Tag Archives: habanero

I Have Been Gardening, Part 2

8 Feb

The will to relandscape the garden continued despite the weather changing from cool to hot and humid. It was not pleasant, but we had to finish what we started. Hubby order two flower racks to rearrange the mess at the kitchen window site. And it is looking so much better now.

The mess (above) before and after the transformation (below)

The plus side of this – I get to see all the different bromeliads, at almost eye-level, every morning when I stand over the kitchen sink. Nice! If I don’t go out to the garden, the garden comes inside to me. Maybe it’s high time I learn to appreciate plants and all those bromeliads outside.

The root blobs of the two remaining red palms remain untouched. Somehow the momentum to unearth them has stalled. Instead, we channeled our energy into painting the whole stretch of the back garden wall. A spanking brand new white wall now is such a sight to enjoy.

The back wall

I even took the liberty to create a little space for some of his potted collection. Previously this spot was occupied by the habanero plant, and it grew too monstrous and messy. So hubby got rid of it. I removed all the Creeping Charlie weeds, leveled the designated spot with sand, and added stones to separate the area. I should pat myself on the shoulder, for it looks neat and very organized now.

The little sand spot. Yes, there’s a stack of stones for a Zen look. Heheh.

The front lawn also had further changes. After trimming the hedges, we decided to remove them totally and replace them with something more colorful. All in all, the outdoor activity has been good. Some sun is better than no sun, with both of us developing a good tan with healthy doses of Vitamin D, albeit an uneven one, from this bout of gardening.

Top: hedges before the chop, Middle: unearthed the overwhelmed garden light, Bottom: new plants to replace the old hedges

Happy Ants

7 Aug

It is often said whatever that has been planted and cared for without using pesticides will be evident in the harvest; there will be worms enjoying the fruits of the labor.

This round, mostly green ones

Our scotch bonnet pepper plants have been very healthy and we have had non-stop supplies. And sometimes worms included. On and off, I’d find tiny worms in the container holding the basket of peppers. And I’d just wash the icky worms down the sink.

Bumper supply of worms too! Five altogether

One morning, I saw a worm on the kitchen counter top instead! Eeek… it had somehow escaped from the container. Before I could do anything, the ants got to it first! They were quickly maneuvering the worm to their nest for the rest of the colony as food. I didn’t have the heart to thwart them. It would be too vicious.

One, two, three… heave! One, two, three… go!

So I simply took a picture of the action but missed the rest of their journey to their lair when I turned away. Dang! They sure are fast but they sure are happy ants with the unexpected bounty.

Too Spicy to Handle

4 Aug

The Habanero plant in our garden may not be the Habanero that we initially thought. Hubby says what we have is the scotch bonnet peppers instead, which are slightly sweet in the overall taste. If you’re not a pepper expert, it’s hard to tell them apart because these peppers are cousins. The only difference being the Habanero is about an inch bigger.

The spiciness or heat level of all peppers is measured according to the Scoville Scale in Scoville Heat Units (SHU) and both these species are right up there on the chart. But there seem to be contradicting readings I see on the internet.

One site listed our scotch bonnet pepper at 445,000 SHU and the Habanero at 260,000 SHU only while another site says both are on the same level at 100,000–350,000 SHU. Well, it doesn’t matter which exact reading, our scotch bonnet certainly burns the tongue and even fingers if we are not cutting them carefully! Sometimes even the green ones are enough to numb the senses, what more eating the ripe red ones.

Scotch bonnet peppers are an excellent source of phytochemicals and vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), iron, vitamin B, carotenoids, niacin, riboflavin, dietary fiber, flavonoids, and magnesium but I don’t eat them all the time. Too spicy to handle and too much to consume.

Puny green peppers towards the end, so plant #1 had to be cut down.

Hubby had to trim the first plant because it has grown too tall. At more than eight feet, it’s too taxing to produce plump healthy peppers. The puny harvest, evident in its loss in strength. Eventually, the plant was removed.

Plant #2 is out of control, growing tall and wide!

