In the last entry where we saw my very first tomato crop, germinations happened five days after I planted the seeds.


More seedlings continued to sprout the following day (the visual change just over overnight never fails to amaze me).


Amidst the joy however, it soon became apparent that most of the seedlings looked rather spindly and weak-looking. They didn’t look healthy at all:


| Find out what happened to my tomatoes |


Lots had transpired since I started on my first adventure. The seeds I planted have all grown – to different extents, teaching me a few things that I’m going to use on my next batch of crops.

I’ve seen for myself how fast kangkong grows. Here’s what happened since we last saw them here:

Day 06 DSC_0112

Day 07 DSC_0072-1

| Find out what happened to my kangkong |

I’ve asked myself this question a couple of times during this long period of absence. So have you, I bet, if you’ve been supportively following my first posts. Some of my friends have also asked me this directly.

The answer, I think, is a resounding “NO!”

| Read the rest of this post |

This post is about the McNugget, which I thought I already knew enough about, in matters of nutritional quality (or the lack of it).

That’s until I started reading An Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan.

The book was recommended to me by Alvin, of 21 Dragons, a friend whom I look up to for how he writes well as much as how he reads well. Seeing I was interested in food and its related issues, he recommended me a book which he claimed was a must-read for anyone in my position.

The writing style wasn’t my favorite till date, but the information presented by the author was intriguing. Without any intent on ripping off the author, here is an excerpt from An Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan:

… McNuggets have come in for a lot of criticism lately, which might explain the reformulation. Ruling in 2003 in a lawsuit brought against McDonald’s by a group of obese teenagers, a federal judge in New York had defamed the McNugget even as he dismissed the suit. “Rather than being merely chicken fried in a pan,” he wrote in his decision, McNuggets “are a McFrankensteinian creation of various elements not utilized by the home cook.” After cataloging the thirty-eight ingredients in a McNugget, Judge Sweet suggested tat McDonald’s marketing bordered on deceptive, since the dish is not what it purports to be – that is, a piece of chicken simply fried – | Read the rest of this post |

It’s Day 05, and I woke to another of dismal morning sun. However, I made a joyful discovery – the tomato seeds have germinated too! W00t! 😀

Aren’t they beautiful, these little babies? They look kinda proud to have made it out of the ground, ahead of all the others.

| Read the rest of “Who needs sunlight?” |

I wrote that I planted my tomato seeds in a pot that contains some relatively fresh, unused soil from my mom. At first, I didn’t use it because it was home to some worm / centipede-like insects which she claimed were friendly to plants, as they helped to aerate the soil as they tunnel in it. Well, here they are:

| See the critters |

As if following the cue of the first kangkong seed, many of the other seeds started germinating too!

It’s a joyful sight. Things are suddenly moving fast… it’s only Day 03! And all these little fellas are cracking open and ready to stretch up and out, and into the sky!

However, the joy I felt was stopped when I wanted to shift my crops into the sun.

There was no sun.

| Read the rest of this post |

Near the end of office hours, my mom sent me a text in Chinese: “你的kangkong发芽了” (translation: “Your kangkong have germinated”).

| Meet the seedling |

It was a Monday morning. Normally, I’d be negotiating for “just 5 minutes more”. But today, I jumped out of bed and out into the corridor. I planted my first veggies the day before!

Ha ha, yeah, I don’t know what I was expecting to see either – the styrofoam boxes full of green leafy plants? I wished, but it’s not happening so soon. I guess the feeling’s akin to getting a new toy or a new pet. You wanna go out and see that it’s there, and feel good that it’s yours.

| Read the rest of Day 02 |

Now, on to my first adventure in HDB gardening.

I started with seeds from Ban Lee Huat Seed, which I read, was quite comprehensive in their stock of seeds, with a helpful storekeeper ‘uncle’ to round it off. True to what our online friends shared, both accounts were true when I visited the shop. Being a wholesale supplier, it was stocked with the seeds of vegetables that are commonly grown on farms in the local climate. If you were raised in any way like me, you might be fascinated to see the seeds of so many of the familiar vegetables we eat for the first time. I knew I was. Uncle Chen, the storekeeper, was patient and indulged my questions at every point.

Seeds I bought from Ban Lee Huat

I ended up buying the seeds of kangkong, parsley (some of us may know it as chinese parsley) and tomato, three of my favorite vegetables. Of the three, I was actually the most excited about the kangkong and the parsley. The kangkong, because it’ll supposedly be ready for harvest within 4 – 5 weeks, and the parsley, because I’ve recently fallen in love with it as a main ingredient for pasta. Most people know it only as a garnish, but it actually kicks-ass well on its own. I’ll share more about this in my future posts.

Kangkong seeds up close

The kangkong seeds look like little pebbles. That’s Uncle Chen’s Chinese-calligraphic hand-writing, which I complimented him on. Behind the bag are information from him which I scribbled on in the shop.

Parsley seeds up close

The parsley seeds were much finer in comparison. These little babies will supposedly take 2 – 3 months to harvest (gulp). But Uncle Chen pointed out that they’re mostly ready to eat when they have sprouted. They don’t have to be ‘mature’.

| Read the rest of this adventure |