“People can debate how big a factor straight-up racism was in Trump’s victory. But his yearlong drumbeat of remarks and tweets and retweets, [up to the 2016 U.S. Presidential election – and beyond] giving voice to white resentment toward people of color and religious minorities, offending millions and pulling scabs off old American wounds–all of that was not too much for the 62,984,825 people who colored in the bubble next to Trump’s name”
– John Biewen (from the audio program at the Center for Documentary Studies. Biewen teaches and produces/hosts the podcast Scene on Radio).
From: “Sunbeams,” The Sun, September 2018, issue 513, p. 48.
In stark contrast, Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries says in wonder of God’s ways that President Trump, although a flawed man, promotes Biblical values. She notes the Bible says that when the righteous rule, the evil moan.
Since Donald Trump and his friends have been in control, I’ve been moaning every day about the undermining of basic human decency and our democracy. And I certainly don’t consider myself evil.
How can we listen to each other and move forward together if each position feels the other is evil?
Gandhi said, “It is no nonviolence if we merely love those that love us. It is nonviolence only when we love those that hate us. I know how difficult it is to follow this grand law of love. But are not all great and good things difficult to do? Love of the hater is the most difficult of all. But by the grace of God even this most difficult thing becomes easy to accomplish if we want to do it” (Gandhi the Man, Eknath Easwaran, p. 108).
Although a struggle, we must find ways to listen and talk and work – together.
Let’s talk, even – perhaps especially – to people we don’t understand – yet.
Banner photo: http://Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
Overheard on Jalan Raya, the mainstreet, in Ubud, Bali:
“Why go back to Adelaide* and live an ordinary life?”
It’s something to consider.
- Or whatever hometown you can name.
Photos by Barry
Here’s a basic noodle dish for you, Rosita (or any young adult headed out on his/her own) and any of us who want easy, healthy, beautiful dishes to serve our friends.
This traditional and very tasty form of Chinese ‘fast food’ is quick and easy to prepare and much better for your health–and digestive system–than burgers and fries! You may apply the recipe to virtually any type of noodle, adjust the sauce to your own taste, and add whatever sort of vegetables you like best.
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 250 g (8 oz) dry wheat noodles (or spinach or egg or . . . noodles)
- 1 handful fresh mung bean sprouts, washed and drained
- 2 spring onions (scallions), finely minced
- 1 red capsicum (bell pepper), seeds removed and cut into fine strips
- Optional: 2 handfuls of any other fresh vegetables you love (broccoli, mushrooms, corn . . . )
- 2 tablespoon dark sesame paste (or tahini) blended with 3 teaspoons water
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon mushroom oyster sauce (su hao you)
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oil (olive, sunflower, grapeseed, or other high-grade oil)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1. In a roomy mixing bowl, stir together the dressing ingredients, then add in the minced garlic.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a full boil with 1 teaspoon salt, then add the dried noodles; return to boil and simmer until cooked (cooking time depends on type of noodle; follow label directions).
3. Drain the noodles well, then add them to the sauce ingredients. Toss all together with the bean sprouts, spring onions, and capsicum (sweet peppers), making sure the sauce is evenly distributed before serving in a large bowl or in individual portions.
Try different types of noodles for different versions of this dish, including Italian spaghetti and angel hair noodles. You may also use fresh noodles, if available. It’s a good idea to offer an assortment of condiments and garnishes on the table, like chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) or basil, chilli oil and Sichuan pepper
Preparation time: 10 mins.
Cooking time: 8 mins.
From: Chinese Vegetarian Cooking by Daniel Reid, p. 39.
Here’s a problem that someone from a hot part of the world might have:
I’ve had a terrible time trying to grow salad greens for the kitchen. The few plants that did survive the onslaught of bugs and pests soon floundered in the heat. I am starting to reconsider if it’s even worth trying or perhaps trying something different, or growing in the wet season? The problem is I don’t know where to start and I am unsure of what to try… any ideas? I would just like to grow some edible plants to supplement my diet as part of a healthy lifestyle that I can eat fresh or cooked. Thanks in advance for any suggestions,” Warren
Dr. Kris, the Garden Doctor, responds:
Growing traditional vegetables suited to a temperate climate in the tropics is more than a challenge – akin to a snow-flakes chance in hell!
