Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Terung Pipit is Solanum torvum, also known as Turkey berry, Devil’s fig, prickly nightshade, wild eggplant, pea eggplant, and many other names.
Originated from the West Indies, it is now widely distributed all over the Tropics, more as a noxious weed than cultivated crop.
The plant is 2 to 3 meter in height. The branches and twigs are covered with hairs and spines. Leaves are opposite, ovate, and lobed. Flowers are white, tubular with 5 pointed lobes, in corymbiform cymes. Fruits are berries in clusters, round, about 1cm diameter, green when mature, yellow when ripe, think-fleshed. Seeds numerous, flat disc.
Propagation by seeds and cuttings. The plant does not live long, up to 2 years the most. Usually used as rootstocks for eggplants, for its resistant against root diseases.
The green fresh fruits are used in Thai cuisine, as well as Malay and Lao cuisine. Fruits can be consumed fresh as salad or cooked with curry or soups, sauces and stews. Dried fruits which are pre-soaked fruits in curd, were fried in oil to make sundaikkai vattral, an Indian condiment.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
It Is Obviously Not Obvious
Artificial grass is an innovative product substituting natural grass, that can be used on a long term basis. With its equally natural appearance, artificial grass is not only beautiful but also more practical when it comes to maintenance and landscaping.
Usually used for sports fields, golf courses, residential and business compounds, artificial grass allows landscape lovers to enjoy perfectly maintained grass all year round, regardless of the weather condition.
The texture of artificial grass is soft yet tough, making it comfortable to walk on even without footwear. Because of its toughness, artificial grass is able to endure the weight of heavy objects without leaving any dry patches or discolouration. Most artificial grass are treated with a UV inhibitor which helps to shield it from drastic fading and degradation caused by UV.
Using artificial grass is a smart choice because it requires minimal maintenance, making it unnecessary to mow, trim or fertilise. It is also environmental friendly as there is no need for harmful pesticides and it does not require any watering, which helps save water as well.
Some of the advantages of using artificial grass are:-
Ö Long lasting and the colour does not fade easily.
Ö Easy to install.
Ö Safe for both children and pets.
Ö More hygienic as it does not require dirt or mud.
Ö Suitable alternative in areas with little or no sunlight.
Ö Excellent for swimming pool areas as it is non-slippery.
Measuring at a height of 40mm, Le Grassi is denser and more compact, making it suitable for use in an indoor setting or padding a safe children-friendly playground.
Height:40mm Gauge:3/8" Stitch Rate:18(±2) stitches, with a 10cm width
The measurement for Le Meadow is 36mm and is suitable for outdoor landscaping. It can be used in residential or business compounds, giving it an aesthetic look and creates a scenery that is pleasing to the eye.
Height:36mm Gauge:3/8" Stitch Rate:12(±2) stitches, with a 10cm width
Specially designed with a U-shaped yarn and a green curl yarn, Le Uniq is ultra flexible and is ideal for landscaping and gardening. The U-shaped yarn gives Le Uniq a tougher characteristic, allowing it to stand upright compared to other types of artificial grass.
Height:30mm Gauge:3/8" Stitch Rate:18(±2) stitches, with a 10cm width
Being 12mm in height, Le Clubio is best used for putting and mini golf courses. Its short and neatly groomed nature makes it easier for golf balls to roll a longer distance, giving golfers a more enjoyable golfing experience.
Height:12mm Gauge:4.5mm Stitch Rate:20(±3) stitches, with a 10cm width
Monday, October 7, 2013
Monday 7 October, 2013
Scan the supermarket isles and consumers appear to be faced with endless choice.
Now, take another look. How much of this is really just different versions of the same plant ? Pasta, bread, crackers, flour, cereals, cakes, noodles, couscous and beer, for example, are all the products of wheat. For much of the world, dietary diversity in an illusion. Most of our arable land is coming to be dominated by an increasingly narrow range of crops.
Maize, wheat and rice are the superstars of agriculture. Together, they account for 60% of the world’s calorie intake.
But there was a time, within the last 10,000 years, when man made use of 30,000 plant, 7,000 of which were crops.
Cast the net a bit wider, and today it’s still only 120 species of plants that supply 90% of our diet – down from the 7,000 above.
The Crops For The Future Research Centre aims to investigate and, where appropriate, elevate the status of a variety of underutilized fruits and vegetables in our diet. Some examples follows :
> Asam gelugur ( Garcinia atroviridis )
> Belimbing buluh ( Averrhoa bilimbi )
> Cerapu ( Garcinia parainiana )
> Ceri Terengganu ( Lepisanthes fruticosa )
> Kedondong ( Spondias cytherea )
> Kemunting ( Rhodomyrtus tomentosa )
> Kundang ( Couea macrophylla )
> Kundang ( Couea macrophylla )
> Salak ( Salacca zalacca )
> Sentul ( Sandoricum macropodum )
> Sukun ( Artocarpus altilis )
> Rambai ( Baccaurea matleyana )
> Beluntas ( Pluchea indica )
> Beremi laut ( Portulaca spp. )
> Gandarusa ( Justicia gendarussa )
> Gajus merah ( Anarcardium accidentale )
> Kemoyang ( Homalomena sagittifolia )
> Mengkudu ( Morinda citrifolia )
> Mata itik ( Ardisia crenata )
> Peria pantai ( Colubrina asiatica )
> Tenggek burung ( Euodia ridleyi )
> Sabung nyawa ( Gynura procumbens )
> Salam ( Eugenia polyantha )
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Castor plant, Ricinus communis, is a species of flowering plants in the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae.
The name Ricinus is a Latin word for tick, for the resemblance of castor bean to certain ticks. The specific name ‘communis’ comes from Latin word commun, which means “common”.
