Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Top 10 Crops I Want to Grow

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Before I go on with my usual Tuesday blahbbies, lemme share this one first:

Editors' Pick of the Day

Last Friday, I was quite surprised to receive a lot of notifications from Bloggers.Com - a website where bloggers get to "show off" their blogs. I have five active blogs, but I only registered one (this blog) at the moment. I am not really an active member of the site, but I do like that every post I made here will show up on my profile and members can get to like or vote for it. Anyway, as surprised as I was, I head over the site to answer messages, and I found out that I was one of the three editors' picks for that day. Needless to say, I am happy about it because not only did some bloggers add me as a friend on Bloggers, they also hopped into my blog and followed me through GFC. Thank you all!

Likewise, I wanted to say thank you to everyone who followed my blogs through GFC or by e-mail subscriptions or by Networked Blogs. Some people I can't follow through GFC because I cannot see a link back to their blogs, so if you are a new follower or if you followed me and I still haven't followed you back, please tell me by commenting in this post so I could follow you back.

Finger Chilies

Anyway, you may recall a time when I talked about successfully growing two Finger Chili plants and that I was already harvested a fruit from each plant. Checking up my plants this weekend, I was happy to share that another fruit is coming out and that there were more flowers blooming, which may mean more fruits coming. I am now thinking if I would transfer them to a much bigger pot, but right now, my mind is telling me to keep the plants right where they are because I might damage the roots. A problem that needed my utmost attention were the very small ants and aphids trying to eat the flowers. I didn't want to use any pesticides, so I am thinking of natural ways to eliminate the pests. If you know of a way, please don't hesitate to share it here. Thanks!

Bell Pepper

More pepper blahbbies... a few months ago, brother cooked a dish with bell peppers, and instead of using the typical bell peppers (which looked like pimientos), he used this plump bell peppers, and as I saw him took out the seeds, I decided to get some and scatter them on an empty pot (with soil, of course). It took time before it sprouted, and seeing a few little seedlings, I transferred the two biggest onto one big pot. The picture was the taller of the two, which was about two inches high.

Seems my rapport with the peppers was getting better and better, but something happened lately. If you noticed in the picture, there was a stick. I actually placed six barbecue sticks around the pot because our cats have found a way of cooling themselves by sleeping on the pots. I guess watering the plants made the soil fairly cool, and they just loved it. I didn't want them to ruin my little bell peppers, so taking my sister's suggestion, I surrounded it with sticks. Still, even with the sticks, my cat Orange-y has found a way to use this pot as his sleep area, and to my horror, I saw two of the sticks broken and the peppers pressed onto the soil. The smaller plant didn't survive, but this one was a tough plant. I am happy that it's still okay, but like a patient who is in the ICU, I really need to give this plant my attention.

Now for my top 10.

Talking about the peppers I have grown, here are the top ten crops I want to grow in our own yard (in random order, excluding the peppers, of course):
  1. Ampalaya (Bitter Melon - Momordica Charantia). I didn't like this vegetable when I was a kid, but lately, I am loving it so much. Well, I still wouldn't eat it if it was in pinakbet, but I still want to grow it as I love eating its leaves, too.
  2. Tomatoes. Fronting the Multi-Purpose Hall of the neighborhood, some families planted some crops - Wombok, Bottle Gourd, Yard Long Beans... but among the crops that caught my attention were the tomatoes. Passing by the Hall made me see the tomatoes bloom and bear fruits. As soon as the tomatoes turned orange, I realized it just looked so great that I wanted to grow some, too.
  3. Eggplant. Mainly because it's purple and I love purple. Hahahaha... kidding aside, I also have started to like this vegetable, that I thought grilled foods tasted much better when accompanied with eggplant salsa.
  4. Basil. I found it difficult to buy a pack of basil and use a minuscule amount of it, so sister and I thought it would be much better if we just grow some and get a leaf or two whenever we needed it. We attempted to grow this twice, but we failed on both times because we didn't know rain will melt the leaves. The soonest time we visit the weekend market, I will start growing it again.
  5. Rosemary. Another one of the herbs we wanted to grow. If you ask me, I didn't like rosemary infused chicken dishes, but I do agree that it smelled nice, enough to make it to my list.
  6. Pandan. We used to have this in our garden, but when brother decided to cure the soil with solignum (we have some termite problems), brother took out the pandan plant, and us letting it stay in a bucket of water made it die over the course of days. Pandan is an essential crop, that I want to have it in our garden again.
  7. Lemongrass. We love to grill, and collecting some Thai-inspired recipes made me feel the want to have our own lemongrass even if we can readily buy some at a nearby market. Brother has attempted time and time again to grow this, but he always failed. We really can't figure why it stays alive when placed in a bottle filled with water, and instantly dies when we plant it in the soil. We need to research about this.
  8. Saluyot (Jute). An essential part of the Dinengdeng dish, we used to have this in our garden when I was a kid, now I want to have them back so we will have something to cook when the family is lazy to think of anything to cook.
  9. Katuray (Corkwood Tree Flowers). I know this is a seasonal crop (it blooms summertime I think), but even it's a tree, I think this would still fit our small garden. Another ingredient used in Dinengdeng, this also tasted good as a salad dish.
  10. Patola (Sponge Gourd). My late father was successful in growing this before, but the downside is that the vines will use anything to cling on. Still, there's something in me that I makes me want to plant it, too, but I need to use good seeds for this, as there are some that are actually bitter.

I don't know if I can grow all of these, well... I was just hoping I could, but, the family is going to do grocery shopping later this afternoon, so I guess I will start with the tomatoes and eggplants. The herbs will have to wait 'til we visit the Sidcor Weekend Market next weekend (hopefully). The rest? I am just hoping I could find a good seed or in some crops - a branch or twig to re-plant.

*** Jenn ***

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Jenn, the Foodie

I come from a family who loves cooking and eating. I never had any formal training in cooking and that I taught myself how to cook based on the handed down recipes, but I could say that I can cook good food. In 2008, I started documenting my food trips for my travel blog, and since I have quite enough to start a food blog, might as well put all those food trips in one location. Thus, a food blog is born - thanks to the new Friendster Blogs. However, due to several problems, I was left with no choice but to pack bags again and move here instead. Here's the permanent address, promise! Enough talk, let the food trippin' begin! {Know More About Me}