Bitter melon or popularly known as ampalaya in the Philippines tasted bitter. Hehe 🙂 Seriously now… I love it, it’s one of my favorite vegetable and it’s really good with omelette . Others, especially the kids don’t like the bitter taste of it, so after chopping, the mother will squeezed it with salt to extract and remove the bitterness. I like it bitter where nutrients are not drained out. I tried it eaten raw, chopped with a dash of salt. This would also make a perfect blend for sinuglaw, a recipe of mixed grilled meat and fresh raw fish cured in vinegar, lemon and spices. The young shoots were also good for cooking, even the leaves, I can add it with any dishes, but not too much because it will overpower the taste of your recipe.
Planting this tropical climbing vine them does not need any major preparations. I just used the seeds taken out from the bitter melon which I bought from the local supermarket. I sow the seeds on the spot where I wanted them to grow. The ones that grow at the back of our house turned yellowish in color and not looking healthy maybe because the area was too hot for them.
My bitter melon plant keep on producing fruit and my neighbors were also enjoying it. In just one seed there’s a lot of fruit to harvest. It’s worth to be planted in the yard.
I decided to plant mung beans or commonly known in my country as Mongo beans out of curiosity. I wanted to see what and how they will turned out as they mature as plants. I only see them as seeds and sprouts. I was thinking that maybe planting mung beans will be just an easy task because I remember myself sprouting these seeds when I was still in grade school but I really never get the chance to see them full-grown.
Mung beans are nutritious and rich in protein. We can have them at a low price and a cup of these beans can feed the family. Both the seeds and sprouts are commonly served in a variety of Filipino dishes. Makes a good dessert too, like Halo-halo.
I remember when I still lived with my parents, before my mother will add the cooked beans to her recipe, she will saved some for me in a bowl. When it cooled down, I will add crushed ice, powdered milk and brown sugar or sweetened milk if there’s no powdered milk available, but I liked it more with powdered milk. 🙂
Okay, back to my plant. I soaked the seeds in water until it germinated before sowing it out in the prepared bed at the backyard, where it can get a full sun. And I was right with the thought that they were easy to take care of.
The seed pods were hairy and becomes hardy and brittle as it matures.
They changed in color from green, turned to darker color, then to complete black. I had to tie them for support as they tend stoop down. The black ones can be harvested and the shell gets drier and brittle as it matures. You don’t want the seeds to explode and shattered on the ground. I placed the pods in a metal pan, and had it sun-dried, to remove the excess moisture.
After drying I stored the beans in the jar, I was so happy with the experience, seeing this plants grow and being able to harvest them.
As we we’re climbing up on a mountain, we passed by a field of cabbages. The farmers were still there taking off the weeds and most of them were women. We brought one huge cabbage head. The harvested crops will then be carried by a horse, the best and most fitted guy that can mount these vegetables crossing a terrain like this. It will then be picked up by a truck and delivered to the city’s markets.
I wanted to show you my green onion plants. It’s one of the “must have spices” in our kitchen. And always an important spice for my noodle recipes. So, I planted just enough that will satisfy our needs. I started out by planting just a small part of the white stalk with roots which I bought from the supermarket. From then on, I am no longer spending money for green onions with the benefit of getting fresh produce.
When I needed some, I just cut a part using scissors or knife, leaving the roots to grow back again.
I don’t have a big space for gardening, We only have a small place. So most of my plants were planted in containers. I planted in used plastic bags, plastic pots, clay pots, or recycled containers. I put strings on some of the light weight pots so I could hang them to keep them free from hoppers, slugs and snails.