You may remember I mentioned here my neighbours has chickens as pets. They are free roaming, great looking and cute chickens, but they also destroy and eat up whatever we tried to plant. Like these delicious Kang Kong (or Water Spinach in the western world).
So its War! We gathered wild bamboo and constructed a simple A-frame scarecrow wannabe. Then we dressed him in D-man’s rags and viola! Possibly Singapore’s only “scarecrow”. Ha!
I’ll monitor the chicken invasions and update you if this has worked. :)
Since moving to our new place, we’ve been having so much fun experimenting with many different ways to maximize the space we now enjoy.
One of our many projects was to build a composting bin/station. We started the first experiment by simply putting up a net enclosure and using the one third rule. That being building a compost pile with one third of browns (dead leaves), one third of greens (fresh lawn cuttings) and one third of fruit/veggie waste . This was convenient as we just threw the composting materials in, but over time, because we stay in a impossibly hot & humid country, the whole thing started to smell. Bad.
Hence we were prompted to experiment with a bin. We bough a cheap trash bin with cover, and drilled holes into it for water and light. We added the same materials in it and tossed it once in a while. It worked great, although a bigger bin would have been ideal. I suspect if it was tossed more often, the resulting end product would have formed quicker. But hey, we are normal people who unfortunately have to go to work so I’m easy on these deadlines. :)
After a few months, the compost looked like that. We’re letting it cook for a while more until it breaks down into smaller bits, and we’ll feed them to the garden.
Composting is a great way to turn waste into gold for your garden / crops. It costs practically nothing but does wonders for your plants. In our backyard, we have a row of papaya trees, the first tree in the picture is closest to the compost bin and was exploding with fruits because the compost “tea” was trickling into the soil. All the trees were planted around the same time and was cultivated under the same conditions.
We have a new foster rabbit from HRSS. Charlie is totally adorable, and is much less timid then the previous pair that was rehomed. She’s not fussy about food, and is a really gentle companion for anyone.
The pet animal trade is a ugly, cruel and highly unregulated one across the world. Millions of pets, especially dogs from puppy mills, were bred in horrendous conditions and sold like commodities to shops. And when they are left on the shelf for too long, these animals who never experienced love nor care, are then used to replace the sick and dead breeding dogs from the same puppy mill.
When considering a pet, choosing to adopt over buying is a decision that will save not just one innocent life, but many others over a long period of time. You will live happier and wiser because you gained a companion with a clear conscious, knowing that you persevered and made the right decision. You will advise others to do the same and spread the word about adopting, and in the process lessening the suffering of fellow living beings.
Earlier this year, D-man and I made a prodigous new year resolution. We resolve to start becoming vegans. Yes you heard me right, vegans.
This was a big deal for us, well for me at least. You see while I love my veggies and have no problems forsaking meat, I love cheese. An obscene amount of love for cheese. Too much cheese. Ok you get it.
We’ve always tried to cut out meat from our meals, for health and ethical reasons, but becoming vegan meant a lot more of cutting out dairy and any animal by-products. Now being Asian, and especially in a foodie paradise city like Singapore, it is positively difficult to find vegan food substitutes in the markets and shops, and even a bigger challenge to find vegan dishes on the menus of most non-vegetarian restaurants. When you hit the jackpot and finally find them, it usually punches you in the gut with a whopping price tag.
Hence, we’ve turned it into a good thing by eating mostly at home. Over the next few posts, I’ll be updating pictures, and hopefully step by step recipes when I have the time and patience to type them out in details. One of the things I’ve learnt about vegan cooking is that you really need to be creative and experiment with the different types of available ingredients. The other learning curve I took is to not have expectations that the vegan substitutes will taste like the real stuff. Dude, a vegan sausage will never taste like the real deal no matter how many thousand types of seasoning you put in it.
If you’ve started on the vegan passage, I would love to hear about how you coped and what changes were there to your now wonderful, cruelty-free life.
Cabbage can provide you with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if you will cook it by steaming. The fiber-related components in cabbage do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they’ve been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it’s easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels. Raw cabbage still has cholesterol-lowering ability, just not as much as steamed cabbage.
You’ll want to include cabbage as one of the cruciferous vegetables you eat on a regular basis if you want to receive the fantastic health benefits provided by the cruciferous vegetable family. At a minimum, include cruciferous vegetables as part of your diet 2-3 times per week, and make the serving size at least 1-1/2 cups. Even better from a health standpoint, enjoy cabbage and other vegetables from the cruciferous vegetable group 4-5 times per week, and increase your serving size to 2 cups.
While green cabbage is the most commonly eaten variety of cabbage, we highly recommend trying red cabbage because of it added nutritional benefits and its robust hearty flavor. We don’t think you will be disappointed. The rich red color of red cabbage reflects it concentration of anthocyanin polyphenols, which contribute to red cabbage containing significantly more protective phytonutrients than green cabbage. Interest in anthocyanin pigments continues to intensify because of their health benefits as dietary antioxidants, as an anti-inflammatory, and their potentially protective, preventative, and therapeutic roles in a number of human diseases.
Cancer prevention tops all other areas of health research with regard to cabbage and its outstanding benefits. More than 475 studies have examined the role of this cruciferous vegetable in cancer prevention (and in some cases, cancer treatment). The uniqueness of cabbage in cancer prevention is due to the three different types of nutrient richness found in this widely enjoyed food. The three types are (1) antioxidant richness, (2) anti-inflammatory richness, and (3) richness in glucosinolates.
Without sufficient intake of anti-inflammatory nutrients, regulation of our inflammatory system can become compromised, and we can experience the problem of chronic inflammation. Especially when combined together with oxidative stress, chronic inflammation is a risk factor for development of cancer.
You can count on cabbage to provide your cardiovascular system with valuable support in the form of cholesterol reduction. Researchers understand exactly how this process takes place. Your liver uses cholesterol as a basic building block to produce bile acids. Bile acids are specialized molecules that aid in the digestion and absorption of fat through a process called emulsification. These molecules are typically stored in fluid form in your gall bladder, and when you eat a fat-containing meal, they get released into the intestine where they help ready the fat for interaction with enzymes and eventual absorption up into the body. When you eat cabbage, fiber-related nutrients in this cruciferous vegetable bind together with some of the bile acids in the intestine in such a way that they simply stay inside the intestine and pass out of your body in a bowel movement, rather than getting absorbed along with the fat they have emulsified. When this happens, your liver needs to replace the lost bile acids by drawing upon your existing supply of cholesterol, and as a result, your cholesterol level drops down. Cabbage provides you with this cholesterol-lowering benefit whether it is raw or cooked. However, a recent study has shown that the cholesterol-lowering ability of raw cabbage improves significantly when it is steamed. In fact, when the cholesterol-lowering ability of steamed cabbage was compared with the cholesterol-lowering ability of the prescription drug cholestyramine (a medication that is taken for the purpose of lowering cholesterol), cabbage bound 17% as many bile acids (based on a standard of comparison involving total dietary fiber).