Most of the time we buy key limes at the store it's green because they picked it green, it's unripe.
This is what a ripe key lime looks like and it has more juice.
I have almost 300 potted plants in my backyard and vegetables all over.
It started off with one basil, one basil plant, and then a tomato plant and then green beans and then zucchini.
We only buy things that we cannot grow or make.
[cheerful music] My name is Pho Pham.
My husband's name is Thi Le.
We bought this house in 2012.
It was grass.
Couple of years later, my husband experienced some gout in his big toe.
We realized that we have to eat better.
And then we realized that we need to start our own garden.
So we converted a grass backyard into a deck.
And then I saved money.
It took me four years of saving to pave my whole backyard.
Every single time the forecast say it's going to freeze it takes me 3 to 4 days to move all my plants inside the garage.
My husband helps, my kids help.
Everybody jumps in and moves every single thing before the freeze comes.
Adding all the citrus together that's about like 100 trees.
When I pick a harvest, like one year before the big freeze before 2021.
The year of 2020.
Our lemon tree, our Meyer's lemon tree in the ground had about 400 lemons.
I ended up giving them to friends and family.
We preserve them.
This is a kumquat that I picked from one of our trees.
I preserved it in.
This is from salt.
Sea salt and rock sugar.
So what I do with it is I mix it in tea and just drink it.
Dancy tangerine is a little bit more sour, more tart, and it has seeds inside.
So Satsuma is a different variety.
It's a different citrus.
Satsuma is easier to peel it's sweeter.
And then I have Mandarin.
So we have Ponkan Mandarin.
We have Kishu Mandarin.
We have Clementine, we have honey Mandarin.
We have lots of calamondin trees.
It's sour, but it's a little bit mild then as a lime or a lemon.
And there's the the rind is not as bitter.
And lots of guavas.
I have I think close to 75 to 78 guava trees.
And among those, I think there are about ten varieties, 10 to 12 different varieties of guava.
So this one right here is called a Taiwanese watermelon, pink guava.
And I'm going to cut it to show you that it looks just like a watermelon once we cut it.
It tastes like a fresh picked pear.
The texture is like a Granny Smith, but then it's sweet like a fresh picked pear.
Here comes the star fruit that we grow.
It's overripe because it's been sitting there for a while.
I have a golden star.
I have a Kari.
I have a Fwang Tung.
They do have many varieties of different kinds.
A sour kind and a sweet kind.
This is a sweet kind.
This is a flowering peach.
It does get fruit.
Doesn't taste very good.
So I grow this mainly for decoration around Lunar New Year, Vietnamese New Year, or Chinese Chinese New Year.
It's really important to have flowers in your house.
And peach flowers is one of the the highly decorated flowers in the house.
Most people buy a branch and they bring it inside the house to decorate.
I thought, it's best to buy a whole tree and plant it yourself.
I can bring this whole pot inside and decorate and it flowers again next year.
Each fruit ripens at a different time.
For example, peach ripens around July.
That's all peach tree.
Every single peach tree ripens differently ours ripen around July, starting around July four, all the way into August.
So we pick out the ones that are ready and we eat it.
Pears doesn't ripen until October.
Fig is around June, July.
But they are all different.
Citrus they ready around fall so starting in September.
After I pick all the fruit, I let the tree rest for at least two weeks.
And then I prune everything back.
And then not just that, if it needs it, I will repot it too.
Which means I take out all the old soil and replace it with new soil.
The ones in pots are fertilized twice a year in the fall and in the springtime.
It needs more than just adding granulated fertilizer that just gives it a boost.
So in one week I would add a handful of worm casting.
One week I would give it fish fertilizer, which we make our own we go fishing and we we, we cast nets, we get those fish, and then we make our own fish fertilizer.
Another thing is I'm big about composting my kitchen scraps, vegetable peels, fruit, things that can break down biodegradable items.
We make a bin of that and after several months, depends on what it is.
It breaks down and we mix that with a worm casting and we feed all plants with it.
The key to not having so much disease and pests is your roots.
In the springtime, that's a trellis for my bitter melon.
And on this side right here, you see all that trellis?
That's for cucumber.
That's my Hoya pots right there for hanging.
They attract bees and butterflies.
This is a Black cobra pepper.
You don't want to bite into it.
In Vietnamese, we don't cook pepper in dishes like how you cook curry or you stir fry.
You don't you use this in sauce, so you make chili paste with it.
You make chili flakes with it, and you sprinkle over your food like pad thai.
Every year I sprout and grow about 200 pepper plants.
The plant, that vine plant that you see that's running down, that looks almost like an ivy.
That's a jelly leaf plant.
So when you crush up the leaves in warm water and squeeze out the juice and let it sit in room temperature, that juice, that water coagulate and it turns into jello.
It tastes like fresh rainwater.
And it has that fiber that the kids need.
My brother, Hung Pham, he came down here doing covid and he built this for me.
This is a Vietnamese coriander.
In Vietnamese it is called rau ram.
We eat this with chicken.
This is the project that we've been doing for two years, and I'm really excited to show you what we do.
We grow our own mushrooms.
This is King Blue oyster mushrooms.
The biggest that comes out of this is teaching my kids where foods really come from.
They need to come out and work and taste their sweat.
I call all the time labor of love.
Another thing is, I don't have any gym membership.
All this moving the pots in and out.
Lifting bags, squatting, moving around.
It's really healthy and being outdoor.
And another thing is the taste.
You cannot beat that taste of a fresh, picked guava.
I do work full-time, by the way.
After I drop off the kids at school, I come home, come out here, and that lasts about anywhere from one hour to 2 hours in the garden and go get changed and go to work.