The common name ‘castor oil’ comes from Latin word ‘castor’ for beaver, of which castor oil was used as replacement for castoreum, a perfume made from dried perineal glands of beavers. Castor oil plant has another common name, palm of Christ, ‘Palma Christi’, that derived from its therapeutic oil.
Despite its name, castor bean is not a true bean. Castor bean is the source of castor oil, as well as ricin, a lethal toxin. Ricin is also present throughout the plant in lower concentration.
Originated from the Mediterranean Basin, castor plant is presently planted over the tropical regions. Leading production of castor bean are : India, China and Brazil.
Castor oil had been used since ancient time for its therapeutic value and as fuel for lamps. It contain mostly ricinoleic acid, a prized monosaturated fatty acid. Today, castor oil is used in food additives, flavoring, mold inhibitor, preservative, in addition to various modern drugs. Castor oil derivatives are also used in manufacturing of soaps, lubricants, hydraulic fluids, brake fluids, paints, dyes, coatings, inks, cold resistant plastics, waxes, nylon, and perfumes.
Raw castor beans are however, famous for its lethal toxin ricin. 4 – 8 seeds alone can kill an adult human. Despite this, suicides and murders involving ingestion of castor beans are unheard of in producing countries.
If ricin is ingested, symptoms may begin within 2 – 4 hours, but may be delayed up to 36 hours. Symptoms includes burning sensations in mouth and throat, abdominal pain, purging and bloody diarrhea.
However, poisoning occurs only when ingested seeds are chewed. Intact seeds may pass through digestive tract.
Commercially cold-pressed castor oil is not toxic to human in normal doses, either internally or externally.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
The hazels, Corylus are deciduous trees and large shrubs native to the temperate Northern Hemisphere. Hazels are place in the Betulaceae, but some botanist spit them into a separate family Corylaceae.
The fruit of the hazel is the hazelnut.
Hazel have simple rounded leaves with double-serrated margins. There flowers are produced early in spring before the leaves. Flowers are monoeciuos. Fruit surrounded by involucre, with a smooth shell.
A hazel tree are coppiced every few years. Regenerated shoots will bear more fruits. Hazelnuts are harvested annually in mid-autumn. The trees will drop their nuts as well as the leaves. The nuts are swept off the ground and separated from debris.
Corylus has 14 – 18 species :
1. Corylus americana – American hazel
2. Corylus avellana – common hazel
3. Corylus heterophylla – Asian hazel
4. Corylus yunnanensis – Yunnan hazel
5. Corylus colchica – cochican filbert
6. Corylus cornuta – beaked hazel
7. Corylus maxima – filbert
8. Corylus sieboldiana – Asian beaked hazel
9. Corylus chinensis – Chinese hazel
10. Corylus colurna – Turkish hazel
11. Corylus fargesii – Farges’ hazel
12. Corylus jacquemontii – Jacquemont’s hazel
13. Corylus wangii – Wang’s hazel
14. Corylus ferox – Himalayan hazel
15. † Corylus johnsonii
Several hybrids exist, and many more cultivars were grown.
The common hazelnut, Corylus avellana, is the most extensively grown hazel for its nuts. Nut are also harvested from other species, but apart from the filbert, none is of significant commercial importance.
Apart from the edible seed, hazel is also a traditional material used for making wattle, withy fencing, baskets, and the frames of coracle boats. A number of cultivars are grown as ornamental plants.
Hazelnuts are used in confectionary to make pralines, chocolate truffles and a wide range of hazelnut paste products : Austrian tortes, Ukrainian Kyiv cake ; French dacquoise ; Italian frangelico, Bicerin di Gianduiotto gianduja ; Georgian churchkhela and satsivi, etc.
The most famous Italian hazelnut products is none other than Ferrero Rocher. Ferrero’s others famous hazelnut-based products includes : Nutella and Kinder Bueno. Ferrero is based in Alba, a town in region of Piedmont, Italy.
Sunday, September 1, 2013
Olive, Olea europaea, which means ‘oil from/of Europe’, is an evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean region. It is easily recognized by its silvery green oblong leaves. Flowers are small white. The fruit is a small drupe.
There are six natural subspecies of Olea europaea distributed over a wide range :
1. Olea europaea subsp. europaea ( Mediterranean Basin )
2. Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata ( from South Africa throughout East Africa, Arabia to South West China )
3. Olea europaea subsp. guanchica ( Canaries )
4. Olea europaea subsp. cerasiformis ( Madeira ) ( tetraploid )
5. Olea europaea subsp. maroccana ( Morocco ) ( hexaploid )
6. Olea europaea subsp. laperrinei ( Algeria, Sudan, Niger )
Though, there are thousands of cultivars of the Olea europaea.
Olive tree is very hardy. They are drought-, disease-, and fire-resistant. The root system is capable to regenerate even if the above-ground structure is destroyed. It is therefore many olive trees are said to be hundred of years old. A few were claimed to be over one or two thousand years old.
The olive tree are cultivated for olive oil, fine wood, olive leaf and the olive fruit. Olive oil is produced by grinding olives and extracting the oil mechanically or chemically. Italy alone, produced over 15% of world’s olive oil. Olive leaves are used for its medicinal properties.
Interestingly, olives are harvested by shaking the bough or the whole tree. Net are wrap around the trunk to catch the fallen fruits. Table olive are hand-picked. Bruised fruits tend to be inferior quality.
Fresh olives are not palatable as they contain oleuropein, which make them bitter ; and phenolic compounds They are cured with lye, brine or fresh water to make them more palatable. Oleuropein is removed by soaking in fresh water or brine. Most olives will be allowed to ferment before being packed in brine solution. Olives can be flavoured by soaking in a marinade or pitted and stuffed.