During the tropical wet/dry seasons the climate is either too hot, or there’s too much rain and humidity or otherwise there’s not enough. And then if you can somehow successfully navigate the climate there are a seemingly inexhaustible supply of bugs and sap suckers to deal with that love this new exotic food you’ve brought into their environment.
Some plants that we would all like to grow such as cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, or lettuce for example simply won’t withstand the heat. Even growing these in a temperate summer climate would fail and run to seed on the first hot day, meaning all winter season crops are out of consideration here in the tropics.
So then, what about summer season vegetables? Well the heat certainly won’t be a problem. It is possible to grow many types of what we would consider summer vegetables in temperate climes – but for the most part it is possible only in the dry season. Avoid the wet season as the high humidity causes all sorts of problems usually staring with mildew and ending in fungus. Your options are limited to growing traditional summer crops in the dry season only.
Here are some suggestions.
Tomatoes will grow well during the dry season. Personally, I would opt for cherry/grape tomato varieties only. They seem to be the hardiest, most prolific pest resistant tomatoes that I know of. What’s the point of growing your own if you have to spray fungicide and pesticide poison all over the place.
Eggplants, chillies and pepper/capsicums will all grow well no matter how hot it gets. Snake beans grow well too, the local markets are often overflowing with them. Asian greens such as bok choi, pak choi are possible, as well as Chinese cabbage or wombok but will probably benefit from some protection from the hottest part of the day. Some varieties of kale may struggle due to the heat. Don’t even bother with broccoli or traditional cabbage, and hearting lettuce varieties are out too. If you really must try lettuce grow an open leaf variety such as oak leaf.
Radishes will do well, plant from seed and they will germinate in a matter of days, you could be pulling them up within 3-4 weeks. They love the heat, and they are versatile. Radishes are best picked smaller and sooner rather than larger and later. The larger, the more bland they become – they lose their peppery zing. Yet on the other hand if you let them go you can just keep picking the leaves for use in salads and soups, and just forget about the harvesting the root. The leaves have a peppery flavour much like arugula. After a few months unpicked radishes will flower and run to seed at which point you can harvest the seed pods or ‘radish peas’ as I like to call them. They are green and juicy, eat them raw straight off the plant or add to salads for a peppery crunch – tastes just like root yet the novelty of snacking on juicy bite-sized radish peas never wears off.
Beetroot is another root crop that will also perform well in the dry season and just like the radishes you can pick the leaves and add them to salads. Sprinkle some fluffy dandelion seed around the garden and perhaps grow some nasturtium, both of which which will take care of themselves and you now have a good mix of salad greens including the radish and beetroot. Even better they are all hardy, relatively pest resistant, full of vitamins and minerals and will taste just as good if not better than any traditional leafy vegetable once tossed and dressed. Dandelion and nasturtium are usually considered weeds but they’re the types of plants I want to grow, the ones that grow themselves. If you can change your perspective, you will reap the rewards!
Really, the easiest way to grow your own food in the tropics is by growing tropical fruit and vegetable varieties that are suited to the climate – as they say….when in Rome!
Start with tropical edibles that are at home in the heat and humidity. Lemongrass, cardamom, turmeric, ginger, galangal, Thai basil and Vietnamese mint for starters.
Vegetables will take off once the humidity hits. Sweet potato, bitter melon, kangkong/water spinach, amaranth/mustard greens and rocket/arugula all grow well. Starchy tubers grow well in hot and humid summers, think taro or cassava otherwise known locally as ‘singkong’. I often see cassava thriving on dusty roadsides. The cassava leaf or ‘daun singkong’ is a mainstay of ‘nasi padang’ and other curries, just be careful to cook it properly and never eat it raw as it can be toxic if prepared incorrectly.
