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Sunday, 4 May 2014

Elephant yam Flower - An edible flower?

Flower buds of Elephant yam
Elephant yam flower is rarely available one. The unharvested rhizomes of Elephant foot yam flowers during April-May after getting one or two mango showers. The plant flowers for just five days and, for a few hours during that blooming, it releases an aroma of rotting flesh. So it is also called Stink lily.
Flower stage

The buds after removal of outer cover
The elephant yam flower bud is one of the edible flowers, which is a rich source of nutrients. The flower bud is comparatively less known to many because of its lesser availability. When the bud is flowered it stinks and become useless for cooking. So it should be used for cooking in bud stage.

Inner portion of flower bud

 The flower bud is as itchy as the rhizome of Elephant yam. The itchiest part of the bud is pollens. So the portion of pollens, ie lower portion of bud, should be avoided. This can be cooked in vegetarian and non-vegetarian styles.

The portion with pollen grains

Thursday, 17 April 2014

How to extract TOMATO seed?

The fruit red in color ready for harvest
We all know that quality seeds are necessary for growing Tomato. But how we make it from Tomato fruits? You know how to extract Tomato seed easily? Generally Tomato fruits for seed purpose are harvested when they turn red in colour. Extraction of seeds from these fruits is not so easy. To make it easy we can follow the following methods for extraction.
Ripe Fruits for seed
a)     Fermentation method:
In this method fruits are pulped and the pulp along with seeds is kept for fermentation for 24-48 hours. Then it is washed thoroughly to remove the mucilaginous material around the seeds and then dried under shade.
b)    Acid method:
First pulp the ripe fruits and add Con.HCL @ 100ml/10kg pulp. Keep the mixture for half an hour. The seeds will settle down at the bottom by the time.  Then remove the floating fraction and wash the seeds well. Use only plastic or cement containers for keeping pulp.
c)     Alkali method:
Sodium hydroxide or washing soda at the rate of 17 oz. in 1 gallon of water is mixed with equal quantity of pulp. Keep it overnight and wash and dry.
d)    Mechanical method:
De-seeding machine is used for extraction. Seeds and juice is separated by the machine. Seed is dried under shade.

Seeds extracted by fermentation method posses poor vigour and dull colour due to fungal activity whereas Seeds collected by acid method posses golden yellow colour and high vigour.   

Friday, 11 April 2014

More Nutrients without cost?

To keep healthy everyone needs nutritive food. Can we increase the nutrient level of a legume without additional cost and effort? My answer is ‘Yes’! Let us take Green gram as an example. Do you know what happened, when it germinate?  See the changes found to the sprouted beans when compared with dry beans.

Energy content - calories
Decrease 15 percent
Total carbohydrate content
Decrease 15 percent
Protein availability
Increase 30 percent
Calcium content
Increase 34 percent
Potassium content
Increase 80 percent
Sodium content
Increase 690 percent
Iron content
Increase 40 percent
Phosphorous content
Increase 56 percent
Vitamin A content
Increase 285 percent
Thiamine or Vitamin B1 content
Increase 208 percent
Riboflavin or Vitamin B2 content
Increase 515 percent
Niacin or Vitamin B3 content
Increase 256 percent
Ascorbic acid or Vitamin C content
An infinite increase

I think you have understood the value of Green gram sprouts from the above. Then why do you hesitate to make it. We can make the sprouts very easily. Take some dried green gram and soak it overnight or at least 6 hours. Remove water using mesh after soaking. Keeps soaked Green gram for 8-12 hours in a container having aeration. Beans start germination within 8 hours. Sprouted beans can be used as salad or cooked item.

Friday, 21 March 2014


Quality seeds have an important role in vegetable growing. Seeds alone can ensure 20-30% increase in yield. Let us know how to collect seeds of some vegetables.

Ripe Brinjal fruit
Brinjal : When the colour of fruit changes to yellow, harvesting can be done. Seed is extracted by simple crushing. Crushed fruits are mixed with water and pulp is removed by washing. Sedimented seeds are separated and dried in shade.

Ripe Chilli in red colour
Chilli : Harvesting of the fruits are done, when the fruits are fully ripe and turn red. Fruits are dried and threshed by beating with sticks. Seeds can be extracted from fresh fruits also.

Harvested dried Bhindi
Bhindi : Dried pods are harvested leaving the pods at the top of the plant. To avoid shattering of seeds, pods may be picked periodically before the fruit bursts. Then pods are dried, threshed and separated seeds. Seeds should be cleaned and dried in shade.