Thursday, May 31, 2012

Purple Skin Sweet Potato Propagation (White Flesh)

The third variety for sweet potato that we introduce into our garden since we started growing this sweet tuber is sweet potato with purple skin and white flesh. I wanted to grow sweet potato with purple skin and flesh, thinking of  Malaysian traditional cake when I harvested the tubers later. However, I bought wrong tubers from the market without checking the inner flesh colour. Usually I prefer to grow them from young shoots from sweet potato plants left growing over-winter in our garden. But with new variety into the garden, we have to get the new plants from tubers. When spring came, I simply just push half of the purple sweet potato tubers into the soil in container that were growing beet roots. I did forgot those tubers for a while left in the container. Snail/Slugs even munched on the sweet potato as seen in the photo. After young shoots sprouted from the sweet potato tuber eyes were big enough to cut and able to produce some root, I transplanted them in containers.
It was easier to differentiate the sweet  potato variety we grow this time. Because for this new member in the garden that we are growing have dark purple veins when the other 2 have green veins with different shape of leaves.
Sweet potato grows very well in container. I was a bit mischievous when I had extra purple sweet potato shoots ready to plant in hand that I planted one in a container that were growing leek and parsnips. I thought that I would not get many sweet potato harvest from that container since it was only intended sweet potato foliage to cover the soil like mulch. I was really surprise that among 4 containers that we grow purple sweet potatoes, the ones that were grown along with parsnip and leeks gave the biggest and most tubers compared to other containers. The parsnip roots were also remarkably decent size of parsnip root harvest. Lemon basil and sweet potato also seems to get along well together. 
Some of the purple sweet potatoes tubers harvested from our container garden.
Here are the debris of the purple sweet potato plants pull out from the containers by my husband. If you live in a frost-free area you can simply plant it back somewhere else in full sun. I have experimented with one plant last year after I harvested all the tubers and planted somewhere else in full sun. That plant still live at our backyard for more than a year now thriving without any tender loving care. We have not harvested that plant simply because we don't have the time and we still have many sweet potatoes plants sprouting from compost and growing as they please. Sweet potatoes has somehow become weeds in our garden. I won't be surprised when spring comes we got several sprouted sweet potato shoots somewhere in the garden.
Because I have many small containers at the moment, I selected some good-looking young shoots from the debris that have many strong roots attached  and planted them in containers. I left them outdoors, any plants of ours will be train to be hardy plants which is tolerant of the weather we have in winter and extreme summer heat here.
If these cuttings do well, I plan to give it away at veggie swap or seed-saver meetings.
I have received so many valuable advice and treasures from this community.
Sweet potato is one of the easiest edible plant to grow if you have suitable climate for growing this easy-going plant. Grows very well in pots like potato, not impossible even for gardeners with small space. I have a capsicum plant growing together with a sweet potato in container and the capsicum plants give a lot of produce as usual. Although, I have not yet harvest the sweet potato tubers, so I can't comment on the sweet potato harvest. A lemon basil plant was also growing together in the same pot during summer. If you can't wait for the harvest, you can snip some young shoots to enjoy while waiting for tubers.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bush Bean Redland Pioneer Life Cycle

The first bush bean that we grown was 'Redland Pioneer' in our garden and has been the best performer among the bush beans we have tried (not many though still to compare with). But it has been the most reliable bean to fill in the hungry gap. Bush bean grows really fast and provide some beans in 7~8weeks of growing, sometime earlier if the weather is preferable for their optimum growth. It is really an important veggie in our garden since it fill the hungry gap in spring and again in fall. We sow 'Redland Pioneer' bush bean 3 times a year-spring, summer and autumn. Well, rather than leaving the soil bare after harvesting other veggies, we might as well grow beans so they help fix nitrogen into the soil again. Its a win-win situation. I feel that bush bean seeds does not require much water to germinate, too much water can cause the seeds to rot easily in cool season. A really good veggie for a lazy gardener like me, bush beans not a heavy drinker and not a heavy feeder.
Bush bean 'Redland Pioneer' seedlings'
Because we don't have that much space to grow and very greedy, I tried to maximize the space we have by planting the plants densely together in spring/summer. I can get away growing them densely in a spot with full sun because they don't compete each other with light and it helps keep the soil moist longer as it is covered with the foliage. Less evaporation. Save money from buying mulch. I gave up with mulching this year because the bird will cause serious damage by their scratching habit on seedlings. Last spring when we transplanted tomato at this area, we direct-sowed bush bean seeds around the tomato seedlings. It did very well and the tomatoes grow without any fuss. Humidity is very low in our garden warm season here so our tomato plants can readily accept being close to other plants and I don't have to worry about good air circulation.