Chokos/chayote which grows on a vine is another versatile vegetable that goes down well in a curry, the fresh vine shoots can be added to stir fry’s and curries.
Papaya is a tree that you can grow quickly from seed, potentially bearing fruit within a year of planting. Green papaya is popular as a vegetable in salads, or ‘rujak’. Papaya juice is great, the seeds and leaves have multiple medicinal uses when infused as teas or even cooked and eaten. The seeds can even be dried and used as a pepper substitute.
Edible gardeners in the temperate regions lament the fact that they don’t have the climate for growing exciting exotic edible plants such as ginger, galangal, turmeric, sweet potato or papaya but here in the tropics we have this fantastic opportunity! It really makes tomatoes, cabbages and broccoli seem bland and boring, and that’s without even discussing the possibilities with the plethora of fruits trees and vines available – now that’s a topic for another day!
Whatever you decide on, always plant in a free draining soil for best results, kangkong/water spinach being the only exception. Good Luck.
Copyright © 2018 Dr. Kris
You can read all past articles of Garden Doctor at www.BaliAdvertiser.biz
Happy gardening now (or planning your future garden) .
Let’s all work on eating healthy, fresh produce from our local farmers – and growing some of it too. Aloha, R & B
“This troubled planet is a place of the most violent contrasts. Those who receive the rewards are totally separated from those who shoulder the burdens. It is not a wise leadership” – Spock, Star Trek
“May the force [of imagined and real heros] be with you.” We can choose change.
“In a conversation, keep in mind that you’re more interested in what you have to say than anyone else is”
– from The Bali Advertiser, Oct. 10-23, 2018, p. 18
Remember to listen as well as talk. Aloha, Renee
This is a convenient, modern adaptation of a sort of ‘Chinese sandwich’ that is traditionally made with flat wholemeal bread which requires special ovens and a lot of experience to prepare properly. Instead, we substitute any heavy, high quality wholegrain bakery bread, thinly sliced and toasted, and this provides equally good, if not better, results. The key to any good sandwich, besides fresh ingredients, is the spread, and in Chinese sandwiches sesame paste is the key to the spread.
- 3 thin slices of heavy wholegrain bread, toasted
- 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
- 12-15 fresh celery leaves, coarsely chopped
- 2-3 leaves fresh iceberg lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 35 g. (1/4 cup) raw sunflower seeds, presoaked at least 3 hours (or overnight) in cool water and drained
- 2 tablespoons dark Chinese sesame paste (or tahini) blended with 3 teaspoons water
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- To prepare the spread, place all the ingredients in a blender, and blend to a smooth paste. Taste and adjust salt if necessary.
- To assemble the sandwich, slice and toast the bread. Place a slice of toast on a plate and cover with one-quarter of the spread. Arrange half the tomato, chopped celery leaves, lettuce and onions on top of the spread. Top with a second slice of toast spread–side down, then cover the top of that slice with spread and arrange remaining vegetables on it. Complete the sandwich with the third slice of toast placed spread–side down.
- Cut in half with sharp knife, or serve whole.
As with all sandwiches, you may improvise and experiment with a variety of different fillings, as well as different types of wholemeal toast (sourdough rye is especially good with the Chinese sesame spread). As long as you use the basic sesame sauce, or some version of it, as your spread, the sandwich will taste ‘Chinese.’ It will also have the unique health virtues of Chinese food, for sesame paste is a very potent source of nutritional elements.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Assembling time: 5 minutes
- It’s rich in minerals such as phosphorus, lecithin, magnesium, potassium and iron.
- It’s a good source of Methionine, which aids in liver detoxification.
- It’s one of the best sources of calcium out there.
- It’s high in vitamin E and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15. + more]
Be healthy — and Enjoy.
From: Chinese Vegetarian Cooking, Daniel Reid, Periplus Mini Cookbooks, p. 8.
A note to Dr. Kris, the Garden Doctor:
‘Hi, I read about the $289 million court case and the glyphosate Roundup, what are the best ways to kill weeds without weed killer? Seems you just can’t stop the weeds in the tropics, just in the home garden and around the paths. Please help.