Now we get our supplies from the second and third plants. And the second plant has grown to become such a monstrous blob, it’s rather unsightly. It is now six feet tall, but its yield has been superb. We have had an abundance of scotch bonnet peppers and have been giving them away to friends because they’re too spicy for us to handle.

Nothing Goes to Waste

2 Jun

Ever since the MCO started, hubby learned how to bake and as such, the eggs in the fridge are used up very quickly. It used to take forever to finish them but now, they are always on the grocery list to be replenished.

The best part of this is recycling the eggshells as fertilizer for the garden instead of just throwing them away. And I seem to enjoy fussing over the eggshells.

I’d remove the membrane first before pounding them up with my mini mortar and pestle. Fine but not too powdery, the eggshells act as a good deterrent for the slimy snails in the garden. They are also a good source of calcium especially for the habanero chilli peppers and it shows with the healthy harvests.

Besides the eggshells, other food waste is also recycled to be natural fertilizer for the garden. Rice water for instance. Whenever I wash rice grains before cooking, the water from the washing is kept a day or two in a container to be fermented before being used.

Occasionally if there are juice pulps from juicing, these are instantly sprinkled around the garden amongst the plants. And banana peels are always fed to the staghorn fern for nutrition. Nothing goes to waste in our home.

Munch Pot 2.0

12 Mar

Our garden is just a wonderful place for the creatures that come visiting. Birds, treating our place as their private kitchen, come daily to feast on the bird seeds put out for them. There’s also squirrels that bound through the hedges happily like their little playground. One of the squirrel, a rascal, will eat official pet number one’s leftover dog food or boldly come into the house and help itself to bananas (if we have this) on the kitchen counter.

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The garden thrives because hubby has the green fingers, not me. I hardly venture out because I stay indoors in my little area to do my carving. Even if I do go out, it’s more at the terrace to do mostly sawing, hammering, cutting or drilling, never beyond the tiled boundary for gardening. So it was a bit of a surprise when I discovered the habanero plant has grown as tall as me! And the chillis are plentiful. I have shared so much of our harvest with friends and family.

The thriving garden also had us discovering a new caterpillar! This time on the Calamansi Lime tree at the side. I wouldn’t have known if hubby didn’t tell me. You could say it’s Munch Pot 2.0.

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This time I decided to take its measurement with a ruler to keep track of its growth. As of now, it’s 2cm long. I hope this little fella will grow well and won’t disappear mysteriously like Munch Pot who used to be at the Calamansi Lime tree in front of the house.

We Have to Be Patient, Part 2

18 Oct

We are getting two chillies a week and not more. The habanero chillies are growing ever so slowly but thank goodness all those harvested can be refrigerated. There are several more green ones on the plant and one on the verge of turning red soon. We reckon another week or so before we can harvest all.

Do I plan to eat them all? Of course not! I’d share them with friends and let them have a fiery experience of tasting these hot babies.

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We Have to Be Patient

9 Oct

The habanero plant has grown but it’s fruiting very slowly. Last week, we had only two precious chilli to show, plucked a day apart, compared to the last harvest. Currently, there’s a bunch growing and we are hoping the rain won’t affect their growth as rainy season has kicked in. Keeping our fingers crossed.

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How many chillies can you see on the plant?

Green Fingers Red Chillies, Part 3

13 Jul

The new habanero chilli plant has finally sprouted after several failed attempts by hubby. He will of course be monitoring its growth until they are ready to be harvested.

For now, they are still green like mini capsicums. I look forward to the moment when they all turn red and look like cute little Christmas ornaments. It will be a lovely picture to capture! Stay tuned…

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Green Fingers, Red Chillies

28 May

It’s a known fact that hubby is the green fingers person at home. The little herbs and vegetable patch in the garden is thriving. The habanero seeds that he threw into the soil several months ago have finally yielded some beautiful plump chillies.

Within a day when he showed me the green chillies, they ripened to become a beautiful red, hanging on the branches like little Christmas ornaments. This species is pretty spicy and although they look like miniature capsicums, they don’t taste like capsicum at all but gives a nice oomph to the tastebud.

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Looking like little Christmas ornaments!

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When they were still green…