Saturday, July 11, 2020

Personal Growth: Grow Your Own Food Broccoli Sprouts with No Soil

I'm growing sprouts at home using this tried-and-tested method I'm sharing via this infographic. In a week, you can have sprouts you can eat as is or filling for other dishes.  You can use this technique for other beans as well like mung.

Want microgreens instead?  Substitute coconut coir for the tissue paper as growing medium and wait 14-16 days before harvesting.

Hike up the sulfur content.  Refrigerate the sprouts after harvesting and washing to increase its sulfuraphane content.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Of Murals and Nesting Pied Fantail in the Middle of Makati City: Wildlife and Wild Art Thrive in the City

Philippine Pied Fantail nesting high on a tree in the CBD
Friendly cats
Out of necessity, I had to meet up with my best buddy yesterday. We chose to meet up at the Ayala Triangle park, perchance to go birding, perchance to breathe a bit more fresh air.  Being cooped up within the confines of a building for days on end can be suffocating although I must say that having a lot of full-grown plants on my ledge and the sparrows regularly visiting and singing outside my window help take off some of that feeling.  Still, it was welcome to see trees (and dogs) outside my usual environment on a Sunday yet so off we went to meet up.
PLDT hornbill homage

THE GIFT OF BIRDS.  Little did we know that we would chance upon a nesting Philippine Pied Fantail (locally known as Maria Capra/scientific name: Rhipidura nigritorquis) high up a tree right in the middle of the central business district, right beside  the towering building of the Makati Stock Exchange.  It's a privilege and a gift really, one that I didn't realize got captured when I was shooting it with my Nikon B700 (with luck, I brought it along even if there's little chance of going birding for the afternoon) that there's a nest up there.  Here's proof of wildlife right in the city, hidden in plain sight, thriving and not just surviving side-by-side us city folks. Birds are like that, I guess, they're just in the background until we learn to appreciate them, their singing, and later exercising great patience to spot and identify them. Maybe, the pandemic prompted us to take heed of things that get drowned out in the course of "normal" life when the traffic din and other sources of noise pollution keep us deaf to the sounds of nature and insensitive to nature's rhythms.

Perhaps, the pandemic helped reset some of the rhythms we've been ignoring or taking for granted for so long.  When I hear of people turning to pets or plants to cope with the mental stresses caused by the pandemic quarantine, I can't help but smile.  It's the same thing when I hear of wildlife being spotted in places where they've been absent for a long time, from pawikans visiting places in the Visayas to sea otters frequenting the quay in Singapore. 

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Paean to the Bicentennail Mangroves of Camotes Islands

Lone fisherman among 200 year old mangrove trees on Camotes Islands, Cebu • © Oggie Ramos • Sony A6400 + 12mm f/2
                                         
"Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky."
  Kahlil Gibran

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