Beans grow well in partial shade too. But not as prolific as in full sun which you get more beans to harvest. In partial shade, I probably plant shorter plants together with beans to give the bean plants more light and not to over-shadowed them. We had many violas flower plant volunteers one spring season, and I transplanted them as border plant just to make the garden look more colourful. If in tropics, I can imagine portulaca (moss rose) growing in the viola place instead. At the back row are Bloomsdale spinach young plants.

Bush Bean Redland Pioneer very prolific.
At their pick season, just a few plants will give you enough harvest for an average family number.
I have been growing them for 3 years but this is the first time/year I really collected their seeds. I have been trying to collect them earlier last year but its hard to get the seed pod dried properly in autumn season.  I also found sprouted bean seeds in the seed pods during autumn. So this time I let the summer heat wave do the quick drying process for me.
Shining harvested bean seeds.
After I harvested the seeds, I planted some of our home-grown seeds. I felt very satisfied with the results and the new harvest from plants grown from our home-grown seeds. Contentment.
Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Late Warm Harvest Continues

Our warm season vegetable/fruit harvest were late this year for picking.
For example, we usually don't harvest any cucumbers in May.
But our white spine cucumber and lemon cucumber has just started to supply our kitchen.
I don't have much luck with lemon cucumber.
The lemon cucumber in our garden is not very prolific.
I am hoping I have success collecting white spine cucumber seeds this year.
Eggplants harvest still continues here in May.
Cherrytime capsicum is the most prolific in our garden this year grown from our home-saved seeds.
We harvested several Turkish Leopard Melons.
I think this melon is very heat-tolerant as they survive with neglect and little watering.
The white flowers are weeds growing between the melon plant.
Show how lazy I have become and not caring much about the plant.
Da Cheong Chae thinnings.
Earlier this month, I was a bit impatient and I harvested chocalate capsicum while they were still green or not fully ripen but left some to ripe. Last weekend some has ripen for picking. 
Big surprise from the garden is that we got a cauliflower harvest from a one year old plant left growing at the back of our backyard fence. The plant had survived our extreme summer heat without much watering. Amazingly the cauliflower was one of the tastiest home-grown cauliflower I have ever tasted so creamy and sweet, pack full of flavour. I thought it was going to be bitter as the cauliflower curd form in warm weather. Other harvest last week was summer grown carrots, beetroots and eggplants. Finally some of our long chilli has also ripen was so spicy.
We also have some fresh salmon trouts last weekend.
Our house fisherman learn a few trick from his friend and found a new good spot for fishing.
I probably be left alone with Rayyan each Saturday morning now this month.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Brinjal with spicy potato

Its time to comfort myself with food.
The veggies flavour is also tasting much better now as we are having warm mild weather during the day.
Nights can be around 15 degree Celsius this week.
I have not really cook that much these days.
Many of the veggies has been left over ripe.
Not picking them as often as I should.
Brought in the last batch of garlic in the kitchen that were left curing in the shed.
'Black Beauty' brinjals (eggplants) had holes in it from admirers.
Some of the brinjals has interesting looking resident in it taking shelter from the previous heat I think.
We have "Red Romaine" lettuce volunteer around the garden.
I left some go to seed previous spring.
I have kept a recipe from Troth Wallis ~ The Globe Vegetarian Kitchen recipe book since last year to try in my recipe file. The recipe is said to come from the Moluccas in Indonesia which is formerly known as the Spice Island. It was the source of many spices, such as cloves and nutmeg that was highly prized in Europe during the trading era. The taste of this 'brinjal with spicy potato' dish actually remind me of Indian dish rather than South East Asian dish. But this is not surprising because the old empire in Malaysia and Indonesia were first highly influence by India empire and culture before it was colonised. I think adding a handful of curry leaves will be more interesting for this dish after I tried this recipe.
Brinjal/ Eggplants with Spicy Potatoes (serves 2-4)
1 brinjal (diced)
2 potatoes (diced and parboiled)
1 onion (sliced)
1/2 tsp chili powder (I used chilli/sambal oelek)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 inch piece fresh ginger root, chopped
lemon/lime juice (from 1 fruit)
a handful washed curry leaves (optional)

(1) Heat the oil in a pan and cook the onion until it is clear and soft.