Thank you in advance. Lucas, UBUD.’
In August, a US Court ordered global chemical giant Monsanto pay $US 289 million to a former school gardener who is dying of cancer, after a jury in California found Roundup (which contains glyphosate) contributed to his illness. They will be appealing of course.
In 2015, the World Health Organisation’s cancer agency, the IARC, stated that glyphosate is likely carcinogenic, yet just last year the European Union decided to renew the licence for the official use of glyphosate. In the aftermath of the US court case, Monsanto has maintained that its product was an “effective and safe tool for farmers and others”. Hmmm?
The result of the recent court case and linkages to glyphosate came as no surprise to many.
I wrote an article on the dangers of gylphosate in 2015, which can be found at – www.baliadvertiser.biz/glyphosate/.
Unfortunately, many are still in the dark to the undeniable dangers. Scientific evidence has shown that glyphosate can cause or accelerate cancer rates. People are spraying it around the environment and it is all over your food. Despite the fact that the dangers of Roundup are gradually becoming well-known, uncovered and exposed by various segments of the community – it still remains in heavy use around the world.
Many are still unaware of the serious health issues attributed to glyphosate, although it has been banned in many places around the world.
Roundup in conjunction with science has given rise to a global industry of genetically modified food. GM food crops like corn and soybean have been designed with glyphosate resistance in mind. Fields are sprayed, weeds controlled and at the same time the crop is left standing. It simplifies farming and weed control in exchange for food covered with Roundup. People are also wholesale spraying it around the garden, and local governments around their parklands and public green spaces too.
Interestingly, after sitting on the data from its glyphosate tests for more than a year, the FDA recently or rather finally made the results public. Tests found glyphosate on 63 percent of corn samples and 67 percent of soybean samples. As a further note of interest there were no oat or wheat samples, the two main crops where glyphosate is used as a pre-harvest drying agent, resulting in glyphosate contamination of foods.
The reported health risks associated with glyphosate exposure has farmers, groundskeepers and gardeners scrambling to find alternatives. Glyphosate is so widely used that traces of the of it have been found in breast milk, beer, wine (even when made with organic grapes), eggs, oatmeal and non-dairy coffee creamer, among other products.
There are also environmental impacts on groundwater, rivers, streams, and oceans, glyphosate has even been detected in rainfall samples. Then there’s the issue of poisons in the food chain.
For the home gardener the best alternatives are to pull the weeds, or if it’s a larger area dig out the entire garden bed, turn the soil and start again. If you spray Roundup everywhere you’ll still have to pull the dead weeds out in the end anyway. Mulch garden beds regularly or grow creeping groundcovers. Mulch with cardboard, newspaper, leaves, straw, wood chips, pebbles, stones etc. Use a sharp hoe, garden fork, or shovel to hand weed, or go for the more permanent solution of installing a weed suppressant membrane.
Manual removal with a shovel, hoe or other tool is an effective spot treatment for most weeds. They may come back and need to be dug out again. When young weeds are caught early and thoroughly dug out, they won’t be able to re-seed and rapidly reproduce.
Experiment with dense ground covers which can naturally prevent weeds from growing underneath. Get creative and use dense low growing flowers or even herbs as ground cover. Culinary herbs such as parsley, mint, thyme or oregano are useful choices which can effectively form a carpet around the base of plants in sparse garden beds. If you’re battling weeds in your lawn, make sure you use grass varieties appropriate for shade, drought or other difficult areas where a conventional lawn might not grow well.
For weeds growing in pavement and cracks, boiling water poured straight from the kettle usually does the job. For any other general weed killing areas using commercial strength vinegar is a proven effective. Commercial grade would normally come with an acetic acid concentration of 20% strength. Normal household vinegar at 5-10% will usually do the job on smaller weeds, but for an effective job on larger hardier ones you’ll need a commercial grade vinegar at around 20% min.
