Dr. Bilhaj’s Planting Diary

Bilhaj, Abdulkhalig Ali Dou
Dec 7, 2020
The Productive Peas with Shibakawa LEDs


Peas, edible flowers and healthy seeds

Hello, our dear Readers. I back to you with a new article and new guests.


I hope all of you doing well, and preparing for the coming cold winter; especially for those who are living in the northern hemisphere of this planet. Our readers in Pavlodar, Tatarstan, and other Kazakhstan and Siberian areas already have heavy snow and below-zero temperatures.


This time we would like to introduce you a new guests from the leguminous vegetable family. Yes!! As you can see from the image, the first guest is the sweet green peas.

Flowers, baby pods, and fresh seeds are all edible.


The story of peas with Shibakwa LEDs

As we always get used to, we implemented Shibakawa High-Tech LEDs to grow up these peas. We applied on them a full indoor environment with an average temperature of 20℃.


As an experiment, I grew around 14 seeds of these peas in an area of 0.15 square meters (50 cm in length, and 30 cm in width), with an available height of 120cm.  Practically, they grew very quickly and so productive.

Counting from the date of sowing seeds, their flowers start blooming after 30 days, first edible pod with full seeds in around 40 days, and the harvest of the whole production have been done in less than 50 days.


In the final production we gained around 130 pods in the harvest day with a maximum of 6 seeds per pod. That gives an average of 9 to 10 pods per plant with an approximation production of 40 times the original sowed seeds (although the exact number of the produced seeds was not counted).

So quick, so productive!


Healthy Peas

Peas are nutritious with high levels of protein, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals comparing to grains such as cereals’.


From the minerals’ point of view, peas have a considerable amount of Potassium as the most prominent element, followed by Phosphorus, Magnesium and Calcium. Peas contain as well traces of Iron, Selenium, Zinc, Molybdenum, Manganese, Copper, and Boron.


Regarding Vitamins, peas are rich in the B group of them. Fresh peas have also A, C and K vitamins. As a large portion of these vitamins can be lost by cooking or canning, eating the peas fresh is still healthier.


Peas have low fat content as well. For instance, the dietary fiber content of raw peas is over 20% of the edible portion on fresh weight basis, while in contrast; white rice has just 1%.


As an optimum way to reduce the dependence on fatty animal protein sources such as meat, one can try to shift to; or at least put extra focus on, eating legumes and pulses like peas. The requirement of the majority of protein types essential for human body; in our daily diet, can be met by including adequate and balanced quantities of both pulses and cereals, as their proteins are complement to each other.


To say the truth, it might be hard for anyone to drive his meals far from meat or any animal based proteins. But instead of fatty food, indeed it is healthier to include adequate amount of legumes and pulses such as peas, lentils, and different beans in our daily diet.


For culinary purposes, peas are edible in all its growing stages, including edible white flowers, baby pods, fresh green seeds, as legumes with their pods, and as pulses with only their dry seeds. You can eat flowers and fresh green seeds with salads as well. So here in this article, I would like to introduce you a vibrant Libyan recipe.

The beauty of Peas!


Libyan dynamic recipe of a Mediterranean fresh salad

This healthy recipe of a Libyan salad can be adapted depending on your preferences, vegetable availability, and season. Basic ingredients to serve each person can be just 2 mid-size tomatoes, half cucumber, and quarter of mid-size onion.


Now you can make your salad goes the following dynamic and healthy way:

  • Colorful, by adding cubed slices of carrots, ginger, or any vegetable you love.
  • Spicy, by inserting enough pieces of fresh green or red hot peppers.
  • Tasty, by mixing your salad with big spoon of olive oil and sprinkling little natural salt.
  • Aromatic, by adding pieces of a preferable fresh fragrant herb, such as parsley, celery, coriander, thyme or any herb you wish.
  • Rich in proteins by adding some soft fresh Peas.


Now enjoy your handmade Libyan salad!!

Soft peas are so suitable for a fresh salad!!


Broad Beans


Broad beans are member of the leguminous vegetable family as peas. Broad beans and peas have equivalent health benefits, as their nutrition content is very similar. Here, in this article, I would like also to share you the following images of our broad beans experiments by applying the light of Shibakwa LEDs.

