Sweet Potato and Its Anti-Aging Nutrients

By goGreen | February 15, 2012

 

Sweet potato is a health vegetable rich in antioxidants and other nutrients useful in maintaining a healthy body.

A new study conducted by the Rural Development Administration (RDA) of South Korea shows that sweet potato contains antioxidants such as chlorogenic acid, isochlorogenic.

Antioxidants, known as the modern-day anti-aging nutrients, are phytochemicals or substances (mostly present in fruits and vegetables), which neutralize or counterbalance the free radicals that are generated by the body during normal metabolism.

Free radicals are the most vicious and toxic by-products of metabolism. When not neutralized, they can travel through the body cells, disrupting the structures of proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and cause cell damages.

These damages are believed to contribute to aging and degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cataract, and the like.

Sweet potato antioxidants are higher in the leaves than in the tops, but higher in the tops than in the roots and petioles.

Also, all parts of sweet potato, especially the leaves and tops, contain protein, lipids, carbohydrates, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and vitamin A and C.

These nutrients are favorably comparable with those of other vegetable nutrients when they are boiled or used in their dry form than when they are consumed raw.

 

SOURCE: Entrepinoy ATBP

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Potential of Bamboo as a Cash Crop

By goGreen | February 14, 2012

 

Throughout the world, many studies on bamboo were conducted. However, many people still do not appreciate bamboo for its vegetable shoot. But for a country like the Philippines where vegetable is a major ingredient of dishes and many people are health-conscious, Filipino farmers should look into bamboo’s versatile qualities and potential as a cash crop.

Bamboo is not only a material for housing and for furniture and handicrafts, banana props, fishing, and chopsticks production. It is also a vegetable, which could generate good income for both domestic and foreign markets. Bamboo shoots contains 18 amino acids and less carbohydrates, crude fat and crude fiber which make it an ideal vegetable for people who want to lose weight.

In 1988, Caopy International, a newsletter of the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB), reported in its November-December issue that bamboo’s main nutritive values seem to be associated with hematopoiesis, or the regeneration of high-energy containing compounds and improvement of protein metabolism.

BAMBOO SHOOT PRODUCTION IN CHINA
In China, where one of the authors attended an enhancement course on bamboo cultivation and utilization, few years ago, it was observed that bamboo is extensively grown even in steep mountain ranges as it is one of China’s major economic crops and dollar earners. Majority of the shoots that Chinese farmers produce are processed into various products.

These include canned, soft packaged, and sour bamboo shoots – as the Chinese calls it – and dried grated shoots.

The Chinese have also developed a technique of preserving the whole bamboo shoots. Bambusa beechayana, a variety that can be eaten raw, is likewise being raised in Guangdong.

Years back, an agricultural magazine in the Philippines, which is no longer in circulation reported the establishment of a bamboo plantation in Davao which is mainly for shoot production, canning and export to Japan. After that, however, nothing have been said about the plantation. What is being emphasized in bamboo production at present is its use as a source of poles or culms.

 


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Topics: Agri-Business, Miscellaneous | 1 Comment »

This Bud’s For You: 8 Valentine’s Day Flowers & What They Mean

By goGreen | February 14, 2012

Though all flowers are beautiful in their own way, it’s the deeper meaning they convey that can make all the difference come gifting time. Whether celebrating a holiday or special occasion, such as Valentine’s Day or an anniversary, or sending her a bouquet just because, doing a little extra research on each flower in your bouquet demonstrates that you went the extra mile. Several types of flowers make exceptional choices for a romantic gesture.

Gardenia

Gardenias are a soft, white flower native to tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Asia and Australia. Gardenias represent purity and sweetness and also indicate a secret love or crush. Gift them to a special someone you’ve had your eye on, but haven’t revealed your true feelings for.


Bird of Paradise

The bird of paradise gets its name from its peculiar shape. The flower is wildly colorful and has the silhouette of a regal bird with a pomp of feathers atop its head. Bird of paradise symbolizes joy, happiness and magnificence, say ECBD Flower Store. It’s a celebratory flower that’s ideal for a committed couple anticipating a sublime future together.

