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Monday, May 31, 2010

Independence Day Iron Chef White House

Mark your planners! June 12th, 8:30pm (Lifestyle Network)  is the Philippine premiere of Iron Chef White House!

Watch Filipina Chef Cristeta Pasia Comerford team up with Bobby Flay, versus  Emeril Lagasse and Mario Batali to cook dishes out of the White House organic backyard garden.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Don't Shock Your Plants!

The plants probably enjoyed the heat the past few days, but I was so ready to welcome the rain today! Hooray, rain!

I used to avoid gardening before 4pm  because it was just too hot. After speaking with a few farmers from the north, I now realize that my selfish reason for waiting until it was much cooler, was good for the plants too!

According to James Amparo, who is encouraging other farmers to use organic fertilizer,  the best time to water plants is before 9am and after 4pm, (I'm speaking Philippine time here; can't really speak for other climate zones) to prevent "shock".  This also explains why farmers get up really early to tend to the farm then "take a break" during the hotter parts of the day, then resume when the temperature goes down. Jhoey from Pinoy Organics has a pretty good analogy for it: A glass container kept in a freezer breaks when hot water is poured into it.  James adds that if you see a plant that is withering, let it be, then only water it outside of the 9am-4pm window. 

Plants do have an internal heat shock system, but they can only take so much stress. And let's not forget the gardener!


Monday, May 24, 2010

An inspiring thought...(for me at least!)

A few years ago, I drove 256+ miles with some friends to Tonasket, WA to visit my aunt and uncle's farm. My friends still beg me to take them there. They even ask me if the farm is rented out because they want to go even if I don't accompany them! That was how relaxing, peaceful and beautiful our stay was. Farming is hard work, but you could hardly see the stress in my aunt's face. That made such an impression on us. We all loved our jobs, but it was nice to think about what it would be like to live away from the city and on that gorgeous apple farm and lakehouse.

The lakehouse :)

Rows of trees :)

Canada is just beyond the lake :)

For the time being, I'm perfectly happy being a part-time suburban gardener. But who knows? Maybe I'll farm someday :)


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Market-to-Plate Tour Launch May 22, 2010

Southern gardeners, (or gardeners not from the south who want to take a trip on down)

I am attending this event by Pinoy Organics and Feed 5000. There is a market tour, followed by a cooking demo by Chef Len Santos.  Based on the info I've gathered at the site, it seems like a way to connect participants to sources of organic produce, such as rice, at market prices. It's good marketing. (Sorry for the pun) I don't really mind falling for it though - just as long as I get the info on where the herbs and other produce are!

I don't know the organizers personally, but I think it would be great to come since the fee is P1000 and it includes materials and the food tour. What it doesn't include is gardening materials if you want to get your hands dirty. I am bringing my own!   I do know that my contact at Pinoy Organics is "Jhoey", and that s/he will be part of the tour, and that a few people attending aren't familiar with BF, hence the many changes to the meeting venue.  I'm not posting those here as they are subject to change.  Anyway, come!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Avocado-banana dessert

I was planning to make a smoothie, but I discovered I was out of almond nut milk!

What I made instead was a sugar-free dessert that tided me over to lunch!

Avocado-Banana Dessert



1 organic avocado
super ripe bananas (I used to use just one or two like in the 2010 photo, but now I like using the entire bunch!!!)

optional: 1 dash of chia

               1 tsp or so of cacao beans

Place in a blender then serve immediately. Makes one "creamy" serving.

Do I take better photos now? Hehe :)


Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I am really excited to start organic gardening! 

We have always had our garden in Alabang, but I never took an interest in it until I started to go hardcore vegetarian, which was 2008. I was vegan, living in Medina, WA, and I had a housemate who was into organic composting. She was into green smoothies and making salads, all with ingredients from her garden, while I made most of mine from produce from the grocery. (I wasn't even into smoothies then!) Then a few other friends in the Seattle area showed me lovely, pesticide-free produce from their backyard vegetable gardens. While teaching at a Montessori school, I met parents and colleagues who were into organic products and farmer's markets. 

It was only recently that I discovered  how enjoyable it is to feel the soil in my hands, being out with Vaughn (our half Belgian-mastiff, half-Doberman), watching him eat mangoes and macopa (yes, he loves fruit!). 

Right now there are parts of the garden that need to be rehabilitated because of some soil problems. It has become a bit rocky and sandy. For those parts, I've begun direct soil incorporation organic composting. 

In this blog, I'll posting about how I am getting my garden started, the bugs along the way, troubleshooting, updates on the soil rehab project, and just the sheer enjoyment of  being outdoors in 90-degree weather all year round! 

See ya around :)

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