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.
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.
Actually, I used any recycled flat trays that are available in the house, but mostly, it’s the plastic shallow trays that comes along as packaging of some fruits and vegetables bought from the supermarket. What I did was, I just poked some holes on it, fill it with soil, sprinkle the seeds all over, then finished it with another layer of soil (just a bit). The problem with shallow trays is that they will get dry so fast, so I really have to look for it. If I will go for a walk and will not be around for a couple of days, I’ll secure it in a place where it will still be watered. What I really love in using these flat trays is that I’m not having a hard time in transplanting the seedlings to another container or bed because the roots are not that deep. I also tried to plant the seeds to its supposedly final pot or container but there is lesser chance that it will grow compared to using a seed starting tray or anything that can hold soil.
The one in the picture is an old frame with screen used for printing shirts. I think, I have about, eight of it at the back of my house. I still wanted to make use of it instead of throwing it right away so I planted pechay ( bok choy) seeds on it. Few days later, I’ve been very busy with school which gave me no time to transplant the growing seedlings. And when I did, I was able to transfer some of them but some died because they were competing for space and water. I decided to leave the healthiest pechay in the tray, I think he liked it there already.
This is another pechay that I planted in a plastic container, tied it with a wire then hanged it on the sides to save space and keep it from snails and grasshoppers.