Monday, April 14, 2008

Spiral Herb Garden

How to make a spiral herb garden:

You'll need some rocks or bricks. In our case we used rocks taken from a nearby river.

Pick a spot for your spiral herb garden. It should receive at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. Draw a spiral using a watering can. That's where we'll lay our first layer of stones.

Dig around the area where the first layer of stones will be set. This will make your spiral garden stable.

Set the stones like so. Then fill the inside with rich soil.

Add the second layer of stones, starting from the middle part of the spiral garden up to the center. Again, fill it with rich soil.

Add the third layer of stones only at the center part of the spiral garden. Then add some sand or pebbles inside the middle part, this will improve drainage.

Dig a pond on the lowest part of the spiral garden. This is where you'll place water loving plants.

Make sure that the pond is the lowest part of your spiral garden and the center is the highest part. Plant drain-loving plants at the center (highest part) and damp-loving herbs at the lower parts.

We will keep you updated on this project. Visit us next time...

Lettuce Overload

It seems that lettuce is becoming ordinary in weekend markets. We gave a rest on planting lettuce and started propagating our herbs in the spiral plot.
These are Sweet Basil seedlings. They are Organically Grown from seed to seedlings.

These are the famous Gotu Kola (centella asiatica). What's their use again? Oh yeah! they are the main ingredient in most memory enhancer food supplements.

These are Lavenders. Maybe the only lavenders propagated without any rooting hormone. The mother plant of these lavenders are also organically grown.

This is my favorite herb, Stevia (rebaudiana). 30 times sweeter than sugar (300 times sweeter when processed). A lot of my friends have tried propagating this herb and failed. You want to know why? I'll let you in on a secret...

More than 95% of herbs we buy from the market were grown with rooting hormones and chemical fertilizers. After bringing home a very healthy herb, do we continue to add chemical fertilizers? NO! Because we want our herbs to grow organically. And maybe that's what the people from the store tell us "Organic yan ma'am/sir!" So what happens? It starts to wither and often times, they die. If this is the case, what should we do? First! Look for and buy from good people who religiously practice organic methods. Ahem! Ahem! Second, since they grow the herbs themselves, for sure they can share some pointers on how you can grow them yourself. Third, visit this blog often for more pointers, or e-mail us for questions. :)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Nutrient-dense Tomatoes

Have you heard about nutrient-dense vegetables and fruits? It is said that plants with high Brix reading are more resistant to pests and diseases, have higher nutritional value and tastes way better than ordinary crops. I happen to have a refractometer, an instrument that measures %Brix. I tested a regular tomato from the grocery for %Brix, it has a reading of almost 2. I heard that there are some varieties of cherry tomatoes that has a Brix reading of 12. I wonder, how about our tomatoes? Hmmm... Let's see...
These are the tomatoes from our farm. They are healthy, disease free and looks really yummy. Can you guess the Brix reading for these tomatoes?

They have an average Brix reading of 8. Not bad, considering we haven't done anything to increase its Brix reading.

If you're wondering what's behind those tomatoes, it's a large latexfree jackfruit. The black thing in the foreground is the refractometer.