Wednesday, March 23, 2011


In continuing  with the effort to eat more healthily and be greener, I started, or rather, expanded our kitchen garden. The garden was already there since day one. Abah and me  planted the basic need of  Malay kitchen supplies the like of galangal,lemongrass, turmeric,pandan, various  kinds of lime,the beautiful edible torch ginger (bunga kantan), curry leaves and chives soon as we moved in. And a variety of ulams that we sow or just grow by themselves.I love the fact that I could just open our back door and cut/dig/pluck whatever amount I need for the dish I was making.

The chives has a special story on its own. I must tell you here lest I forget. It was originally planted by your late grandmother, Nik Noriah Nik Mahmood, loooong ago. When Mak Uda and family had their first home in Dato Keramat, Tok brought a clump from Kota Bharu and planted it there. Mak Uda has since moved to a few houses before settling at their current 3-storey abode in Subang Alam. The chives always moved with her. And I took it from her house (when she was living in USJ I think), because I like chives and because of the memories...Never have I look at  or use the chives without not remembering the woman who had affected my life in BIG ways...I really wish you two could have met her. Oh, now it has bring tears to my eyes....

But, I digress.

So, I consulted Maktok whom as you know, always have vegetables growing around her house. She makes it looks effortless to grow anything, be it veges or flowers. She came over accompanying Tok Ayah  on his scheduled follow-up at the hospital and give me valuable pointers. She said I need raised beds and showed me how to do it. Well, Maktok is 30 years older than me but errr...I am a bit ashamed to admit that she fares a lot better than me at hoeing. It left me breathless after a few swings...(left me wondering how could it be when I could easily work the treadmill for 30 minutes covering 3km quite breezily) So I stopped her and said I would continue later. 

Okay, another confession..I of course, asked our gardener to finish it ...and he thoughtfully made 4 rows of them raised beds. I could only fill 2 of them and asked the Pakcik to fill another two with tapioca as all of us are crazy over tapioca shoots.

Soon, beautiful plants just sprouted and I started calling myself a farmer,hehe... Cool mornings and evenings are now spent sowing seeds and hoeing weeds. 

The red okra that turn white upon steaming,much to my disappointment

The beginning of an angled loofah

Red amaranth that we shared with ulats

The beans that refuse to climb

I made organic pesticide using garlic,chilli , onions and soap and tobacco too...The internet is extremely useful here.You could choose any recipe that works for the pest in your garden.. I tried out quite a few before I hit the right ones. I found many helpful  gardening blogs too and I especially love this one.

 Abah is very helpful and full of support...Adik shows slight interest..hemm..and Abang, when he was home for the holidays enjoys eating all those veges including those he never likes before. He said they are tasty because Mama grows them...biasa lah anak lelaki I,pandai ambik ati!!

Then, I discover  garbage enzyme.
And I am experimenting on it too.
Freshly made...

One month later..
Cant wait to use and see the result...Please pray that it will work and we will soon harvest better produce...