Lily

Lilies come in all different shades and types, including calla lily, day lily and lily-of-the-valley. Each represents something a little different, so select your bouquet accordingly. A calla lily symbolizes majestic beauty, day lilies symbolize coquetry, simple white lilies symbolize majesty and purity and lily-of-the-valley symbolizes purity and sweetness. Stay away from orange lilies, which represent disdain, according to iFlorist.com.
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Recipe: Ampalaya Con Carne

By goGreen | February 14, 2012

Ingredients:
• 4 cloves garlic, crushed
• 1 medium (50 g) onion, sliced
• 200 g beef round, cut into strips
• 3/4 cup water
• 1-1/2 tbsp tausi (salted black beans)
• 1 can (140 g) Tomato Sauce
• 1 bunch (200 g) sitao (string beans), cut into 1-1/2? long PCs.
• 1 tbsp oyster sauce
• 1/4 tsp pepper
• 1 large (300 g) ampalaya (bitter melon), seeded and thinly sliced

 

Cooking Instructions:
1. Saute garlic, onion and beef
2. Add water, tomato sauce and tausi. Simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Add sitaw, oyster sauce and pepper. Simmer for 7 minutes.
4. Add ampalaya. Cook for another 3 minutes. Serve hot.

Pakbet or Pinakbet

Estimated cooking time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:
• 1/4 kilo pork with fat, cut into small pieces
• 2 Ampalaya (bitter melons) sliced to bite size pieces
• 2 eggplants, sliced to bite size pieces
• 5 pieces of okra, cut in two
• 1 head garlic, minced
• 2 onions, diced
• 5 tomatoes, sliced
• 1 tbsp of ginger, crushed and sliced
• 4 tbsp bagoong isda or bagoong alamang
• 3 tbsp of oil
• 1 1/2 cup water
• Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions:
1. In a cooking pan, heat oil and fry the pork until brown, remove the pork from the pan and set aside.
2. On the same pan, saute garlic, onion, ginger and tomatoes.
3. In a casserole, boil water and add bagoong.
4. Add the pork in the casserole and mix in the sauteed garlic, onion, ginger and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Add in all the vegetables and cook until the vegetables are done, careful not to overcook.
6. Salt and pepper to taste.
7. Serve hot with plain rice.

 

SOURCE: Agri Business Week

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ComVal farmers profit from ‘pinakbet’ garden

By goGreen | February 14, 2012

NABUNTURAN, Compostela Valley Province—Even without the pork and the bagoong, their garden is cauldron of “pinakbet.”

The seven-hectare sprawl of congregated farm land owned by 11 farmers is planted to ampalaya (bitter gourd), squash, eggplant, string beans, tomato and okra, ingredients to the hugely popular Ilocano dish called pinakbet.

The site, now the source of their better incomes, is a revival of the greenery and the better income of vegetable farming in the years past.

“We’ve been vegetable farmers before. But when the insurgent groups including the New People’s Army invaded this part of the barangay most of the farmers abandoned the area to escape from the strife,” said Alberto Osorio, chairman of the Upland Barangay Linda Association (Ubla).

“Most farm lands in barangay Linda were devoted to vegetable farming even beyond the seven-hectare garden that we have now. Plus we were given additional rubber production project from the Upland Development Project (UDP),” he added.

When the insurgency problem was resolved, farmers were left with no capital, nothing to start with to go back to their farming.

But the farmers’ enthusiasm and hope in vegetable gardening was renewed when the local government identified them as beneficiaries of the Department of Agriculture – Mindanao Rural Development Program (DA-MRDP).

The MRDP is a poverty-alleviation initiative implemented under the DA with funding from the World Bank, the national government and local government units in Mindanao.

Under the Community Fund for Agriculture Development (CFAD), the livelihood component of the program, the association received P250,000 which the group used to buy inputs for their vegetable farming and rubber seedlings.

