About the middle of November 2012, I posted some pictures of my experimental gardens here under the title “Weekly Photo Challenge: Green”. In those photos, the plants were just starting to grow and almost nothing was predictable on how they would look like after some time.
I call them ‘experimental gardens’ because it was the first time I tried to grow vegetable in boxed gardens (rectangular wooden box filled with vermicompost and ordinary garden soils). I have not seen this boxed gardens even in the nearby state agricultural school (less than 10 miles away) where a lot of agricultural experiments are being conducted.
I first saw the concept of boxed gardens from University of Alberta (Canada) when I was surfing the internet. They call it SFG (square foot garden). I went further by using junked tires and rectangular boxes instead of squares. I have the pleasure of calling mine RBG (rectangular box garden). The RBG can be placed in any open area (even on top of concrete pavements) that has at least 60% of the day’s sunlight. You create your own soil by filling the box with a mix of compost and viable garden soil. In my experiment I used 30% vermicompost and 70% garden soil which were mixed thoroughly before planting on it.
Now, I feel like I owe you something to show what has become of those experimental gardens. Exactly 45 days after, here is how the plants have become now:
One plant is conspicuously absent from the photos. That is the green chili plant. I swear I will not include it in the next round, not because I do not like it, but because it got so many insect fans. I do not quite understand why despite almost everyday of spraying insecticides, the insect fans continue to attack. (It would not be viable to spray insecticides everyday as it would approach the so-called law of diminishing return: spend more than what you get). Their favourite part of the chili plant are its tops. Incidentally, the chili tops is one of the most important vegetables that you find in a chicken tinola (a Filipino dish which happens to be Manny Pacquiao’s favourite)
Another plant that is no longer here is the hybrid cucumber. It was the first among my garden plants to give payback. I do not like to show the pictures of the dying plant now but it would suffice to say that it has given me lots of fruits more than I had thought of as you can see below.
I love to grow vegetables. It has been the longest surviving hobby I have since I was a teenager. Now, I am thinking of producing my own vermicompost soil after a friend of mine who is teaching in an agricultural college had taught me how to do it.
Vermicomposting uses earthworms to turn organic wastes into very high quality compost. The starting capital is very affordable except that it is labor intensive. Anyway, I might just do it probably in the second quarter of the year (God willing) for my consumption. From then on I can have a feel of whether or not I should go on commercial production.
Now, you might also want to indulge in gardening and ditch that stress away! Tending a garden is a therapeutic and peaceful hobby that will bring you relieving pleasures in addition to the vegetables, fruits or flowers that are there to enjoy in the process.