am sure many people share the same thought as me. Now, while we can accept using animal manures as fertilizers, why not urine? Are they not the same kind of thing after all? Wastes that are excreted from our ( human beings' or animals' ) bodies? 

Moreover, as a matter of fact, urine is clean in that it contains few bacterial or chemical contaminants when retrieved from a healthy source. Plus, it has an almost complete, easily-absorbed nutrient composition that boasts a good nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (N-P-K) ratio of 10:1:4, and more modest amounts of the trace elements that plants need to thrive. 

So, why not overcome our squeamishness about this great, bodily waste product? Let's start using it ( urine ) as a source of fertilizer in growing our vegetables today. It is cost-free, effective, safe, simple and organic! All we have got to do are to collect, store and dilute it in 10 parts of water ( to avoid nitrogen burns ) before watering it onto our vegetables ( my sister always dilute hers in just 3 parts of water and it works fine for her veggies so far ).

Happy trying! We would not be disappointed for sure!

Beautiful Melody Fills My Backyard Garden

Nothing feels more heavenly than to step into my backyard garden - when the sky is clear, when the soft wind whistles from afar, when the birds sing happily at the closest proximity and when the plants dance gently under the sun - amidst the most beautiful, pleasant and positive melody played from my Outdoor, Solar-powered Chanting Machine that fills the air.

And nothing feels happier than to share it here with all of you.. Hence, a short video clip .... Enjoy!

* I am sorry that the melody recorded is far from perfect as I am very much an amateur when it comes to video recording.
*  And I am sorry that the birds had suddenly decided to stop singing for a while, while I was recording this the other day ( as though they did not wish to have their beautiful, precious songs being reproduced ).

** For this beautiful melody that fills my backyard garden, I have to really thank my eldest sister for giving me her extra Outdoor, Solar-powered Chanting Machine which my third brother had given her. I have to also thank my third brother for having given me ONE earlier which I had installed at my front yard planter. They are such easy to install and operate machines. There are a few melodies to choose from and the volumes are adjustable. I did not even have to read the operating manual when I assembled the parts and operated them. So far, they are able to play melodies 24 hours a day non-stop. GREAT MACHINES! AND HOPEFULLY, GREAT, HAPPY PLANTS!

Butterfly Pea ( Clitoria ternatea ) - The Amazing Herb

Butterfly Pea ( Clitoria ternatea ) is an amazing herb that is frequently being drank as tea or used as natural food colouring in Southeast Asia. 

In Thailand, ‘Nam dok anchan’, a commonly consumed refreshing indigo-blue drink, is made from Butterfly Pea flowers, honey and sugar syrup.

In traditional Thai cooking, Butterfly Pea flowers are squeezed for their blue extract, which is then mixed with coconut milk and other base ingredients to naturally colour Thai desserts in blue and purple.

In Burmese and Thai cuisines, the flowers are also dipped in batter and fried.

In Malay cooking, an aqueous extract is used to colour glutinous rice for ‘kuih ketan’ and in ‘nyonya chang’.

In Kelantan, east Malaysia, the locals add a few buds of this flower in a pot while cooking white rice to add a bluish tint to the rice known as ‘nasi kerabu’.

Aside from their numerous uses in colouring food and making tea, Butterfly Pea Flowers are also reputed for their many health benefits. Below, is a list them:

1) Improve eyesight
Clitoria Ternatea contains an antioxidant called proanthocyanidin, which increases blood flow to the capillaries of the eyes, useful in treatment of glaucoma, blurred vision, retinal damage or tired eyes.

2) Improve hair growth
Rich in bioflavonoids, Butterfly Pea can promote hair growth and reduce greying of hair.

3) Improve skin
Butterfly Pea’s antioxidants stimulate collagen and elastin synthesis, which helps rejuvenate the skin and lessen wrinkles and other signs of ageing.

4) Aphrodisiac
Butterfly Pea has been traditionally used as an aphrodisiac particularly for women and used to treat menstruation problems or white vaginal discharge (leucorrhoea).

5) Antioxidant
Flavonoids, anthocyanins and phenolic compounds in Butterfly Pea flowers activate antioxidant activity, which helps decrease oxidative stress caused by disease causing and ageing free radicals.

6) Nootropic
Butterfly Pea has been shown to enhance cognitive function and boost brain function.

7) Diuretic
Butterfly Pea promotes normal urination, which in turn lowers blood pressure

8) Analgesic
Clitoria Ternatea has been used traditionally as a local anaesthetic as it has been shown to help relieve pain and swelling.

9) Anxiolyhic
Butterfly Pea has a calming effect on the body, reducing stress and anxiety

10) Anti-inflammatory
The deep indigo flowers contain flavonoids. Found in almost all fruits and vegetables, flavonoids are powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits.

11) Anti-Asthmatic
It is used in common cold, cough & asthma as it acts as an expectorant and reduces the irritation of respiratory organs.

12) Anti-anxiety and depression
Indications are that high doses of Butterfly Pea may be adaptogenic – helping the body deal with stressors.

13) Anti-diabetic
Butterfly Pea has shown to inhibit glucose intake from the diet.

14) Anti-HIV
Butterfly Pea is one of the few herbs to contain cyclotides, which have exhibited anti-HIV effects in studies.

15) Anti-cancer and anti-tumor
Clitoria Ternatea’s cyclotides can cause cancer cell death by disrupting cell membrane integrity.