“Under the CFAD fund we proposed two projects: one is vegetable farming and the second, rubber production to expand our previous project under DA-UDP,” Osorio said.

Ubla has 35 members, with the first 11 members selected to do the vegetable farming based on their experience and expertise. The rest of the members did the rubber production project.

The 11 vegetable farmers already had their third round of planting the “pinakbet” vegetables which earned the association  a gross income of over P500,000.

Rogelio Clariada, a member of Ubla, obtained 10 sacks of vermicast, 1 sack of urea, 1 x 100 grams of ampalaya seeds and 10 kilos plastic twine for trellis.

During their first cropping, Clariada tasted the sweeter side of ampalaya.

The 58-year-old widower planted a total of 2,000 ampalaya seedlings on his two parcels of farm lots. The lots yielded a total of 520 kilos and grossed him P18,200.

But his ampalaya income was just another branch of the vine. On the first rounds of planting, he planted tomatoes which earned him P126,700 from his total harvest of 187 crates.

 

Source: Business Mirror

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Okra Seed Production (with Cost and Return Analysis)

By goGreen | February 13, 2012

 

Okra is a plant that produces an edible pod that is eaten as a vegetable, and is native to Ethiopia, where it has been cultivated and used for centuries.

Okra  plants can grow to six feet (two meters) tall, and sometimes even higher, in the right conditions. The plants produce large white to yellow flowers which develop into ridged pentagonal pods. The seed pods are 3 – 10 inches long, tapering, usually with ribs down its length. These tender, unripe seed pods are used as a vegetable, and have a unique texture and sweet flavor.

Okra is a tropical plant which grows best in warm climates. It is available year-round, with a peak season during the summer months. The pods grow rapidly, being ready for harvest in about 60 days of summer weather, when grown from seed. They must be picked a few days after flowering, when 4 inches or so in length, before they mature and toughen. Okra comes in varying shades of green (there is also a new red variety), and can be smooth or have a ribbed surface.

Seed Production

Variety: Smooth Green

Environmental Requirements

Cultural Management

a. Land Preparation

b. Planting

c. Fertilization

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Cultivating Vegetables – Create a Peace Garden

By goGreen | February 13, 2012

A peace garden is an area anywhere near your home, where you can grow fruit and vegetables. Vegetable beds the size of a door each are ideal. You should plant at least four beds of vegetables and as many more as you need and can handle, in rotation.

To start, decide on the types of vegetables you would like to grow, such as potatoes, cabbages, carrots, beans, peas and tomatoes, to give variety and balance to your diet. It is best to plant only a few seeds at a time, so that you do not have a surplus of one kind. If you do grow extras, how about selling them?

How to prepare your peace garden

› Mark out the area of each bed, for example the shape of a door frame, approximately 1 m x 2 m, and leave space between each bed so that you will be able to work with ease.

› Dig the soil over, removing stones and weeds. e, deep digging ench at least m (knee deep) important. The rst soil that is dug out, the topsoil, must be kept apart as it is the best.

 

When filling the trench, place solid rubbish such as tins, eggshells, bones, wood and paper at the bottom to assist in drainage. Then proceed with alternating layers of soil and organic material such as grass, weeds, small branches and leaves. Lastly add the topsoil that you kept apart. The seed will be planted in this layer. The organic material layers act like a sponge holding moisture to a good depth.

› Stones can be used to make a border.

› If you have any manure or compost, dig it into the topsoil. Leave the beds like this for a week.

› Water well before planting and allow the soil to drain until it can be worked without becoming muddy.

 

Planting the seed

› Decide which seeds you wish to plant, for example:

–  Three rows of carrots 30 cm apart—plant the seeds 2 to 5 cm apart in the rows, 1 cm deep and cover with soil.

–  Potatoes in a separate bed 60 cm apart—plant seed potatoes that are beginning to sprout 20 cm apart, 10 cm deep and cover with soil. When the potato plants are 30 cm tall, ridge the soil up around them. The potatoes will develop in the ridged-up soil.

