The Secrets Of Chef Alicia’s Garden

THE SECRETS OF CHEF ALICIA’S GARDEN

The secrets of Chef Alicia’s Garden are revealed by The Traveling Chefs in this post. Three months ago, they had started working on their bare backyard. If you want to know how they have transformed it into a healthy and beautiful garden shown on their previous post, keep on reading, because below, they reveal these secrets without reservation.

BIOCHAR, THE ULTIMATE SECRET OF ALICIA’S GARDEN

The Traveling Chefs credit biochar for the amazing yield of their first raised garden bed. It is their ultimate garden secret. They used The Andersons BioChar 10 lb. DG Organic Soil Amendment purchased through Amazon for $23.88. As of this writing it’s unavailable there. But you can purchase a 30 lb. bag from Walmart. Their next 3 raised garden beds don’t have biochar so the leaves of their plants aren’t as green as that on the first raised bed.

HOMEMADE COMPOST – ANOTHER CHEF ALICIA’S GARDEN SECRET.

Perhaps you may not know The Traveling Chefs use homemade compost made up of only three items: soil (mostly sand), kitchen refuse (limited to discarded parts of vegetables and fruit peelings) and tree leaves placed in their improvised composed bin in that order. After about 3 months, they have an effective compost. They paired this compost with biochar in their first garden bed and they’ve also used this successfully in their corn, spinach, sweet potatoes, and squash among others.

They have also purchased a great quantity of organic compost from Costco which also gave them amazing results. They use this one primarily for growing seeds and as part of the 4-part soil mix described below.

4-PART SOIL MIX, ANOTHER SECRET OF CHEF ALICIA’S GARDEN

For their flowering pots, The Traveling Chefs utilize a 4-part soil mix composed of Florida soil (mostly sand), peat moss, compost and vermiculite. They’ve found this mixture also very effective on seed germination.

LOVE AND CARE – ANOTHER SECRET OF ALICIA’S GARDEN

Since 2/3 of gardening is water with 1/3 being soil, The Traveling Chefs make sure their thirsty plants get all the water they need. They water them daily, with the exception of their succulents which they water only once a week.

To save on water, they bought a rain barrel from Amazon made by VINGLI for $49.00. You may use other barrels for cheaper price. They have thought of purchasing metal barrels which they noticed were commonly used in the Philippines for similar purpose. They are however, heavier and those which come with spigots are a bit expensive. Some of these barrels may have contained contaminants which aren’t advisable for health reasons so they’ve thought.

NATURAL PESTICIDES AND POLLINATORS – ANOTHER SECRET OF ALICIA’S GARDEN

Do you know that The Traveling Chefs do not use pesticides or insecticides at all? They instead use natural pesticides which are also free. They let the birds take care of the insects, caterpillars and so on. By “hiring” them as pest managers, The Traveling Chefs get healthy plants and better yield. They control the pests and insects and also serve as agents of pollination. They are a steady source of constant joy for them as well.

Their favorites are the cardinals and the mourning doves. The former are currently building a nest in their orange tree. These birds along with many others are attracted to their backyard because they have a bird feeder, a bird bath, and a lot of flowering plants. It also helps that they practice organic farming.

In addition to these birds, other agents of pollination abound. Butterflies, bees, dragonflies, lady bugs and moths take turn visiting their garden.

THE SECRET INSPIRATION BEHIND CHEF ALICIA’S GARDEN

Some years ago, The Traveling Chefs attended the CEO Entrepreneur Cruise co-hosted by Dr. Rollan Roberts II and Peter Lowe. The former’s “adopted” niece Melody Garcia of the “One Night One Voice” fame has invited them to attend the Cruise. She was one of the speakers in said event. Melody went on to become a world famous speaker, author and coach.

During the event, the guests received a book “90 Day Race: The Secret To MASSIVE RESULTS” written by Dr. Rollan Roberts II. The seminar along with this book have inspired The Traveling Chefs to embark on this business, though not successful yet for lack of experience and focus.

After they’ve retired however, The Traveling Chefs were able to focus on their backyard garden for at least 90 days. The lockdown and travel restrictions prompted by Coronavirus forced them to. They have applied the teaching of the 90 Day Race and have gotten the massive results you may have noticed in their garden.

THE TRAVELING CHEFS BARELY SCRATCHED THE SURFACE OF GARDENING

The Traveling Chefs have barely scratched the surface of gardening know-how. They are aware that to become masters of gardening, they need to invest a lot more time and effort into it. At the moment, they couldn’t provide both any longer. They will soon pursue their love for travel, for cooking and for making new relationships.

