flowers, Gardening, Nature

My Secrets to Attract Bees to My Garden

Seeing my orchard and my garden flowering and covered with bees makes me happy year after year. I plant a variety of fruits, veggies, annual, biennial and perennial plants to attract bees and actually all kinds of beautiful birds and butterflies. But this blog post is about bees only, so lets focus on them, yes?

Colorful plants like those of my Mammoth sunflowers do the trick:

I notice that bees love the flowers of my lime and lemon trees, they suck the nectar out of them and pollinate them:

The bees also love the flowers of my palm trees and the bottle brush tree. This spring my palm trees were flowering and attracted hundreds of bees:

If I want a ton of bees then I let some carrots to go full blossom and this is what I got this week:

BEES ON MY CARROT BLOSSOMS

Dra Martha A Castro Noriega

Bee Nutrition Facts:

All Bees get all of their carbohydrates from floral nectar and their protein from floral pollen.

Bees rely on flowers to supply them with the food they need to survive. Some flowers (e.g. tomatoes) provide only pollen, the main source of protein for bees. Other flowers (e.g. clovers) provide both nectar and pollen, thus providing both protein and carbohydrates.

Cooking, eating, Food, Gardening

FOOD: Debunking Tomatoes Truth or Tale

MY RED TOMATOES THIS SUMMER … TASTY!

Debunking the myths about tomatoes, that is. Some of my friends tell me the funniest things about tomatoes and how they take care of them. I tell them my secrets about tomatoes so they can enjoy this precious fruit all year long.
I have grown my own tomatoes for long time, so long that I haven’t bought any tomato in the past 18 years.

I would like to talk about them and tell you the facts. When it comes to slicing, ripening, storing, and preserving this wonderful fruit, it won’t do any good to do it wrong. Keeping good tomatoes fresh and at optimal taste is in everyone’s best interest, so here are a few things that might need to be straightened out about your tomatoes.

MYTH No. 1 — Always always refrigerate tomatoes.

Store at room temperature unless they are very ripe and you are not planning to eat them within 2 days or so, then refrigerate them. If you want a chillier fruit, like when you are going to prepare a fresh salad, put the tomato/s in the fridge few hours before serving.

MYTH No. 2 — Smaller varieties have a better flavor

It is true that is more frequent to find in the store/market small varieties with more flavor than the big ones. But that is because of the way they were grown. The big or small tomatoes I grow in my yard are hardy, they have a rich flavor and intense red color. I use natural fertilizers and have the right amount of sunlight and water everyday. Taste doesn’t really relate to size.

MYTH No. 3 — Store tomatoes stem-side down.

The shoulders are the softest part of the tomato; leaving them stem-side down will almost always result in bruising. It is better to store them stem-side up.

MYTH No. 4 — To ripen tomatoes, leave them uncovered

Place under-ripe tomatoes in one layer in a paper bag, and close it loosely. Leave in a warm, dry spot, and check daily for ripeness.

eating, Food, Gardening

Tropical Tuesday: I Am Growing The Fruit Summer Zucchini Squash In My Yard

Yes, you read well, fruit. Did you know that zucchini and squash are actually fruits and not vegetables?

THIS BEAUTY IS IN MY GARDEN

gardening zuccchini squash dra martha castro noriega mexico

Since squash contains seeds and develops from the flower-producing part of a plant, it is botanically a fruit. Squash isn’t the only plant that gets confused for a vegetable. Other fruits frequently called veggies include tomatoes, eggplants, avocados, and cucumbers.

Food, Gardening

Learning Wednesday: Gardening Growing Potatoes At Home Part 1

PART 1: CHOOSING THE RIGHT POTATOES FOR SUCCESSFUL HARVESTING.

Growing potatoes will take several parts. I am going to start now so you are ready to plant them later this year. I don’t want to make it boring and make one post about the entire procedure of growing them. It would require a lot of reading. So let’s make it fun.

gardening potatoes food dra martha castro noriega mexico

Potatoes are very easy to grow at home. You just need to learn few things that will facilitate growth, quality, and quantity. If you follow these steps you will find yourself with beauties and delicious potatoes to satisfy yourself and your family and friends’ palate. First of all, you have to choose the right potato to plant. I know that in the US, some home gardeners order expensive potatoes from companies that “guarantee” you’ll grow tons of them.

gardening potatoes food dra martha castro noriega mexico

Here in Mexico, I just go to my vegetable market plaza, where they sell only products that are completely natural, that have no wax, no additives, no root killers have been added, and the price is very affordable, not expensive at all, and high quality. I choose the potatoes that have eyes. These potatoes are known as seed potatoes.

gardening potatoes food dra martha castro noriega mexico

The eyes are what sprout and form new tubers underground and eventually, after 4-5 months depending on the hardiness zone area you live in the world (LOOK BELOW THE POST TO KNOW YOUR ZONE -very important), you will dig out wonderful potatoes of your own. Okay, are you ready now to choose your potatoes?

PLANT HARDINESS ZONE WORLDWIDE

gardening potatoes food dra martha castro noriega mexico
Cooking, eating, Food

Exotic Tropical Fruit Of The Week: Chayote Part 2

Chayote, also known as choko, xuxu, chayote squash, custard marrow, and others. Chayote is a fruit, but it is eaten as a vegetable in soups, stews, and salads. It is outstandingly delicious, and healthy.

Chayote is an excellent source of folate, a nutrient required for proper fetal development. Therefore, the squash may have appeal for women who are pregnant or trying to become so.

CHAYOTE GROWING IN ABUNDANCE

exotic tropical fruit chayote dra martha castro noriega tijuana mexico california america world

SAUTEED CHAYOTE WITH GARLIC

exotic tropical fruit chayote dra martha castro noriega tijuana mexico california america world

MEXICAN NOODLE SOUP WITH CHAYOTE AND VEGGIES

exotic tropical fruit chayote dra martha castro noriega tijuana mexico california america world

STUFFED CHAYOTES…DELICIOUS!

CREAMY CHAYOTE WITH VEGGIES SOUP

Gardening, Nature

Exotic Wisteria Flowers To Attract Bees

Lots of flowers provide abundant nectar and pollen for bees. All Bees get all of their carbohydrates from floral nectar and all of their protein from floral pollen.

Bees rely on flowers to supply them with the food they need to survive. Some flowers (e.g. tomatoes) provide only pollen, the main source of protein for bees. Other flowers (e.g. clovers) provide both nectar and pollen, thus providing both protein and carbohydrates.

Plant wisteria for bees and other pollinators

Wisteria is most fragrant. The blossoms abound with honey bees.

Gardening, inspiration, Nature

Discovering Mother Earth New Species: Begonia Fulgurata

Begonia fulgurata, a new species discovered in northern Thailand. Begonia fulgurata resembles B. integrifolia, a widespread species in Southeast Asia, in having tubers, erect stem with hairy leaves, and a periodically dormant habit.

However, the new species is sharply distinct in its lamina densely hirsute (vs sparsely puberulous) and with maroon patches and silvery-white veins

“Nature never stops growing, producing, renovating. Nature always wins!” -DRAMACN (Dra. Martha A Castro Noriega)