It is best to have at least four separate beds. This will ensure that you have vegetables all year round if monthly sowings are done.

 

Refer to the table for planting details of all the popular vegetables and the sowing dates for the various regions

› Write labels for the rows of crops that you have planted. You can even put up a sign which says, “My peace garden”!

› Take note of the useful hints that are printed on your seed packets.

› Once you have planted all the seeds, press the soil down firmly over the planting rows and water lightly. You can make your own watering can by punching holes in the bottom of a tin or a 2-litre cooldrink bottle.


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Medicinal Root Crop: Yacon

By goGreen | February 13, 2012

 

Yacon (smallanthus sonchifolius). A perennial herb, endemic lo the Andes. With spony stems purple projections: small, terminal yellow to orange colored flowers. A member of the sunflower family, with large, tuberous edible sweet roots, low in calories and are eaten raw. Leaves can tolerate partial shading, a trait useful for agro-forestry. It grows fast in loose, well-drained acidic or alkaline soil rich in organic matters.

Yacon is not only an outstanding nutritious source, but also has a positive impact on health for a modem society marked by excessive consumption of meat, food preservatives, junk foods, etc.. and lack of physical exercise. The strong demand worldwide, was not just due to Yacon sweet flavor and easy to eat, but also to its active components and effect on diabetes and the digestive system.

In the Philippines, Yacon was introduced by a Japanese national, in year 2000. it was first grown in some part of Mindanao and later at the Cordillera. Now, Yacon is successfully grown in the Sierra Madre Mountain areas, particularly in the upland of Dupax, Santa Fe and Southern municipalities of Nueva Vizcaya. In 2005, the Nueva Vizcay Yacon Processing and Trading Center was established. A pilot project farm was set-up in the Batangas area the following year (2006). Where Yacon plants are naturally grown and 100% organic farming is used to produce tubers for safer more natural alternative for your health.

Medicinal Value

Several carbohydrates are stored in the tubers (roots) of Yacon; fructose, glucose, surcrose, low polymerization degree (DP) oligosaccharides (DP 3-10 fructans) and traces of starch and inulin (Asamietal. 1989/Ohyamaet. Al 1990). Fresh roots contain 69-83% water, 0.4-2% protein & 20% sugar, principally inulin, a frucrose polymer. Dry roots contain 4-7% ash, 6-7% protein, 65% sugar and potassium.

Dry leaves and stems contain 11-17% protein. 2-7% and 38-41 % n i troge n – free extracts.

 

  1. It  is a potential treatment tor Diabetes. Yacon contains inulin, a fructose polymer. It increases the insulin concentration in the body effectively stabilizing blood sugar level.
  2. It provides high fiber content that assists in treating digestive problems.
  3. Low in calories that make it a perfect nutritious diet for people who are suffering from obesity.
  4. It contains properties in the treatment of kidney problems.
  5. It is diuretic that helps increase the secretion and expulsion of urine.
  6. It reduces and suppress urinary calculi (stones) and acts to dissolve those already present.
  7. Yacon helps normalize the stool and reduce the pressure on your colon – hence, reduces the risk of colon cancer.
  8. Reduces the risk of Arteriosclerosis with resistance to insulin and dislipemia. and has been shown to be effective in feeding hypercoloric disorder, based fundamentally on carbohydrates. The oligofructose inhibits the lipogenesis and consequently, they have a hypotrigliceridemic effect.
  9. Helps relive joint pain, decreases joints swelling and tenderness associated with Arthritis. Gout and Rheumatism.
  10. Recent reports say it helps in treating Insomnia, Dysmerorrhca, Myoma, Migraine, Colic and Hyperacidity.
  11. Yacon is a pest resistant plant naturally grown, 100% organic that protects you and your families from harmful chemicals, that harm the body and the environment, that shortens life, hence, may prolong life.