Broad beans family!! You can see clearly its growing cycle. So cute isn’t it?



In fact, my town in Libya; Agelat, is very famous by being a large producer of Olives, Palm trees, fruits, and vegetables including broad beans in the whole country. My father got used to grow broad beans as well in our farm in the time of my childhood. Mostly we have been using their full legume in couscous; which is the main traditional and original food of Libya since thousands of years. It is my pleasure to introduce to our readers the couscous recipe in one of the coming articles.



Broad Beans’ blossom, simple, quiet, and energetic!!


Hopefully you enjoyed our Peas article. For the upcoming article, I am glad to tell you that the next guest will definitely surprise you!!




Sep 7, 2020
Delightful Carnation, Beyond Imagination !


 The edible Carnation flowers


In this Article, I would like to show our dear readers how Carnation flowers can grow so beautifully with Shibakawa LEDs.

Carnation flowers are native to Mediterranean area and have linear leaves, with a cyan hue, which are growing on a slender stems. The average plant height goes up to 30 or 40 centimeters. The Carnation flowers typically made up of five petals with frilled edges or fringes. Moreover, Carnation is a prolific and ornamental bloomer, so a favorite in gardens and landscapes. Now, through the light of Shibakawa LEDs, you are capable to have a Carnation hydroponic garden even inside your home. You can take a Look to the attached image from our research laboratory and discover yourself how wonderful it is. A doted and wavy white belt in the middle of each flower can be seen clearly. So attractive, isn’t it?

How astonishing!! How delicate!!


In outdoor conditions Carnation flowers have long blooming period from late spring to early autumn. By using Shibakawa high-tech LEDs, these flowers can be seeded and grown in any season around the year, even in the late autumn or mid-winter. Carnation; in the shown image, took 35 days from seeding till the start of its profusely blooming period. In fact, in indoor conditions; and with care, they can bloom all year-round.

To enhance your culinary sights, the use of edible petals of Carnation is a fragrant, subtle, and adventurous way to elevate the look and taste of your salads. In fact, its applications are versatile, unlimited, and beyond our imagination. You can utilize them also to decorate cakes, meals or as herbal tea. In winter, you can even try to steep the whole flowers in water to warm your feet before sleeping, while enjoying their sweet aroma.

Fully Edible Carnation Flowers.


The second image illustrates some Carnation flowers prepared to serve the incremental demand in many stylish Restaurant and Hotels around Japan. These flowers are cultivated in “Yoza Vegetable Garden” located in Okinawa Islands, and grown using Shibakawa High-Tech LEDs.


Is a strawberry fruit or vegetable?

For our readers who read the article of April, hopefully they could have some ideas about the answer of this question. Here in this section I would like to share you my humble opinion. Wishing that, it can be so useful to you.

Scientifically, the fruits have been defined as any seed-bearing formation that developed from the ovary of a flowering plant; whereas vegetables are all other plant parts such as roots, stems, and leaves. Hence, scientifically strawberry is a fruit. Nevertheless, with this definition even hot pepper will be sorted as a fruit!!

In my childhood, I classified fruits as the eatable harvest of woody plants as they are perennial. Meanwhile vegetables are the eatable products of grassy plants, which normally die at the end of the growing season. With this childish classification strawberries become kind of vegetables.

In my current opinion, the decision; of whether the plant harvest is a fruit or vegetable, is yours. They are fruits, if you can eat them fresh or as desserts. Else; if there is a need to cook them or eat them merely in salad then certainly they are vegetables!!

In Japan, nowadays many vegetables became far sweeter than any time before. As an example, if anyone closes his eyes and has given our laboratory’s mini-tomatoes to taste, then if we asked him/her to guess whether it is a fruit or vegetable? Most probably his/her answer will be “fruit”. Perhaps, we should have thought some plants can be vegetable and fruit simultaneously.

Now, I believe the wisdom in all of this is how to ensure we are offering to our body and mind the necessary diverse range of nutrients. In other words, how you can make a balanced mix in your diet between fruits and vegetables as nutritionally they are not equivalent. For instance, Fruits have higher levels of sugar and calories, while some leafy vegetables contain extra carteniods. Even though, both are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.

