Here's the quick guide to grow short term plant crops on your farm, backyard or any open space where the soil is rich in organic materials.
Radish - Almost every part of the radish plant is useful. The leaves and roots may be eaten raw or cooked as vegetable, or cooked with meat or fish. Besides its use as food, radish is also used in many other ways its oil does not dry up like ordinary oil. This is used in soap making the meat after juice extraction is used as fertilizer. Radish is also medicine for diseases of the liver and spleen.
Sesame - Sesame (linga) oil is used, not only for cooking food, but also for the manufacture of other things, such as margarine, soap, cosmetics, perfume, insecticides, pain and medicine. What is left after the extraction of its oil is excellent for feed for poultry, hogs, goat and rabbits. Its protein content is 22%, besides other substances.
Ginger - Ginger can grow in sandy or loose soil, provided it is planted at a depth of about 30 cm, has enough water and which does not hold water when it folds or rains. It can grow in shady places together with tall trees or plants. It is most productive when it is 25% shaded.
Arrowroot (uraro) - The arrowroot, a rootcrop, grows in any kind of soil, but it prefers a somewhat shaded area such as that under coconut trees, and where rainfall is even the whole year round. Its roots can withstand typhoons and may be left in the ground for a long time. It will grow from any small piece of its root crop left in the soil.
Carrot - The carrot is one of the principal vegetables in the market for its rich content of carotene, Vitamins C and B besides calcium iron and phosphorus. This may be eaten cooked or raw. In other countries, the carrot is also used as medicine.
Young corn - Young, immature corn is a specialty in Asia which is becoming known in developed countries. This is exportable to USA and Australia, which countries import this commodity from Taiwan and Thailand. Young-corn is as young as four (4) days from emergence, 2 days after the hair appears, measures about 4-11 cm long, 1-1.8 cm in circumference, and weighs about 14 grams when removed from the stem.
Peanuts - Peanuts can be grown and made to bear fruit the whole year. A planter can harvest two times or more a year if this cultivation is good and the soil is fertile. Because there is always a big demand for peanuts, the planter is sure to earn. Among legumes, peanut is highest in minerals and in Vitamin B content, and has 26% protein. Every gram of peanut contains 5.4 calories. It is said that a half kilo of peanuts, more or less, equals one-half kilo of milk or three eggs of moderate size. And even if it brings high calories, it has no cholesterol.
Pepper - Planting pepper is a lifetime livelihood if well developed. If the soil is good and care is good, the quality of the harvest is likewise good and so commands a good price in the market. When harvest is poor, even the stems of this plant, when dried, can also be used and sold including the chaff when powdered. Although these are not so strong in taste as the fruit itself, they are nevertheless sought because of the aroma they give to the food. So, even the powdered pulp gets sold.
Patola - Patola or luffa (scientific name) is commonly planted as vegetable or for food. According to scientists, it contains calcium, iron and plenty of phosphorus. Patola is not difficult to grow, but it likes loose, sandy soil, fertile and does not lodge water. It may be planted at any time of year, but there are more flowers, and fruits are bigger when the weather is cool.
Cucumber - There are two kinds of cucumber: one is for preserving and the other is for serving raw as salad. The one for serving is short and plump with white or black spikes, dark green in color that turns whitish at the ends. If the spikes are white, these turn yellow or white as they mature. If the spikes are black, this turns reddish when mature from end to end and has white spikes.
Chayote - Chayote is a climbing plant that can rise as high as 12 meters. Its leaves are heart-shaped, 10-25 cm wide and with tendrils on the stem. The flowers are cream-colored or somewhat green that come out beneath a leaf or branch. If the plant is male, the flowers are in cluster; if female, the flowers come singly.
Bell pepper - There are two kinds of bell pepper, one is the pungent kind and the other not. The first is used in food manufacturing where they are processed as spice and sold as food condiments. The other, non-pungent, is the ordinary kind sold in markets. Bell pepper likes a warm climate, fertile soil that does not lodge water; it is good to plant it at a time when the sun shines abundantly in that place.
Soybeans - World demand for soybeans is great, and the Philippines is in fact spending millions of dollars for its import. Some of the uses of soybeans are for the manufacture of sotanghon, tahu, tokwa, bean curd, soy sauce, beverage (like milk) and many others. A good harvest of soybeans depends on the quality of the seed planted and if this variety is acclimated to the soil where it is planted.
Yam (ubi) - Yam or ubi is known throughout the world. It is a vine and so it needs support to climb on. Its fruit is violet or light purple. The temperature it likes is 25 oC - 30 oC, and grows well if watered throughout its life. The soil it likes best is loose and with good drainage. It is good to plant yam between April and May when the sun is abundant. When the day is long, it has plenty of leaves and ranches.