(2) After that put in the chili, mustard seeds, turmeric, ginger, curry leaves and salt. Cook on a gentle heat, stirring to mix well. Then turn up the heat, add the brinjal and parboiled potatoes and brown them, turning to prevent them catching.

(3) Add a little water to cover the base of the pan, put the lid on and cook gently for 10 minutes or so until the vegetables are tender and the liquid is absorbed. Add lemon/lime juice mix well.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Thank you for your advise about the stolen post

I hope everyone benefit from comments@advise from my previous posting by blogger friends about stolen post/photos about what to do when your post has been stolen or how to prevent them from being taken. I really appreciate each helpful advise and your kind support. I have reported to blogger and gave them 10URL postings from the thief blog that belongs to me and blogger has taken action within less than a day  to delete this 10postings from that theif blog. It will take me sometime to report more than 300 posts that it is still there. Hmmm...wondering how to convince blogger to close that theif blog account since it will be much easier for me.
Any suggestion?
I have just left comment to the theif blog today about deleting all my post on that blog will see what that person will do.

Daphne reminded us that there is a link at the top to report abuse example for stealing copyrighted material.

Autumn Belle gave 3 points to protect your copyright:
1) Install 'right click disabled' on the blog post.
2) Insert watermarks in photos
3) Insert a copyright message in all blog post.

You can also get the right click disabled code from Herny to copy the code.

Tina give good tips for 'Feed Setting', better set it to short than a full one. My Feed setting was full so I think that is the reason it was easier to copy the whole post. Thus, I have changed it to short. 

There are also several good links from blogger friends as well left in the comments from my previous post.

Cooking varieties has recently posted about stealing other blogger post.

A few posts/photos being stolen is not unusual but all of your postings will be too much. Hope many benefits from my unfortunate experience and helpful to alert other blogger especially new members in the blogger community.
It has taken me years to gain confidant on myself for speaking publicly about my thoughts and share my experience by blogging. Instead of keeping quiet about this matter, I decided to take action. I was annoyed this time because some family personnel post is there as well such as Rayyan previous surgery postings. 
To be more positive thinking and on a cheerful sight from our garden space,  we got bitter gourd, capsicum, cucumber, beans and eggplant for fresh harvest for last week and hopefully this week too. Beet roots are also available for fresh picking (notice anything on the beetroot?).
To avoid our only 5 jicama (yam bean) plants tuber from getting rotten, I harvested them earlier this year compared to last year as the weather can be under 15 degree Celsius at night now. Jicama tubers are very sensitive with cold, prone to rot. Harvested tubers were about the same size last year but last year harvest was much sweeter. I think because we have warmer summer this year so less moisture in the soil effect the taste. Two of the tubers are really small though and one has cracked indicates not given enough water. These was sowed in October and growing in container with okra. The plants did produce buds but they never bloom here. However, early January I went back to Malaysia and did manage to sow some jicama seeds in my mother garden. My cousin reported that there are jicama flower blooming in my mother garden and some has produce seed pods to save seeds from the ones I sowed. Jicama really likes humidity and needs plenty of moisture to grow well. It will be a challenge for hot and dry summer to grow them but it still can be fun not impossible.
I grow kangkong for 3 years in our garden during warm season.
But this is the first time, the kangkong plant gave me a bloom.
I was really surprised.
I would not notice it, if I don't water the plant in the morning last weekend,
That is why there are water droplets on the plant.
I did not one to bore anyone with my kangkong harvest this week, 
so I like to share the kangkong bloom instead.
Resemble closely to morning glory since they belong to the same family.

I still left many question in comments unanswered yet.
Will reply, sorry for the wait though.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Someone has been stealing all my blog postings!!!