 

SOURCE: Entrepinoy ATBP

Topics: Medicinal Plants (Halamang Gamot), Miscellaneous | 4 Comments »

Philippines rice inventory good for 77 days

By goGreen | February 13, 2012

THE country’s total rice inventory reached 2.62 million metric tons (MMT) as of January 1 and is good for 77 days, said a monthly report released by the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) on Monday.

BAS noted in its report that the January inventory was 23.3 percent lower than last year’s inventory of 3.42 MMT and 15.2 percent lower than the inventory in December.

“As of Jan. 1, 2012, the total volume of rice stocks would be enough for 77 days. Household stocks would last 29 days. Stocks in the depositories of the National Food Authority (NFA) would be good for 30 days while those in commercial warehouses would last for 18 days,” said the BAS in its report.

The attached agency of the Department of Agriculture (DA) noted that the NFA has stocks totaling 1.04 MMT while households have 980,000 metric tons (MT). Commercial warehouses stored 600,000 MT of milled rice as of Jan. 1.

“Compared to last year’s inventory, household stocks were lower by 13.8 percent and those in NFA depositories by 40 percent. However, stocks in commercial warehouses grew by 9.6 percent,” said BAS.

On a monthly basis, stocks in households were down by 22.5 percent and those in commercial warehouses by 15.1 percent.

“Of the current stock level, about 37 percent were with the households, 23 percent were with the commercial warehouses and 40 percent were with the NFA depositories,” said BAS.

The country’s total corn stock inventory reached 166,100 MT as of January 1. BAS noted that this was 8.9 percent higher than last year’s record of 152,500 MT.

A total of 104,200 MT of corn were stored in commercial warehouses while households held 61,700 MT of the produce. The NFA accounted for 20,000 MT.

“Against last year’s levels, stocks in the households decreased by 18.1 percent and those in NFA depositories by 80 percent. However, stocks in commercial warehouses went up by 36.8 percent,” said BAS.

On a monthly basis, corn inventory increased by 8.3 percent in the households. In contrast, BAS said stocks in commercial warehouses dropped by 13.1 percent. There was no change in stocks held in NFA depositories.

The stocks held by households accounted for 37.2 percent of the total corn inventory for the period. Commercial warehouses accounted for 62.7 percent while the NFA’s share was pegged at only 0.1 percent.

Source: Business Mirror

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Growing and Production of Yam (Ube) Rootcrop

By goGreen | February 12, 2012

 

Yam or ubi is one of the country’s “famine crops”. It is grown backyard and commercial farms. Distinguished from tugui known as the lesser yam, ubi or the greater yam has fleshy underground roots used as staple food in the provinces. Among rootcrops, it ranks fourth among the widely-cultivated.

Yam is perennial climbing herb with flesh color ranging from white to yellow, orange, red and deep purple. A side from being known a vegetable, it is famous as halo-halo ingredients, and a source of flour. Other food products such as dehydrated yam flakes and instant yam mixes can be derived from yam. Yam peelings or waste are fed to poultry and livestock.

Production of yam in the country reached 17,540 metric tons in 1985 with Central Visayas producing the greatest volume. Total production was valued at P57.6 million and covered a land area of 6,980 hectares. Most farmers plant this crop in May and June, while those in Pampanga and Pangasinan plant from October to December.

Varieties

One of the most common yam varieties is the ubing kinampay. It has five types namely, original kinampay– characterized by red-purple flesh, kabus-ok–with white flesh and large roots, tamisan–reddish-white fleshed and sweeter in taste, Binanag– with creamy, white flesh and elongated root, and Binato– with big, hard roots and white and flesh.

Another variety, ubing kalamay, stands out as the “most palatable.” It is extensively grown in Bohol which has sandy, lime-soaked soil suitable for this variety. It has deep purple flesh and extra large-size roots.

Adaptation

Ubi thrives in dry humid places with light- textured soil, preferably sandy loam or silt loam soil with good drainage. for best results, plant at the start or at the end of the rainy season when the adequate moisture can be obtained. Ubi growth favors low and medium altitudes with temperature ranging from 25-30°C.

 


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