Tag Archives: joy of gardening

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.

 

 

My New Passion: Hydroponics

Hey world. I had been a very bad blogger lately. Sorry for abandoning you for a long time , readers. Sometimes, it’s easy to get distracted from your first love and  I must admit, gardening took a back seat last couple of months. But I am back with a vengeance.

I will be featuring Hydroponics , the cheaper way to do it. I have to thank my friend Karen for allowing me to see how she grows her lettuce and other herbs successfully using Hydroponics. It is simply defined as growing plants without SOIL. You can do this using mineral nutrients and as I have discovered , you can do this in discarded fruit boxes ( the styrofoam ones used to store grapes, apples, oranges),etc.

Last Wednesday, and a good three hour trip from home, I went to see Karen in Orani , Bataan. I just transferred to a new house and Boy do I want to grow my own veggies in a limited space i have in the backyard. The trip was all worth it. I re-discovered my love for gardening. You see , Karen loves to experiment what works best so it saved me a lot of trial and error on this journey.

Materials you will use:

Fruit box, Plastic Screen ,Duct Tape,styropore cups,Plastic( one you use for greenhouse , Screw Driver , and a Milk Can ( to perforate the Perforate the fruit box using milk can( open it , sharpen with a grinder)

STEP I.Create the holes for the styrofoam cups.The middle ones are for aeration. Do not crowd the rounds so the plants can thrive.

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The base of fruit container , being perforated by an empty milk can . Note that the there are six holes. The diameter is enough for a styropore cup to be inside it with only the lip exposed.

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STEP 2.Create around 3/4 inch incisions on the bottom of the cup . The trick is to use pointed screw driver to punch holes as markers , finished by a cutter. Do this for the six cups needed.This will allow for the roots to have enough nourishment and water

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Brussel sprouts using the Hydroponic method.

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STEP 3 . PUt screens in the middle round and the sides. This is needed for aeration so you don’t have to provide oxygen for the water.This is probably the most important step you will ever do to ensure survival of your plants.

STEP 4.Put a plastic liner so that water will not seep thru the styrofoam.photo liner

Each cup has a date of germination . Here , you’ll see her Temptation and local Bagiuo strawberries on its 4 week existence.Note also that A and B SNAP( Simple Nutrient Addition Program which is available at HGS ) that is incorporated in the water using a 25 ml equal solution: 10 liter tap water .photo 3

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The DIY Hydroponic station : using bamboo, fishnets , plastic and your trusty recycled styrofoam fruit boxes. This is natural farming at its best , that uses the most optimal water to grow lettuce and other herbs in a most limited space.

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.