I need help and advise.
I am not sure how to complain to blogger administrators regarding this matter.
Tried to browse through the 'Report Abuse' but the legal term was too hard for me to comprehend.
Take a look at this blog and you can clearly see that the postings is mine with all the images and wording exactly 100% of what I have done.

What really surprise me is that they copied my posting from my first one!

As clearly seen the header is not my blog- Kebun Malay-Kadazan Girls.
why is it Konsultasi budidaya.
I think this blog has also copied from other blogger as well.

How many do you think they have copied up till the recent one they updated from my postings?
They have copied up till this post.

So all together they have stolen 349POSTs from me.

I usually don't mind if people use my photos and post by linking or giving credits to me even without my permission.

It is not right if I did the whole job of photos and writing but the end of these posting is not my pen name but I see these name at the end of the post- Posted by Lobster Air tawar.
At the moment, I am only using two pen names for blogger- Malay-Kadazan Girls or TukangKebun.

This is very shocking and I feel a bit less motivated to post because it kept getting stolen.
The photos are convincingly mine as I often uses watermarks.

Thanks to Sean for alerting me this matter.

Its very weird as well if I look at my most popular posting hits.
Its not a kind of post that I would expected I get readers for this posting everyday.
So I had checked the URL which often came up when this posting has been read,
I found that the post 'Kitaran Hidup Bayam' is often link back to one of this agro commercial company in Indonesia. Isn't it a lie to your customer when you are using someone else post? On top of that from a different country.
The okra 'clemson spineless' life-cycle post also been used in several webpage sites about okras without any notification from them to me. But it is an educational one for gardeners who likes to try grow okra and the links comes back to my post blog. So I just turn a blind eye for this one.
Sigh, I have already track many website that steal my postings for their commercial use.
But this is more surprising -all of my posting stolen.
I really need a tutorial help on how to complain.
I should start getting serious.
Don't feel like rambling on our garden adventure at the moment ;(.

What do you do in this situation?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Creamgold Onion

The year 2011 was the second year for us growing brown onions. The result was a bit better than our first time but we still have a lot to learn. I still can't get the right pace at the stage of near harvesting and storing them well (I was on my first trimester-yucky phase so did not keep an eye of it-excuses). What I observed in our micro-climate here in Adelaide plain is that by end spring the weather warm pretty fast here so I have to sow the seeds and transplant them much earlier. I should have finished sowing the seeds by mid-April (mid-autumn). Because I was learning last year I did succession sowing until end-May which cause some to be transplanted late. Due to this the younger plants produce smaller bulbs when harvest time. Onion seedlings transplanting also should be completed by mid-June (early winter) in our garden here (space has always been an issue causing transplant delay). Now I learn one thing that long-day variety brown onion does not bolt easily in our garden (FYI, I never sow seeds indoors, all outdoors expose to the changing weather). We tried growing Cream gold onion (Eden Seeds) last year.
Cream gold onion seeds just sprouted and poking out from the soil.
I always wonder why the single allium leaf seedlings folds like that first.
Seeds coats attached.

Still very tiny look so fragile after few days transplanting seedlings in winter.

Onion do grow very slowly and makes you wonder when will the plant starts to bulb.
I presumed that this is mid-late spring because volunteer pink larkspur is blooming at the back.
Still no bulb just big leaves after 4-5months from transplanting.

Bulbs begin to develop.
Dried fallen leaves from my neighbour tree help with mulching.
The leaves shoots up straight when the bulbs develop?

No photos near harvest since the photographer was not feeling well.
Our official onion harvest is January-February (mid-late summer).
Growing onion makes you wait a long time before you can enjoy it.
For us the onion growing process starts from April and ends in February.
Although it end in February, it does take sometime to cure harvested onions for them to store well.
We don't encounter any problem growing onion here with pest or disease.
Its just the extreme warm weather at onion harvest season can be challenging.
If I water them near harvest season the papery onion skin won't be good.
If I don't water them at all , the plants will die.
Any suggestion for future reference?

We did managed to harvest probably more than 70 brown onions in our small garden this year.
But not much left now, probably finish by end of this month.
Home-grown brown onion is so sweet different from the one selling in supermarkets.
Growing them took up space, but we still grow some because its different from what you get from the commercial ones.