Thank you for reading this far. Hopefully this post has somehow inspired you to attempt on something you have dreamt of doing. If you’re a gardener, please share your secrets. Who knows – others may benefit from them.

Last week, The Traveling Chefs have spent a long time with a couple of their friends who also love gardening. One couple got so excited and was determined to start soon. They have inspired The Traveling Chefs to write this post in an attempt to reach more people of similar interests.

If you aren’t into gardening, just continue to do what you love doing for there lies the secret to your own happiness and success at work. Good luck and see you in the next post.

To Combat COVID-19 Boredom, The Traveling Chefs Took Up Gardening

TO COMBAT COVID-19 BOREDOM

To combat COVID-19 boredom, The Traveling Chefs took up gardening. As things are getting back to normal in most of the United States, it’s time to share with you how they coped with the boredom related to the pandemic that interrupted the lives of all, the world over, including yours and theirs.

You must have read that The Traveling Chefs were considering early retirement in October to travel across the US. Well, COVID-19 has hastened the realization of the former and has prevented them from achieving the latter.

THE TRAVELING CHEFS TOOK UP GARDENING

Unable to travel, The Traveling Chefs took up gardening instead to combat COVID-19 boredom. How about you? What has changed in your life during the pandemic? They hope that whatever it was, it was for your betterment.

As for them, they had no idea that this simple new hobby of theirs could have brought them so much joy. Nor did they have any notion that their vegetable garden would have turned out to be a thing of beauty not only to their own eyes but to those of their friends. As a consequence, they have combated and overcame COVID-19 boredom. “You will never be bored Peter,” wrote one of their friends in Facebook after seeing a photo of their garden.

GARDENING BRINGS JOY TO THE TRAVELING CHEFS

You must have heard before the words “If you build, he will come”, right? Remember the movie entitled Field of Dreams? Well, The Traveling Chefs have built a garden. Then, the birds, bees, dragonflies, butterflies, worms, lady bugs, moths, and squirrels now come with more frequency. All these with the exception of the last gave so much joy to them.

A pair of cardinals made The Traveling Chefs’ garden their own playground. Not a day passes without them making their presence felt. Chef Pedro calls them his birds while Chef Alicia regards the mourning doves her own. These birds along with blue jays, house wrens, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, and many others occasionally bathe in their bird bath.

The first time Chef Pedro saw one of them taking a bath, he was overcame with joy. He told himself it was well worth it. He was referring to the cost of the bird bath. Chef Alicia and he even built the birds a big house which they called “bird condo.”

In addition to the birds and all these amazing creatures, the growing plants provide a constant source of quiet satisfaction and pride to them. They make note of each and every change in them. Every new bud, new flower, new bulb, new fruit, any new sign of growth becomes a source of celebration. Any gardener here? They’re sure you understand.

ALICIA’S GARDEN TURNED OUT BEAUTIFUL

Being beginners in gardening, The Traveling Chefs had no idea their garden would have turned out beautiful. If Chef Pedro had his way, there would have been no raised beds. It was Chef Alicia who insisted on having them. Her insistence was a right decision both for practical and aesthetic reasons. Here in Fl, the soil is sandy. Not a lot of plants can grow in the sand. Without healthy plants, no garden can be beautiful.

The 4 raised garden beds provided some semblance of symmetry. The addition of two semi-circle concrete benches made the garden inviting. So does the restored wrought iron garden bench which Chef Pedro had originally picked up from a curve nearby, trashed by its owner who failed to see the diamond in the rough. Th ere was no wood when Chef Pedro found it.

At the center of the garden, The Traveling Chefs converted a huge ceramic pot into a fire pit. They use this to cook corn on the cob and Korean bulgogi, from time to time. Sometimes, they’re bold enough to cook dried fish, (a Filipino favorite) wishing each time that their neighbors won’t smell them. Chef Pedro would sometimes throw ground coffee into the fire to deaden its dreaded smell.

WE WON’T KNOW WHAT WE CAN DO TILL WE TRY TO DO THEM

As you may have already found out from your own past experience, we wouldn’t know what we can do until we try to do them. The Traveling Chefs have discovered this when they decided to start this vegetable garden. YouTube has been a source of valuable information to them, not only in taking care of their plants but also in the construction of their raised beds.

Is there something you dream of doing yet somehow fear that you’re not up to the task? Just do it for you won’t know what you can do till you start. At the comments below, feel free to share how pandemic has changed your life. Include in your comments the things you wanted to do but haven’t started doing and those you’ve done well.