16) Anti-microbial
In several Indian studies, Butterfly Pea exhibited significant anti-microbial effects against Staphylococcus Aureus.

17) Anti-convulsant
Butterfly Pea has been shown to help reduce the severity and stress on the body from convulsions useful in treating epilepsy.

18) Anti-pyretic
Clitoria Ternatea can help reduce fever by dilating the blood vessels right beneath the skin, whereby air can cool the blood easier.

To enjoy their many reputed health benefits or simply to release some stress, drinking Butterfly Pea Flower Tea may be simplest way.

Here is how you can prepare Butterfly Pea Flower Tea :

1) Simply steep 10 flowers, fresh or dried, in a cup of hot water, let sit 15 minutes.

2) When there is no colour left in the petal, strain the liquid and discard the flowers. You will be left with an amazing indigo-coloured broth.

3) Add some sugar if you prefer it sweet.

4) The tea is then, ready to be enjoyed.

Additional tips : Fresh or dried lemongrass can be added during steeping to improve its flavour. The tea can also be consumed with some drops of lime juice to create a sweet ‘n’ sour flavour and turn the luminous indigo to a deeper purple colour tea. Simply mixing the tea with fuchsia roselle hibiscus would turn the tea to a bright red colour.

Butterfly Pea flowers are usually quite readily available to Malaysians. They are often found sold fresh or dried in many local Malaysia wet markets. However, in countries where Butterfly Pea Plants are not usually cultivated, the dried form of flowers may also be quite easily available. All you have got to do is just a little bit of googling. There are plenty of online shops out there selling them.

Finally, should you want to learn about Butterfly Pea Plant and how to grow one, you can always have a read HERE.

An Hour Of Rush In The Garden

Always, when you have guests around, time seems to pass by unnoticed. Very soon, it was time for us to pack our things and go back to Kuala Lumpur. At the very last couple of hours however, there were still lots of things which were not yet done in the garden. I had yet to take pictures of it and harvest the remaining vegetables. I had yet to apply the coffee ground fertilizer and condition the soil with my diluted homemade, eco-friendly enzyme. I had to be extra quick. Else, we could be stuck in a traffic jam if we start going back later than twelve noon. I just had an hour or so to spend on these tasks.

Luckily one of my guests love to do harvesting a lot though she never really likes gardening actually. She had volunteered to give me a hand on this. So, I let her harvest the top parts of the Gynura bicolor and Basil leaf plants using a pair of scissors. The bottom of the plants were left to continue their growths. As most of my guests ( who are typical city people ) are phobia of tiny creatures, I had to shake off uncountable ants which were running about the vegetables as much as I could before packing them in plastic bags for them to bring back to Kuala Lumpur as souvenirs.

Here is one third of my total harvest from the Gynura bicolor plants.

Here is one third of my total harvest from the Basil leaf plants.

I did not have enough time to even think about growing new vegetables this time. Luckily, I had got some chilli seeds ( which my eldest sister had given me sometime back ) and some saved sweet potato cuttings from an earlier harvestAt least there were something to fill up the precious empty space in the planter. Else, the space would be fast taken up by weeds in no time. After sowing the chilli seeds at a corner of the planter and planting the sweet potato cuttings, I top-dressed the whole planter with coffee grounds which my eldest sister's neighbour had given me. So far, it had been such a good mulch and nutrient source for my soil. Normally, I would leave this top-dressing task until the very last minute because coffee grounds tend to have a kind of foul smell that is very difficult to ignore. All my tasks were deemed to have completed after I sprayed the already top-dressed soil with my diluted homemade, eco-friendly enzyme.

Picture of my backyard planter - after the harvests and after the soil was top-dressed with coffee grounds and sprayed with my diluted, homemade eco-friendly enzyme.

Picture of my backyard planter - after the harvests and after the soil was top-dressed with coffee grounds and sprayed with my diluted, homemade eco-friendly enzyme.

The chilli seeds which I had sown at the corner of my backyard planter

There was not enough time to pluck the Madeira Vine's leaves one by one this time. So, I had to leave them on the vines. 

I found it difficult to judge whether the pumpkin was mature enough for harvest. So, it took me a long time to finally decide leaving it on the vine. Hopefully, it could still wait until the next time I go back - which could possibly be around mid of March. Till then...Wish me luck!

A Bountiful Harvest, Not A Pretty One Though

As I had mentioned in an earlier post, I would be back to my holiday home for a week-long stay. So, here I am. It has been a few days since I came back. But what I have managed to do however, was only a little bit of harvesting at my backyard which has been quite long overdue.

Though not a pretty one, I would say the harvest was bountiful, given the size of the planter where the vegetables were planted.

The sweet potato plants had provided tasty vegetables for at least 6 people. The harvested leaves, after a small bit of frying, were devoured by me and my guests in no time when served on the table.

In favour of the yummy greens, a tiny sweet potato was however, sacrificed during the harvest,

The red and green Amaranths were the most favoured ones among all my vegetables, it seemed, judging by the amount of ' stolen ' bites here and there before the harvest. I am proud though that the ' pest guys ' had found them tasty, just like us ( me and my guests ), despite they being quite ' aged ' and not pretty actually.

The Madeira Vines have been spared this time pending next harvest.

So, have the Basil leaf plants.

And the Gynura bicolor plants.

At the front yard planter, the pumpkin has matured a little bit. The colour is slowly turning orange. Harvest time could be not too far off.

All for now. Till next harvest... See then... 

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