Monday, May 16, 2016

Yellow Bitter Gourd and Bonsai etc...







I don't know if it can be called a garden, forest or jungle is more appropriate. My bonsai materials are being outrun by weeds and maybe after I'll work on them later.

Anyway, I did some cleaning in our garden, pulled out weeds and swept the yard, a task that took me the whole morning and still I'm not yet done. The sun is already at its peak and the heat is unbearable.

I'll take a rest and continue maybe at three or four in the afternoon.


Even my bittergourd is affected by the el nino phenomenon. The extreme heat of the sun caused this young fruit to turn ripe prematurely. It has not been even reached it's teen age years (imagining the'yre human beings). I was waiting to harvest it for cooking sauteed bittergourd or ginisa but it grew old too fast.

Bitter gourd or ampalaya is good for the health. The Department of Health did studies on it and officially listed it as a bonafide medicinal plant that is good for fighting high blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases.

I have noticed that healthy food usually taste awful and most of the times are bitter, take for example serpentina a weed that has been traditionally used by asians to cure number of diseases. The leaves of serpentina is so bitter that boiling two or three pieces of its small leaves in a liter of water makes the resulting tea almost undrinkable. I guess that's why they call it "king of bitter" in English.

If bitter food is good for us, why is it that evolution or the creator did not program our taste buds to like them. I mean, instead of having sweet tooth, why not have bitter tooth. Why do we not have this uncontrollable urge to eat bitter foods especially when we feel down or depressed instead of diving in and devouring fatty and salty junk foods and consuming tons of chocolates and gallons of sodas, beer, ice tea etc.

Maybe it's because the change in our diet in the last century kind of reprogram our sense of taste. This is evident by the proliferation of candies and sweets. Sugar was once a rarity because of the difficuly of processing it from plants. In fact the ancients used honey as a sweetener but becuase of the invention of manufacturing and processing plants sugar became common, so common that it became one of the most common food ingredients.

I saw a documentary about the aetas and they have this natural knowledge of medicianl plants in their environment. They have specific plants for specific ailments and diseases that are proven effective that even the US military trained their special forces with the aetas on jungle survival. These herbological knowledge of the aetas is inculcated in them through thousand of years of adaptation to their environment.

I guess we all have these natural and instinctual herbological knowledge. Sometimes it's obvious like the lagundi which is good for cough, crush the leaves and you'll notice it's minty smell and taste. Even animals know what plants are good for them and they eat them instinctively.

I guess we, the modern humans, lost this innate knowledge when our sense of taste evolve into the mst based,  sweet, fatty, greasy, salty  etc. orientation that it now has.



I got addicted to bonsai that to came to a point where almost all the space in the yard was occupied by bonsai materials. Bonsais are beautiful to look at, they are great works of art specially if you see them in exhibitions. But before they become works of art, they are nothing but stumps. It takes years to grow branches and more years to train and wire them. This is why many bonsai hobbyists keep and train many bonsais to keep impatience in check.

Anyway, I stopped acquiring materials because I'm starting to get overwhelmed.



Looking at my growing bonsai material collection, a friend asked me what they are good at. I was tempted to engage him with a lecture on the art and the philosophy of bonsai but his question hit me: ge's right. I am not rich and my salary as a teacher is barely enough for our budget. My friend suggested I plant vegetables instead. To tell the truth his suggestion was good and utilitarian. I looked around the yard and then moved my bonsai materials to the edges of the lot so as not to occupy too much space and I started to plant vegetables.

Anyway...
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