Monday, May 13, 2013

Our First Sunroot Malaysia Harvest

 We are doing a trial growing sunroot (Jerusalem artichokes) this year in this hot and humid tropical weather and one plant had died off which was planted last November. So we dig in and see what the results are from the spot we tried to grow the sunroot plant. The plant was only about 2 feet tall so I was not expecting much of it. Surprisingly the plant did yield several tubers, although not as many as we used to harvest from one plant. The location was in full sun. At the moment, I am contemplating to regrow the tubers again in different location. As I don't have much tubers to experiment on, probably most will go to re-planting them again rather than cooking the tubers.
 Our main harvest last week were sweet leaves (star gooseberry), chillies and butterfly pea flowers. I am not sure what this fruit is called but it is not a mango fruit. My mother gave most of the sweet leaves plants a hard-pruning 3 weeks ago and now new shoots are quickly growing. She pruned those sweet leaves plants to half of its original height.
 We also harvested some pattypan squashes, cape gooseberries, sweet basil leaves, cucumber tree fruits, sponge luffa, calamansi limes, soursop, nam nam fruits, purple plum radish, snake beans and pea eggplants. We made juice with the soursop fruit. I have been harvesting while doing some other gardening task and kept the harvest in the pocket. So this picture above summarise what we got to harvest from our garden last week.
 We only got a few mulberry fruits to harvest this week. Rayyan has to wait for the fruits ripening on the trees at the moment. Lemon fruits are not as many as previous to harvest since some got a hard-pruning so waiting for new shoots to grow. But we do have a few lemon trees fruiting which is still green not ready for harvesting. I think it is better to have them not ripening at once so we have a succession of harvest. We managed to prune a pamelo, calamansi lime, wax apple and nam nam tree last week. Last Saturday, my husband managed to give a hard pruning on this mango plant that we did not realised had 2 passion fruit plants climbing on it. No wonder we had ripen passion fruits under the bushy mango trees. Not only that we discovered so many orchids on the tree as well which has not seen light for some time I reckon. The passion fruit will flower much better now as they will received more lights and we can also spy whether the plants are fruiting or not.
 This is another mango tree that had a hair cut as well and we can now see the sky in any angle or corner of this tree. This is the mango that my mother pruned almost 2 years ago and she fell from it. Hopefully tomorrow when she returned she will be happy to see the mango plant had a hair cut.
 My husband in the mood to do some tree hard-pruning and has been asking me which tree next. I think it is time to give the sapodilla fruit trees a hard pruning. The sapodilla fruit trees bear fruits almost all year round. But the problem the plant is too bushy now and I can't see the fruits clearly except the ones facing outside. So I think better to give the sapodilla tree a hard pruning.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Grand Election Week Harvest

We have been staying with my parent in-laws for several days for the grand election at East Coast Malaysia. So the garden has to fend for themselves. We don't have to worry much about watering the plants because almost every day this week the plants received some showers from mother nature almost every afternoon. Due to the rain I have to check on the mulberry plants often as some time during heavy rain the fruits fell from the tree before it turns fully ripe. But Rayyan seems to like sweet sourish fruit so he does not mind even if the mulberry has not turn blackish red in colour. One of the patch that was overgrown with weeds after clearing up salvaged some Asian greens like kailan to harvest. Basil plants are very at the overgrown stage, plenty of pestos can be made from them. We usually harvest them right before we need some basil leaves while cooking.
 This month of May will be the month for hard pruning for some big fruits trees in the garden at the back before we enter hot and dry season. Last week, hubby managed to give a hard-pruning to one very old tall mango tree. Some of the fruits are not reachable even using a long bamboo stick to poke the fruits so they fall. Hubby has to climb the mango tree using a ladder and stand on the tree to chop many branches. After most of the branches were chopped off, Ilhan and Rayyan helped his father to collect the fruits on the chopped branches before their father disposed the chopped branches. The mango tree bears small egg size mango fruits type which commonly used to make pickle when the fruits are young green. I hope my mother will be happy when she returned for a few days next week to see the mango tree has been pruned. She used to prune the mango tree until almost 2 years ago she fell from that mango tree from a high position. From the accident unfortunately she can't moved or used much of her left arm to lift things and has to meet up regularly with physiotherapist. She will celebrate her 60th birthday at the end of this year, so with age will take time to recover and doctor said she exceed her limits using her arm muscles to do stuff. Nope not listening, she still do a lot of hard-pruning (more like whacking) with her right arm each time she returned when she sees her plants competing with light again because I had to pretend not seeing them growing robustly (excuses busy with the 3 kids again). To be honest, looking after an acre land including the house, the TV is hardly switch on. We even had a period where the TV was not switch on at all more than a week. 
 Alternate days through month of May, pea eggplants, bird-eyes chillies, snake beans, calamansi limes and butterfly peas are available to harvest.
 Pattypan squashes has also started to produce. But I am so clumsy each time when I touched them to help with the pollination I broke the stem. Not just pattypan squash but also other squashes growing in the garden.
A few chicken and duck eggs.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Pea Eggplant (Solanum Torvum)

 The pea eggplant (Solanum Torvum) as what it is familiarly called in English has the size as same as peas. In Malaysia, it is called terung pipit. Terung in Malay language is eggplant and pipit is sparrow. This eggplant grow wild here in Peninsular Malaysia and of course its neighbouring countries like Thailand courtesy of the birds. Hence, it is called terung pipit. Can be a very invasive plant. It is a weed in our garden. It can even grow in between pavement cracks.
 The pea eggplant has white blooms closely resembles to potato plant flower which is not surprising as they both belong to the nightshade or Solanum family.
 Pea eggplant fruits and its common guardian, red ants.
'Terung pipit' plant can grow about 2 metres tall at least. This one is probably a very well fed 'Terung Pipit' plant as the place it is voluntarily growing is where we always moved the compost bin around. The boy on the look out for geese and a turkey make sure they won't come near him or he runs a hundred miles.
'Terung pipit' plant branches are thorny so make sure you don't get prick.
 Terung pipit volunteer seedlings sprouting everywhere. I sowed other seeds and I get unwanted terung pipit seedlings sprouting instead.
 I usually stir-fry terung pipit with sambal olek together with peanuts and small dried anchovies. Fried the terung pipit, peanut and dried anchovies separately. Then heat some cooking oil, add sambal olek,  stir until cooked or fragrant until you feel like sneezing. Sometime I add some tomato sauce after the sambal olek is cook. Mix well and then add the fried terung pipit, peanut and dried anchovies until well-coated. Other traditional way to enjoy eggplant is in green/yellow curry. Terung Pipit fruit taste a bit bitterish. Its fun to eat them as they seem to pop in your mouth when you bite them.

How do you enjoy your terung pipit?