The panorama on the sunrise side: an awesome view of Malarayat

The quiet panorama on the sunrise side of the farm: an awesome view of Mount Malaráyat and the river below the gap.

28 April 2013

Philippine Tree of the Month: Katmon

A small yet handsome native is in flower now just outside our kitchen; it is called Katmón (Dillenia philippinensis), another endemic tree, naturally occuring nowhere else in the world but our archipelago. It's awesome to know that our islands host a staggeringly-diverse and unique ecosystem, beginning with trees that so effortlessly grow in our part of the world. These, including the Katmon, play its part in maintaining the balance so important to keep our lives in equilibrium.

In the wild, it is most often seen near rivers and can grow with only partial sun. So it perfectly thrives where we planted it: just by the kitchen under the roof's edge where it gets plenty of rainwater.

Its fruit also happens to be not only edible but delicious! I have yet to photograph it though as it's always eaten by the time I get to the farm. Lucky for me though that this weekend, it has plenty of flowers: white and showy, as big as saucers.

21 April 2013

Lumpiang Ubod

We've had a steady supply of fresh úbod in the last weeks and is a good excuse for May to perfect our own home-made wrappers. It's a waste to make lumpiâ with the freshest, healthiest coconut piths and prepare it with store-bought, tasteless, parchment-like wrappers.

Ours is made from batter using native farm eggs, some flour, some milk, and a pinch of salt. She cooks it in a big, flat pan just like cooking crepes. It's quite daunting though, to take it out whole and roll the lumpia without tearing it.


14 April 2013

Another Bench

We recently bought another garden bench, complementing the older one with the back and armrests, though we did not necessarily lay them out side-by-side.  It's made of exactly the same wood, apparently Dungon (Tarrietia sylvatica), a hardwood that resists rotting so it is suited perfectly for outdoor use. The wood is very tasty though to a particular wood-eating grub (right) that is responsible for the random yet artistic surface design once you cut the old wood up into planks.