Monday, August 20, 2012
I stumbled upon the great Annals of Botany blog, which you can now find in my sidebar. I found that they recently wrote about the origins of the temperate plant Lady's Mantle's scientific name, Alchemilla. Apparently, the dew or rain that gathered on its water-repellent leaves was in high demand because of its purity. Among its fans were said to be alchemists, who used it in their procedures to turn stuff into gold, and women, who apparently used it for beauty purposes.
|Photo is by Pat Heslop-Harrison, from the Annals of Botany post.|
|A photo from an old post on this blog.|
|Water gathers at center, reflects juvenile brontosaurus.|
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Almost exactly a year ago, I planted some trees in Taguig. We (together with a group that my father had organized) planted banaba trees along the new C-6 highway, in a place called Wawa. Incidentally, Wawa is actually an old word used to denote areas that are deltas (mouths of rivers). There is a Wawa in Paranaque (near Merville), and also Guagua in Pampanga. Both are deltas. Great job building a highway here! Planners are excellent at ignoring wetlands, deltas, and all of that stuff.
The pumping station in the photo above (painted blue) is actually under heat after the recent floodings, particularly for running out of gasoline and being unable to pump water into Laguna de Bay. The district, according to an SMS I received this morning, was flooded severely, with some areas sunken as deep as two persons standing atop each other. I am not sure of the water hyacinth's role in the flood, but I'm sure they had some effect.
As you can see, the place was rife with water hyacinth, and people were collecting small amounts of it and making them into handicrafts. The MMDA also has harvesters sailing the murky waters and collecting the plant. I believe that composting programs are a better way to deal with this biomass, instead of creating highly varnished souvenirs.
Meanwhile, in Davao, we ate at a catfish joint with surrounding aquaculture areas that were densely populated with water hyacinth. Contained, they are quite benign and beautiful.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Thursday, May 10, 2012
|Corn and peanut intercrop.|
Luckily, we still live in a country that is hopeless in its planning. The continued migration and unplanned development has its advantages-- one significant one being that we are still reminded of the possibilities, plant- and food-wise, of our chaotic metropolis. I document this a lot in my other blog.
|That's Max under a talisay tree.|
|That's Daang Hari, a road connecting the mess of new real estate developments to Metro Manila.|
So I finally went and met the farmer from next lot. His name is Max and he is a migrant from Cagayan de Oro. He lives two blocks down (and carries his water everyday to his plot, Jeebus). The lot he farms doesn't belong to him, but the owner has allowed him to use it. Apparently, there is a sort of farming tenant arrangement that is common in the periurbs-- this is completely new to me (When chatting with Max about my garden, he asked me if I had a tenant in my lot. I kind of laughed and realized he wasn't joking.).
|Alugbati crawling on the gate, which is usually locked.|
|Here is Max looking spiffy in his buri hat with green trim.|
|"Wild" saluyot that just grew without any seeding. And my foot.|
|Large siling labuyo.|
That's about what I know for now. I said I would drop by with seeds, so I want to poke around a bit more at Max's context (does he have a sort of "day job" if you may, and how things all tie in with migration, periurban landlordism, and whatnot.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
These mushrooms, one of the groups of mushrooms commonly known as ink-caps, are all over the garden now. They are actually edible, but taste like nothing. They also must not be eaten when festivities are in the planning, because they contain a substance that encourages vomiting and accelerated heart rates when taken with alcohol. Once you pick them, they will quickly turn black (hence the name). You should try to cook them before they do, as they then begin disintegrating into a mush.
The name Japanese Parasol is derived from the graceful shape of the cap. Incidentally,they sometimes turn outward like an umbrella in the wind. From the ground, they resemble a head of garlic.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Indian tree (Polyalthia longifolia) seeds are often found, dropped by birds (and bats, maybe) all over the city. I've always wondered what the fruit is like-- obviously, flying creatures love it.
I found a half-eaten fruit recently. It actually tastes like a very paltry date. Not to sweet, pretty delicious. (Note: I didn't eat a lot of it, so I don't know if there are adverse reactions involved.)
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
I am wildly encouraged when I see evidence of underutilized plants being eaten. I was taking a suburban walk when I saw signs of lubi-lubi tops being harvested and eaten. I have only met one person in my life (aside from myself) who eats them. I was looking to snap some off,but saw that someone had beaten me to it. That made me happy.
Monday, August 8, 2011
I've died and gone to mushroom identification hell. I eat about 4 varieties of mushrooms from the garden, including the one pictured above, said to be edible by our helper. It turned out to be tough and spongy, but it makes a good "soup bone", tossed in a pot to make broth, and later removed. Don't judge me for eating strange mushrooms, please.
I stayed up all night last night looking for its identity, saw many that resembled it, but none with its underside!
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Alikbangon has become one of my favorite plants. It's so humble, it tastes so neutral (sometimes tender enough to be a salad green), and yet it can be used for a myriad of conditions, including embarrassing ailments such as swelling of the groin. Yes, and I recently found it can grow on trees together with ferns! Such an underappreciated (unknown, actually) one.