Saturday, 3 March 2012

Sunshine and Rain but No Rainbows. Oh well. It was a Great Day Nonetheless.

My French beans seem to be sprouting! I sowed them on Wednesday.

These French bean shoots are a gorgeous aubergine colour. I wonder if the plant will retain this colouring?

Cucumber plants from seeds bought at my local supermarket. I filled an old container with cheap soil from a nursery mixed with potted soil with copra. Previous attempts at sowing cucumber seeds resulted in complete failure (well, I just tossed the seeds and sort of watered them, not very regularly, so no wonder then!) -so I wasn't very hopeful this would work out. I did stick them in vertically rather than just dumping them on the soil. Alhamdulillah many of them grew. Now I think they look a bit elongated from being in the shade too much. I might move it to a sunnier spot out of the rain, because this box has no holes. I can't bear to ruin a box by making holes in them.

Must... find.. more.. light....

These tomato plants in the adjacent box are from when we made tomato sauce to go with our meatzza. I let the seeds dry out/ferment in the kitchen for a week before tossing them in this box. I ought to plant them out soon before they become too entangled.

Me thinks it's getting a bit too crowded in here..

Some hopefuls:
  • bell pepper (saved in the kitchen), 
  • Genovese basil (supermarket seed), 
  • Hawaiian salad (supermarket seed),
  • okra (wet market)
  • Chinese cabbage (
  • coriander (
  • white radish (
  • loofah plant (
They are under a roof, but do get some sunlight.

And what I learnt: do not re-pot plants in the morning, else your plants might wilt a bit.

In other news, my spring onions seem to be doing well. :-)

Watermelon + Bad, Brown Rice = Bad, Beet Kvass = Good

Blue rice in Nasi Kerabu. No, I don't think they use brown rice.

For the past 2-3 months I have been buying brown rice to mix in with our Ponni low-carb rice, as a little experiment to see whether we/I could tolerate brown rice. Although brown rice is definitely not Paleo nor Primal, the recent debate on safe starches had me pondering my way of eating: what if I can actually tolerate brown rice, and what if I have been missing out on its purported health benefits all this while? I am aware of the anti-nutrients in unprocessed grains, so I made sure to soak the brown rice at least 30 minutes prior to cooking. What I usually do is have a small tupperware of brown rice soaking in my fridge so I'll be able to cook rice in a jiffy.

Then a couple of weeks ago I came down with a bad case of diarrhea due to watermelon. I had avoided this fruit for years because it makes me throw up. Well, this time having a pre-dawn meal of homemade watermelon juice caused gastric pains an hour before breaking fast. After iftar things headed steadily south, literally. About 2 weeks before that I had stopped taking my daily yoghurt because I was bored of it. Instead I turned to tapai a few days a week, whereas I used to eat yoghurt daily.

So my gut flora weren't what they used to be, and possibly my eating brown rice was slowly eroding my gut flora. Why do I say this? Yesterday for the first time in weeks I had white rice, without any brown rice mixed in. And afterwards I was struck by how great my stomach felt. I hadn't realised I was having flatulence all this while. This is really weird for me because I normally pay close attention to my gut (literally). Just to test things further, tonight I had brown rice again. Not long after dinner, the symptoms reappeared: bloating, stomach distension.  I had a sip of my newly-prepared beet kvass, it tasted like salty beetroot. About half an hour later I burped out most of the gas, and my bloating reduced considerably.

I feel so much better now.

So no more brown rice for me I guess. It will make great bird seed.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Plant Labels from Recycled Chopsticks

I brought home the disposable, single-use chopsticks me and hubby used at Sushi King, thinking that there will be a use for them later. And there was indeed. :-) I used a permanent marker pen to write on the chopsticks.

Gardening Checklist

Things I want to do:

  • Reuse laundry soapnut liquid on plants as pesticide
  • Plant garlic in a pot
  • Repot tomato seedlings to give away
  • Replant tomato plants near chainlink fence
  • Take a photo of mango shoot growing in compost heap
  • Research noni tree characteristics
  • Replant noni/mengkudu plant into permanent location
  • Check papaya seeds in corner of garden

Experiment: Growing a Radish from its Top

Out of curiosity, I bought an organic white radish the other day. It was delicious in my chicken soup :-). I cut off its top, and remembered what I read in a children's encyclopedia as a child:

Image taken from

See the image on the right? As a child I tried that for a while, then it got mistakenly thrown away. Now I wonder: if I plant this in the ground, will a new root grow out of it? Will I get a new radish?

So this is what I did and I do hope it works:
Here is the radish top I have.

I just buried it in between my 'baby' carrots.