In her younger years, my mom, had a green thumb. When we moved in to our first home in Novaliches, Philippines, we had a large lot and she grew a mini forest within. She grew fruit trees like mango (Indian Mango and Carabo Mango), avocado, bayabas (guava), and guyabano. She also had flower plants such as roses (red, white, and violet), kalachuchi, and poinsettia.
Our subdivision was formerly an agricultural land so the soil was really fertile but my mom would still insist on putting fertilizer. No, we don’t buy the commercial ones. Our house was adjacent to a carabao gracing field so every now and then, my mom would take us to “harvest” dried carabao dung for her garden.
Dried carabao dung isn’t smelly so it was just like picking up a lump of soil. We would pick up sacks of it to bring back to the garden where my mom would ground them up and scatter amongst the plants.
Other than carabao dung, my mom would also use urine to “water” the plants. When we were little we had an “arinola” or urine bucket just in case we get the urge to take a leak in the middle of the night and with our bathroom still a far way off our bedroom, it was practical in the physiological as well as the horticultural sense.
Urine is rich in micronutrients needed by plants; however, it needs to be diluted with water lest you want your plant’s roots to burn.
It has been a long time since we moved out of that house and the one we live in right now does not have a carabao gracing field and I do believe my sibling and I have outgrown our “arinola” days but my mom still cares for plants. Good thing that I love coffee---Starbucks coffee to be exact!
Coffee bean waste also happens to be a good organic fertilizer. Waste material of brewed coffee is dried to come out with “sapal”. You simply mix this with the soil and you have happy and blooming plants after! Starbucks gives away “sepal” to customers who have a green thumb.