27 Sep – This morning @ the garden

We had our 1st peanut harvesting this morning. Apart from 5 of our regular gardener-neighbours, a mother and daughter came to join us as they found the idea of peanut harvesting interesting. The turn-out is not the medium-large group of interested neighbours that we would like to have, but it’s still a joy to see them because it’s their 1st time joining a group activity at the edible garden. :)

Learning to harvest the peanuts
Learning to harvest the peanuts

The freshly harvested peanut pods and leaves:

Peanuts!
Peanuts!

The peanut plants have beautiful orange-coloured flowers, which wither after self-pollination. The stalk at the base of the flower elongates and turns down to bury the fruits in the ground. Neighbour Mr Teo shared that when the leaves turn yellow, it is time to remove the entire plant, including the roots, during harvesting. He also said that the plants grow best in well drained soil.

Mr. Teo also shared that making a soup using the peanut plant roots to the lower half of the leaves can help in detoxification. He also said the soup is good for children, they can drink 2-3 times a week.

***

Moving on to other parts of the garden…

Dennis & Lydia brought seeds!! Lots and lots of them. Corn, soy bean, bell pepper (red and yellow), fennugreek, red amaranth. Now that we have irrigation in the garden, we want to up its productivity. Starting first with seeds.

Seeds
Seeds!

In one wicking bed, Dennis guided us in raking the soil and making it level before dividing the bed into 6 rows with a centre line. He explained that normally, when we plant a few plants only, we would make mounds and trenches in the raised bed. However, this time round, we wanted to plant as many plants as possible, so we keep the soil level even to ensure equal watering for the entire bed. In the middle row, we added the bell pepper seeds (with 3 finger spacing). Red amaranth seeds and soy bean seeds were added on the sides.

At another bed, we added okra seeds. For this one, we mentally divided the bed into a square grid using the bricks as a guide. A seed was added in the middle of each square and at the edge.

Putting in the seeds
Putting in the seeds

At the 3 Sisters’ bed, the soil was raked, and corn seeds freshly harvested from a corn cob were placed near the soil surface in concentric circles.

Adding corn seeds in concentric circles
Adding corn seeds in concentric circles

***

Still at the 3 Sisters’ bed…

Somehow we have a rather nice “landscape” area! The plant with red flowers is a Celosia (凤尾). The Chinese name translates as Phoenix Tail. It is commonly seen in homes during the Chinese New Year period as the Chinese consider the phoenix to be an auspicious creature, and hence believe that potted Celosias can bring good fortune home. We had discovered the plant growing beside the maize plant, and thought that the seeds may have came with the soil (previously used to grow CNY plants).

The lower growing plants surrounding it are the Golden Berry or Chinese Lantern plants. The berries, which are protected by papery husks resembling lanterns, are edible, and are used as edible decoration in desserts (e.g. cakes). The taste is on the sour side, and may not be everyone’s idea of a nice tasting fruit. However, it’s known to be highly concentrated with nutrients and bioactive compounds. We have quite a number of these Golden Berry plants in the edible garden. All came in naturally (not planted)!

A nice "landscaped" portion of the garden
A nice “landscaped” portion of the garden
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