Friday, August 1, 2014

Bitter Gourd

Bitter Gourd is one of my favourite veggie. I love it when braised with chicken or meat. Sometimes I use it for omelette, and it is delicious when stuffed with fish paste and deep-fried. There are lots of other ways of using Bitter Gourd, like in soups, stir-fries and it can also be juiced, for it's health benefits. You may read all about the benefits of bitter gourd, there are tons of information from the internet.


Several months ago, when I bought a Bitter Gourd from the market, I simply sowed some seeds into a container at my back yard, and in a matter of days, the seeds have sprouted into small seedlings. From there, it took about almost 2 months for the plant to flower. I pollinated the female flowers myself, since there are no bees around, and just a small number of ants.









After harvesting a few of these melons,the plant is now showing signs of  "I'm done!" Got to start over, but have not make up my mind whether to grow bitter gourd again or some other vine veggies that are just waiting in queue. Times like this, I wish for a big gardening area!


I'm sharing this post with Garden Tuesday @ Sidewalk Shoes


Happy Gardening!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Mulberry and No Birdies!

I would call my Mulberry as plants instead of trees, as that's what they are! 

I have two of these plants, growing in separate pots. These two plants have been providing me with about two dozens or so (yeah, so few!), of fruits each time. When the fruits have been harvested, the branches need to be pruned  in order to encourage the growth of more fruits. I have been collecting the fruits and freezing them for use in jam making, in my bakes and for making ice cream. And I have been harvesting my kind neighbour's mulberries too, as they have given me the green light to do so, since they do not eat the fruits, and once the fruits are ripe, they will all dropped off to the ground. 



The other Mulberry Plant.

My plants are about 2 years old, and they grow rather slow, since I've grown them in pots. But with constant pruning of the branches, I have a steady supply of fruits every now and then. Mulberries have lots of health benefits, you may read all about it here. The fruits would start off as small green fruits, then they will turn a shade of light pink, to light red, then bright red, on to dark red, and when fully ripe, the fruits will be almost black. They are juicy and tart when not fully ripe, and when fully ripe, with a hint of tart sweetness.


I've made this delightful sorbet using a mixture of mulberries, cranberries and orange juice a couple of months ago. The perfect indulgence for our super hot weather right now.


Cranberry-Mulberry Orange Sorbet



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Update on the bird nest that I found two weeks ago in my Belimbing tree, from my previous post here.

The nest has dropped to the lower part of the tree. Maybe the nest was not secured enough and it has came tumbling down! Poor mother bird! After all its hard work into building it. I've read from the internet that it takes a few practices for a new mother bird until she can build a sturdy well built nest. Perhaps this little mother bird is a newbie! Hopefully she has made another nest and have her eggs ready to be hatched somewhere safe.


Instead of discarding the nest, I have placed the nest in the tree, where there's support, though I doubt that the bird would be back, but well, keeping my fingers crossed. 


I'm linking this post to Garden Tuesday @ Sidewalk Shoes



Happy Gardening !


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Some garden updates

Update from my previous post on my Pomegranate plant, about 5 weeks ago, I was really happy to see that out of the one dozen flowers that bloomed, two have turned to fruits!  Even though almost all of the flowers have dropped off, I was quite happy as I've bought this young seedling less than a year ago, and did not expect it to grow so quick and now with fruits too! 


This photo was taken about 2 weeks ago.


The same fruit, today. The calyx at the bottom which looks like a crown, have dropped off, making the fruit looks so "un-pomegranate" LOL!


The second fruit, photo taken about 2 weeks ago.


The fruit today. It still has it's calyx at the bottom of the fruit. With it's "crowning glory" this looks more like a pomegranate, unlike the "naked" one from the second photo above, which looks like a small young mango fruit!

I can't wait for the fruits to ripen. This is the first time I'm growing pomegranate, so I'm not sure when is the suitable time to harvest. From what I've read from the internet, it takes about 6 months from the start of the flowers to harvesting the fruits. I guess that I'll have to wait a little longer, and probably not as long as 6 months, depending on the variety. I really do not know the variety of this plant in my pot, all I knew was, it is our local variety, as was told by the seller from the nursery, and she herself do not know the variety of this fruit.


 My chilli plant. I have harvested all the red ripe chillies and have been enjoying at least 3 to 5 chillies with my meals, almost everyday.


Look what I've discovered in my belimbing tree! A bird's nest! I have seen the mother bird only once yesterday, and before I could take my camera, it flew off! Wondering if there's any eggs in the nest!


Probably there's no eggs in there yet, as I have not seen the mother bird other than that one time yesterday. Maybe she's just getting the nest ready for her big moment! Will monitor the progress of this nest!


Happy Gardening !