Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Green Backyard

I really love going to my Christian Sister's house. Food is always forthcoming and the green vegetables are always served very nicely and in large portions!! For years my Ah Chia (Sister) has been tending a little plot at her backyard and her green fingers are fantastic. She is never short of vegetables. Sometimes she even has enough to salt them!!

She has been growing vegetables since she was a young girl in Sarikei. When she married her then teacher husband (salary $180) she needed to supplement their small income. Finally after a few years of rubber tapping and vegetable growing she and her husband decided to start a mee stall in Sarikei. From there they raised a family of pharmacists teachers and doctors. Now some of their grandchildren are doctors!

And if and when I drop by (without prior notice) I would always have a place at her table be it lunch or dinner. Just like in the old days whenever we walked long distances in the rubber tapping village we would be warmly welcomed by a fellow Foochow for a simple meal. Even if it was just a soup and rice. But my grandmother bless her heart would always ask my uncle to "go catch a chicken" and cook mee sua for a weary traveller!!That was Christian neighbourliness in its true sense in the past in the Rejang Basin.

Whenever I share food with Ah Chia or any other Christians we would signal to each other 5 fishes and 2 loaves to show how much we appreciate this kind of sustenance.

I feel so blessed whenever I am at this home. Look at the abundance and blessings in her backyard!
Potato leaves - excellent stir fry.

Beautiful ketola flowers - soon two of these soft and tasty gourd will be at the table.

This is a red herb which can help to reduce cholesterol. Very popular health drink.

this is Lang King Herng (nan king herng)- brought from Fuzhou. It is used to fry beehoon and it gives a purple colour to the beehoon. Very tasty. Believed to be eaten by the Foochows only. So here is an additional purple coloured vegetables to your health food list besides purple egg plant and grapes!

This used to looked down upon years ago. But now it is a restaurant dish - and given a good name - Emperor Shoots.

This is a hybrid - sweet honey pomelo tangerine (tangmelo or pomerine?)

Two egg plants here can give at least ten fruits - enough for three to four meals.

Bitter gourd - flowering.

Round gourd growing steadily.

Ping pong longan. Very very sweet and hundreds of them.

If you look at these photos you really do believe in the phrase "Your neighbour's grass is always greener." But truth be told...she has really worked on her garden to produce good harvest year after year and enough for many neighbours too. In times of economic downturn this kind of home vegetable growing can definitely help our economy to build up again.

Families must be cautious with their spending. SAving is the key to economic recovery and further take off. Since the family unit is the basic organisation of a society we must all look at strong family units to help sustain our economy. If our families are dysfunctional then our society cannot survive the great tests.

15 memories:

天鵝江畔 said...

Lang King Herng, but we used to call it Nan Ging Hern?

I Am Sarawakiana said...

Thanks ML. Can you write it in Chinese for me?
I have noticed that we Foochows have problem with L and N. E.g. Lanang road is nanang Road.

Can you explain?

Thanks for visiting!

Superman said...

Wow, your Ah Chia really got a big backyard full of vegetables and fruits. The Longan is amazing. So big size. Sweet?

I Am Sarawakiana said...

The longan is the popular Miri hybrid called ping pong longan. Very sweet and the flesh is very thick. You feel full after eating five or six. My Ah Chia is very Pang!! I am ashamed of myself compared to her. Her garden is only that small bit behind a terrace house!!! She uses recyled paint tubs and cooking oil containers!!

Bengbeng said...

she is creative with the use of space and she has green fingers.. so industrious

I Am Sarawakiana said...

Yes she is indeed a very hardworking lady. A few years ago she even coaxed a huge garden out of her son's backyard garden and distributed all her surplus vegetables to her and his neighbours!!More than enough she said. "Her cup runneth over". This is how industrious she is. Now that her son has migrated she "misses" her second garden and growing vegetables for her grandchildren! She motivates me.

I Am Sarawakiana said...

Beng Beng
Have used noticed all the different containers and other recycleable items? Indeed very creative.

Unknown said...


Do you know where to get seedlings of ping pong longan (Miri hybrid)?

Greenspot said...


Do you know where to get the ping pong longan (Miri hybrid)?


Greenspot said...


Do you know where to get ping pong longan seedlings (Miri hybrid)?

The Observer said...

I wish i could do the same here but i live in an apartment and there's just no space to plant even the manichai/cangkuk manis. One can find them at the wet market now and it is popular in pan mee. I crave for things like pumpkin leaves and cucumber leaves that cannot be found at the cold storage.

I came across the two when i went to visit a friend in taman tun. I was so surprised to see that they had them in their FRONTYARD! different from your story LOL.

So i asked who planted them there and was told that it was their indonesian maid who plants them and only eats "jungle vegetables". She did a terrific job! The leaves were so green and no bugs!

I was also told that the maid of a nearby family often comes to steal from her and she gets really bitter and refuses to eat any other vegetable.

but you know what... i wanted to do the same, take and run when no one was looking... but then again i'd probably get into a fit if anyone does the same to me.

So i told them that i'd like to have some and they were all surprised to know that i eat those too and they should give it a try and they agreed!

I Am Sarawakiana said...

It is always a blessing from God if we can get something growing anywhere in our home yards. Even by growing pumpkin flowers in the front yard and giving some of the flowers to those who appreciate is a tribute to our Almighty.

this is indeed very neighbourly. Malaysia needs more neighbourly citizens.

I Am Sarawakiana said...

Dear Greenspot
Thanks for visiting!!
The Ping Pong Longan (Thai) can be purchased from the Kai Nguong Sdn Bhd. It is really fantastic!! Just three years and you will have fruits. Only snack is a few families I know have smaller fruits. But one family has more than 4 trees another family has treesw fruiting every five months!

So the verdict is rather good. This is quite new here.

Greenspot said...


Thanks for the info.


I Am Sarawakiana said...

Sorry folks...typo...snag not snack!!


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