Tag Archives: Home and Garden

Live Simply vs. Simply Live

The beginning month rolls by ,uncaring whether or not I join in the mad rush to be productive or to be left behind.I decided I will take my time. This contemplative stance is doing me good though. I usually fill this month with the usual suspects- goals to achieve of which the central focus is myself- career, well-being , physical fitness, security. Not this time. I wanted to stand in this precipice , as if I am just a spectator , able to observe what my surrounding is up to , and living in the knowledge that it is in my power really to weigh my options. Do I really have to do what I supposed I need to do , and do I have to do it now? Do I need to be conditioned that I need to be buying all the stuff I supposed my family need to survive? Do I have to work really hard to achieve the sort of happiness I expect to get? I am led to postpone any screaming concern that needs my attention for now. It’s good to ponder . It exercises my God-given ability to rest my ambivalent mind , and receive the gift of silence for once.

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Eyeing the papaya already.One was felled by strong winds.

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Enjoying my daily inspection of veggies in my little untamed patch.

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Air-drying Italian oregano for an idea of making an infused oregano oil.

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Early morning gardening. What a surprise to see my bitter gourd finally fruiting.

 

And as I sit joyfully , doing nothing ..all sort of inspirations are visiting me like ripples in succession. For once , there is no to-do list , no time frame. I am just led to sow seeds, plant , prune, gather dead leaves..and naturally , the empowered self seems to show itself. I begin to see this unhurried self doing a lot more.

I hope to be doing this more often . To commit to be mesmerized by the quiet persuasuions of nature. Living. simply .

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A good year that was

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While my daughter Bella helps me with the mulching , I go about transplanting the okra.

I decided to chronicle my accomplishments as a novice farmer of 2015 not to boast but to boost my morale into moving forward. My love affair with the soil came in so slowly..but when it finally warmed up..Oh boy.. it’s unstoppable within me. Like a good read it keeps me in suspense. And like some comfort food , keeps me wanting to always go back to it to balance my rhythm. January was when the time I made a pact with myself to start sowing seeds and start baby steps in living sustainably.I ate everything along the way to help me in my quest for a natural brand of farming. I was led to attend 3 major seminars that shaped the way I farm now. Natural Building , Intensive Beekeeping and Natural Farming. All of which only made my thirst for knowledge become severe that I decided to make my own backyard my lab to experiment with plants , seed saving and soil-buiding.I made quite a lot of progress and quite a couple of mistakes too that enriched my experience even more..

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Frehly harvested ginger. I sowed them eight months ago.

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Native pigs are my newest addition to my farm. They eat taro leaves and banana trunks that thrive in the farm.

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Every week , I formed this habit to sow seeds. This actually paid off..for this allows a steady supply of harvest every season .Plus,you get to hone your green thumbs.

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I grow these kind of chillies called panigang( finger peppers) and the siling labuyo; combination of which become naturally processed hot sauce.

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When I have ample supply , my husband and I process and bottle to sell.

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A sampling of a variety of harvest on a weekly basis.

 

 

Why I want you to start your own garden

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Gardens can come in a variety of sizes. Here gardener, used a container.

Everything about gardening seems initially a daunting task. First , we fall in love with the fairest garden  we visit, and somehow, the idea of just creating your very own sneaks into your conscious thoughts.And here is where people almost always differ . Some would marvel at the inspired moment and then shrug their shoulders, ” Oh , it’s too much work for me.I don’t have the luxury of time right now.”Others become completely convinced and make a vow, ” I don’t have it in me, I just don’t have the green thumb.”

Gardening is just like a journey to self discovery. The more you open yourself to knowing, the more surprised you become at the transformations taking place.Such is the case with my love affair with plants. The more i try to pursue it, asking landscapers and sellers of plants questions like, Is this plant appropriate for sunny or shady?, Can you teach me how to propagate this? What’s a good start-up  collection here? -the more I discover people are just too willing to help and share their own joy of gardening.I love to visit someone’s garden and ask some cuttings. I also visit horticultural shows and agri shows, buying one or two interesting ornamental cactus or fruit bearing. It’s also an opportunity to learn from them how to grow and take care of  your selections.

And as I discover, with matters of the soil, nobody dares judge you if you do or don’t do it right. This is your own love affair. This is your own garden.

Creating a mini bamboo greenhouse, part 2

It’s been an erratic two weeks of rain and shine. But nonetheless,work proceeded as planned.I hired two farmworkers to gather the bamboo and I bought the needed plastic and nylon, then came up with a sketch very similar to this picture below.I am planning to put several rows of raised beds, meant for cucumber,bellpepper, and lettuce.Next week’s sked is tillage and seedlings! Happy farming!

After the completion of the bamboo posts and its members, came the fun part..the laying out of the UV coated plastic for the roof and nylon net for the sides,making sure we establish some form of drainage on the sides.

It's important to have at least a couple of rows for your vegetable beds and for me, i wanted to have an elevated seedling nursery as well .

An earthworm sanctuary in Eco park

My search for the most effective and cheapest way to bring back nutrition to my otherwise acidic soil has brought me to Ecology Park, where the couple Mr. and Mrs Castro of Earthworm Sanctuary conducts regular seminars on vermiculture -production of fertilizers from the castings of earthworms.This special couple doesn’t know it but they have taught me the most valuable lesson in natural farming.These African nightcrawlers ( the only species good for vermiculture)feed on agricultural wastes, dead leaves , animal manure, coffee grounds and anything organic. Just pile the shredded bits  in a box made of hollowblocks and line it up with tarpauline or sack as bedding.Put a net on top such that it secures the box(ideally for me  8′ x 5′). In 30 to 40 days, I have my own organic fertilizer proudly enriched with live micro organisms.I even tested its ph and to my satisfaction , it has yielded a 6 ph which means it’s fertile!

the vermiculture station in Eco park by the earthworm sanctuary