"Nice memories have their own scent. Whenever you are veiled in its scent...your heart can always return to that unforgettable past...together with your own scenery that will never fade away." - Kyoichi Kanzaki

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Nature or Nurture?

I met with a college friend yesterday. We talked about his "toxic" job, my part time job, of Wu Shu, Kung Fu, and of our childhood green thumb experiences. People with Green Thumbs, are those who are able to grow and maintain plants without "casualties" and in great condition. During my elementary days, our school used to distribute vegetable seeds for FREE. It was supposed to encourage cute kids like me to learn more about plants. We had Tomato, Ampalaya and Corn seeds. There were not much kids who availed of the FREE seeds placed in clear, small, plastic packets, so my brother and I got more than our fair share. hehehe. The distribution of seeds ran about a month if I remember it correctly.

Our garden was still in good condition when we got our vegetable seeds. After around two years, Mt.Pinatubo gave us free ash and sand that fell about 3 feet in height. We planted our seeds around our big Duhat Tree. The said tree was already present since our family moved in to that place and there were a lot of eerie stories in that area, but I'll blog on that some other time. The easiest to grow were Tomato seeds followed by the Ampalaya and Corn seeds. Tomato and Ampalaya are Dicotyledons while Corn sees are Monocotyledons. If the seed splits in two "wings", its a Dicot, while Monocots has a "wing" that stays until the plant brings forth its first set of leaves. After some time, we were able to harvest fruits from our Tomato plant but our Ampalaya vine just kept on sprouting leaves and crawled all over the trunk of our Duhat Tree without giving us any fruits. But we don't eat Ampalayas, so it's no big deal. About the corn plant it grew way beyond we expected it to be. However, when it came out with its fruits, we only got baby corns instead of full grown corn cobs. We learned that the area around our Duhat tree, which has a 2-feet cement wall around it, is not suitable for planting additional plants since the soil's nutrients is not enough to sustain them. On the other side of our small garden, my grandmother grew a Papaya tree, Squashes and Kamotes. Talbos ng kamote were gathered for some of my mother's dishes. The Papaya tree was a superstar during that time. My grandmother was so attached to it that she got into a fight with our neighbor who "stole" some fruits from the tree. And she got so furious to find out that our friendly neighbor picked unripe fruits. She was not aware that green papayas are used in some Filipino dishes.

Lately, I tried to rekindle my interest in plants. But so far, my two roses suffered fungal infections and died. I wonder if Clotrimazol can cure plants too? So far, my Tomato and Cucumber seedlings have shown their first set of leaves. I got four gerbera or daisy plants at very low prices. I feel so lucky that only a few people knows the beauty of gerberas and/or transvaal daisies....that I was able to haggle on their prices. I also have a Plumeria or Kalachuchi tree in our province. I hope the kids in schools are still given FREE vegetable seeds. It will teach them in some ways, patience and discipline to nurture plants. It will continuously give them the thrill in seeing new leaves, new buds and the fruits of their labor. Nature or Nurture? I believe the two are inseparable.


Gerley said...

Wow, you like gardening pala! =)

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