“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need” Marcus Tullius Cicero
One of our ambitions is to be able to grow vegetables and herbs in our very own garden. Of course this is dictated by soil conditions and climate. While it is possible to find a wide range of produce in the daily market, the majority of it is shipped in from Lombok. Sumbawa’s produce is mainly corn with very little else in terms of vegetables. Apparently the soil and sun here are not conducive to good crops.
We brought some plants over from Bali to aid the growing process. During the building works, however, the plants had to be moved several times, which resulted in them withering away.
Our resolve is strong and we are persevering with attempting to grow tomatoes, paprika (peppers), grapes, cilantro, basil, etc from seeds. It took several months before we could get hold of some decent soil, which had to then be mixed with dry cow dung from the field next door. Everything comes in handy at some point!
In order to grow the plants from seeds, we had to use another soil mixed with horse dung. Each tiny seed was planted in soil in a separate compartment of a seed tray. It was then covered with a bit of soil and watered. The process requires watering of the plants twice daily for 20 days, after which we will need to transplant them in the ground. It is quite exciting to visit the seed tray and watch as a new tiny green leaf sprouts from the soil.
We look forward to the day when we can actually make a meal from our own home grown vegetables.
Meanwhile, a few months ago I dumped some watermelon seeds in the neighbouring field and one day we spotted a watermelon lying on the ground! If none of the veggies make it, then we will have to survive on watermelons :)
Tip: Instead of discarding seeds from fruit and vegetables, these can be dried in the sun and planted back in the earth.