You may have different approaches. That is excellent too, even myself sometimes for extra wisdom, I love to go deep further; enjoy looking into the Quran, which revealed around 1400 years ago, and it is mentioning about plants and fruits in amazing ways in many of its chapters.


The next Article

Simply, the forthcoming article will contain our laboratory’s peas; the green beans with an edible flower flavor!!

Aug 28, 2020
Me and The Golden Tomatoes!

Hello our dear readers!!

We hope all of you are in the best condition!

As many months passed since the release of last article, I would like to share you part of our accumulated research activities. Practically, I will divide them into 2 parts. This article is the first part, which is about the “Golden Tomatoes”. While in the following article; the second part, I will show you how flowers can grow so beautifully with the light of Shibakawa LEDs, and then I would like to share you my ideas about how you can look to whether a plant is a fruit or a vegetable.


The Golden Tomato:

Tomato is the summer plant par excellence, juicy, healthy, carriers of many vitamins, minerals, nutrients and allies of our immune system. It has been grown for centuries in Libya and all over the Mediterranean climate area. But now with Shibakawa LED; Tomato can be grown in any season, anywhere on Earth, or even on the Moon in a shuttle of space.


As you may know, Tomato plant has many varieties, providing a spectacular range of flavor, shape, and color. Colors can vary from the usual tomato colors such as Red, Orange and Yellow, to unusual colors such as Pink, Purple, Brown, and even Black.

Romantic, Like a Moon in full appearnce. Is n’t it?


In this article the Golden Tomato is on our menu!! Look at the first image.

With a lot of beauty and rich flavor, this yellowish tomato is prized for their unusual color as a table garnishes. We grew also mini yellow tomatoes as they are very prolific. Like we proved in previous articles; by using High-Tech and Inter-Lighting Technology of Shibakwa LEDs; either for green houses as a supportive light in less sunny seasons, or as a main light for plant factories, in both cases, you will be able to sustain production the whole year-round.


With an average indoor temperature of 20℃, from seed germination, this golden tomato took around 90 days to reach this mature state. In fact, it can be matured in less number of days if a higher temperature of 25℃ to 30℃ can be maintained.  Practically, the total time for a tomato flower to ripen depends on its environment’s average temperature. For example, if the average indoor temperature is 20℃ it needs 40 days to ripen; while if it is 25℃ it will need just 32 days.


Health benefits of tomatoes:

This time, I would like to enrich our reader with some health values of tomato. Particularly, to make the comprehension of its health benefits easier for you, let me list some of the tomato’s main contained vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients as follows:

Vitamins: A, B1, B3, B6, B9, C, E, and K

Minerals: Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, and Zinc.

Phytonutrients: Carotene, Lycopene, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin.

Note that these Phytonutrients are originally plant chemicals, which help plants absorb light energy for use in photosynthesis.


Now let us move to some benefits of tomatoes, here they are:

Heart Health:

The Lycopene is antioxidant compound that stabilize heart health by lowering harmful cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Vitamin B and Potassium helps also to reduce cholesterol and keep blood pressure under control.

Bone Health:

Calcium, Lycopene and Vitamin K maintain body frame by building stronger bones with higher density preventing the development of Osteoporosis.


Tomatoes have high fiber content. A 200CC of tomato juice can offer you around 10% of your daily fiber needs promoting smoother digestion.


Vitamin-C is necessary for collagen production, which keeps the human skin looking youthful by reducing wrinkles and aids the wound healing as well. Furthermore, Vitamin-A simulates and activates the production of new skin cells supporting Anti-aging of cells.

Eye Sight:

The contained vitamin A and B-Carotene in Tomato is known to be essential for vision. They are necessary to keep the Retina working correctly and supports low-light and color recognition. The Lutein and Zeaxanthin are known also in protecting the retina of the eye from the harm of blue light.


All B vitamins are essential for oxidation of fats and carbohydrates. This helps the body to convert the carbohydrates of food into glucose as fuel which the body uses to produce energy.

