Saturday, 16 August 2014

Fruit of my labour

I'm very busy lately hence no post for a while  but never too busy check and pluck ripe fig every day.   Since last 3 months i start picking ripe home-grown figs. Out of 70 odd pots of 31 varieties of fig that i have, 15 fig trees are fruiting and in various stage of maturity. However the harvest is not bountiful since only 1 to 2 figs ripen every day which is barely enough to feed my 11 months old daughter.  


black malta

 Of the varieties that i have, black Madeira (i recently was informed that it is most likely Coll de Dama Negra) is very slow grower but it never disappoint me because it never stopped fruiting (i have 20 plants) and it is very sweet.   

barely ripe black madeira
starting to ripe

honey oozing out from the eye

ripe black madeira
My daughter favourite is celesta, the fruit is slightly bigger than big marble but the fruit is beautiful with its violet colour skin and  is very sweet, no wonder it is known as sugar fig. Currently i have 5 plants and planning to increase to 10 so that it is adequate to feed my family.
under the full sun the colour is darker

celesta grown in partial shade

Sal’s is the first fig that ripens; it is a sweet dark fig which also taste good. I let it hang on the tree till it is almost shrivel, umm!!Yummy.

Ripe Madeleine fig is beautiful as well as sweet and big but Texas blue giant is bigger. 
madeleine fig
perfectly ripe madeleine fig
I was so surprised when i taste Texas blue giant fig because it is good. According to my reading big fig has mediocre taste.  Its eye is partially open  and tend to rot once the beetle get into it. For the time being i have to wrap the fruit but later the plants go in a greenhouse. 

almost and fully ripe texas blue giant

rotten fig; no thanks to fig beetle
 This is the only green fig that ripe so far, an unknown portugese fig, i call it green Portugal. the color will turn to light green when it is ripe, sweet and have a nice acid and sugar balance.
green portugal
 Negronne is another dark fig, the color is as dark as Sal's and it is almost as sweet as celesta.

This is another dark fig which i lost its tag. The fruit turn from green to purple yesterday so it was just barely ripe but i couldn't help myself.  I pluck it, even though it is not juicy yet it is really sweet. I think it will be sweeter than celesta. I'll have to wait for a few more days for the verdict, got to try a really ripe fig.

unknown dark fig

So far i'm very pleased with all the varieties that are already fruiting. My advice to fig hobbyist in Malaysia is not to get caught up in fig fever.  Study each variety characteristic so that you have a cultivar that is compatible with our hot and humid climate as well as tasty fruit.

Friday, 13 June 2014


        I am experimenting with Asiatic lily since the last 3 years. The first year the bulbs grew a shoot for 4 cm then it stopped growing and dies because i grew the bulbs at the height of hot season. Last year i received the bulbs in May.  I planted a few bulbs while some of the bulbs were kept in the fridge and planted it in September. One of the bulbs that were planted in May gave me a single bloom while rest of the bulbs rot.   All bulbs that were planted in grew September grew to a height of 8 to 12 inches but none of it bloom.

 Early this year i notice many bulbils along the leaf axis.I  leave my bulbils on as long as possible to get as big as they can, some even start to leaf out and grow roots on the stem.  I pick the bulbils and plant it in a separate pot and it seems it is doing pretty well even though it is growing slowly. I’m hoping that the bulbils will form a mature bulb which will acclimatise to our climate hence as hardy and vigorous as it is in its native habitat.

one and only bloom

moderate growth but no flower

many bulbils along the leaf axis
stem bulbil

a month old bulbils

4 months old bulbil

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

laurus nobilis (bay leaf)

Laurus nobilis leaf is usually available in dry form.  It is usually grow from cutting because seed takes a long time to germinate (can be up to 6 months) hence it is usually rot in the process. Last month my Turkish friend send me 21 seeds of laurus nobilis, luckily one manages to germinate. It hopes it will grow fast in the tropic in my TLC.