The vinegar will probably be more effective on a hot sunny day. It biodegrades easily, effectively a non-toxic approach to spot killing weeds in opposition to commercial, synthetic and chemical formulas. Vinegar still always needs to be handled with care, so avoid inhaling it or getting it in your eyes. Don’t stand on the wrong side of the wind!
In addition to avoiding toxic sprays, by growing your own fruits, vegetables and herbs you will be feeding yourself with the healthiest produce possible free of potential toxins. Buying organic or growing your own is always going to be the best choice when it comes to your food and avoiding toxic chemicals.
Key findings of an Investigative Report into pesticides and produce from EWG (source: www.ewg.org) found that:
- The average potato had more pesticides by weight than any other produce.
- A single grape sample and a sweet bell pepper sample contained 15 pesticides.
- Single samples of cherry tomatoes, nectarines, peaches, imported snap peas and strawberries showed 13 different pesticides a piece.
It was reported in August 2018 that tests commissioned by EWG found glyphosate residues on many popular oat cereals, oatmeal, granola and snack bars. Almost three-fourths of the 45 samples tested had glyphosate levels higher than what EWG scientists consider protective of children’s health within an adequate margin of safety.
All you need to know is that glyphosate has been linked to cancer by California state scientists and the World Health Organization.
Copyright © 2018 Dr. Kris
You can read all past articles of Garden Doctor at www.BaliAdvertiser.biz
“What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black ” [or Latino, or LGBTQ, or old, or disabled . . .]. – Robert F. Kennedy
“[I]n 1860 only around ‘5 percent of the Southern population owned even one slave, and a significantly smaller percentage owned more than twenty.’ . . .
Millions of human beings were held in bondage. It’s mind-boggling to me [says author Camille T. Dungy] that such a small number of people controlled so much of the wealth back then — and much of that wealth was accrued through the bodies of other human beings. A black human being was a commodity, an object, not particularly different in value from a piece of jewelry, a few head of livestock, or several bolts of fabric. My point is that most white people didn’t have the kind of wealth that the institution of slavery was protecting, just like most people today don’t have the kind of wealth protected by tax codes that allow a billionaire to write off a private jet but don’t allow schoolteachers to write off $250 worth of school supplies. . . .
America would not be the wealthy country it is without slave labor. We would not have our power or wealth if we had not, for a very long time, depended on the unpaid labor of millions of human beings . . . Cotton wasn’t king just in the South. Many of the most productive cotton mills were in the North, as were the insurance companies and other industries that profited off those mills. Without a lot of unpaid labor, those profits would have been significantly less. And we are still depending on the unpaid or underpaid labor of millions of human beings — from prison workers to immigrants to foreign labor. The question of slavery is still with us [my emphasis]. America has a legacy of harming other human beings and justifying that harm by glorifying the wealth it brings to a few. Thankfully America also has a legacy of resisting that impulse. . . .
It’s sometimes difficult to accept the fact that whole portions of our society were built up–are still built up– to support the wealth of just a few. Why don’t more people object to that? Perhaps because so many Americans think maybe one day they will be the billionaire with access to the unchecked power to acquire wealth at the expense of other human beings. When the focus is on the glorification of wealth rather than on an honest examination of how that wealth might have been accrued, we routinely ignore brutalities visited upon our fellow human beings (7). . . .
“Racism – and resistance to racism – is part of the fabric of this country. When our twenty-dollar bill celebrates a man who is connected to the genocide of Native Americans and the enslavement of black people, I can’t see how I can say, ‘Let’s just focus on this one area.’ We are part of an ecosystem. We can’t just worry about the whales, so to speak. We need to address what’s happening to our oceans.
But, as individuals, I know we sometimes have to choose the battles that matter most to us” (9).
There is much to do to make our world more just and equitable for all. Let’s get working.
From: “Poetic Justice: Camille T. Dungy on Racism, Writing, and Radical Empathy” by Airica Parker – The Sun, June 2018, p. 4-12.
Banner photo: Andrew Jackson – Popular General in the United States Army and from 1829 to 1837, seventh President of the United States.