Decorator and appetite motivator:

Tomatoes are coloring our food table and offering us a motivating way to increase our appetite and enjoy our meals even more. Depending on how we arrange and decorate our menu; we can make eating time colorful, romantic, and stylish for us and for our guests as well!!


Is there a difference between red and yellow tomatoes?

Slightly yes, but this difference is mostly related to color pigments. In the following, Let us test their taste, color, and shape.

The mini-tomatoes grown by shibakawa LEDs. So fresh, so sweet, washing-free, and pesticide-free; just from their vine to your taste.


Taste: We tasted the golden tomato and found that it has the same taste of classical red one. So the contents in both yellow and red tomatoes are similar. Generally, I think the exact difference depends on the exact variety tested. Hence, different tomatoes might have a noticeable variation in the relative percentage of contained nutrients. Even if they have the same growing conditions. For example, a part from the golden tomato; the yellow mini-tomatoes were very sweet as delightfulness of fruits. Take a look on the second image.

Color: The greenery of tomatoes is caused by the chlorophyll. In the ripening process; the concentrations of the coloring pigment “Caroteniods” increases significantly. In Red tomatoes the Caroteniod’s red pigment “Lycopene” increases; while in yellow tomatoes the yellow pigments “Lutien” and “ Zeaxanthin” of Caroteniod increase instead. Whereas the blue, violet, or red Anti-oxidantal flavonoid coloring pigment “Anthocyannins” offers Black tomatoes its color.

Shape: Shape also depends on the variety. For the Golden tomato the shape is so similar to its Red counterpart; although internally it looks like the Japanese delicious Persimmon. Look to the image.

Guess; Tomato or Persimmon!!


Drying Tomato!!

How much do you love tomatoes? Do you love eating tomatoes all year-round?

If so, the handmade Dried Tomato is an excellent choice.

In the past, in the farm of my Father, we had tomato production only in summer seasons. But we loved tomatoes so much; the only way is to make them dry and enjoy them all over each year. Of course although canned tomatoes were available and we use them often in our cooked menus, Dried Tomato has its own enjoyable flavor, aroma and taste.

In the summer vacations of my childhood; I still remember, my Mother was the leader of the dry tomato making process. Before that process starts, my Father brings the salt from natural salt reservoirs attached to the Mediterranean Sea; 5 km north of our home. At that time, that salt itself was so fresh, aromatic and tasty. Let me introduce how you can make dry tomatoes!!

The process of drying tomatoes:

  1. Choose a sunny summer day and try to wake up early.
  2. Grind the salt to make it so soft.
  3. Prepare a wide piece of wood to put the tomatoes on to dry.
  4. Harvest fresh tomatoes and wash them carefully.
  5. Cut the tomatoes into 2 pieces or more depending on their size.
  6. Sprinkle the salt in a moderate amount over the internal flesh part of tomatoes. There is a tradeoff. Do not make them so salty by adding much and not much less as tomatoes may spoil. You can add preferable herbs if you wish.
  7. Before noon, put them under sun in a place where there is no wind. That is to protect them from dust and sand. Covering them with net can also protect them from flying insects.
  8. Before sunset collect them or cover them. The other day back them to dry cycle again. They need just 3 days to fully dry.
  9. Afterwards, store them in a dry place.


Now you can start eating them till next tomato season of the following year. Also, there are many special menus where you can enjoy dry tomatoes in your delicious cooked food.

Tomatoes in the final stage of the drying process.


In the future, every home can have its own indoor hydroponic garden. It looks like a dream but it is possible with Shibakawa LEDs. We will do our best to make this dream come true for you.


Tomato and Time

Some tomatoes take more time to grow than many other varieties. So it may take longer in indoor controlled environment than under the shower of a summer sun. For optimum flavor; tomatoes need to ripen on the vine as long as possible. The longer on vine, the better the sugars, acids, and anti-oxidants will develop.


Whether you grow them under the sun or by using Shibakawa LEDs; if you felt that the tomatoes taste somewhat bland, just try to leave them to mature a bit longer.

Me and Tomato flowers; Taking care of them instead of Honeybees!!