Dr. Bilhaj’s Planting Diary

Bilhaj, Abdulkhalig Ali Dou
Mar 23, 2020
Shibakawa Inter-Lighting technology application on hydroponic tomatoes.


I am very happy to back to you again our dear reader. Especially,

after being quarantined for 14 days in Kazakhstan in relation of Wuhan’s Corona Virus.

I would really like to thank my team members for the great online support.

Also my appreciation goes to Salikhov family of Pavlodar city and my best friends

in the capital Nur-Sultan for their daily help and very strong support.

I love them so much. May Allah protect you and all of us too.


In this article, I would like to convey to you my latest research activities including some

Shibakawa Inter-Lighting technology applications on Tomatoes.


At the end of last December I grew new and different types of tomatoes.

The first and second images show the difference of shape and size of flowers.

Actually, this difference is proportional to both the tomato’s type and size.

The first image flowers are of a large tomato type,

while the second with smaller flowers is for the mini-tomato.

It is really interesting, don’t you think so?!





Color in tomato is the most significant external characteristic to assess ripeness and postharvest life,

and is a foremost factor in the consumer’s purchase decision.

Particularly,using Shibakawa Inter-Lighting Technology as you can see in 3rd image,

you can feel clearly how beautiful is the gradual change of color between dark green

and diverse stages of orange. It is so attractive, isn’t it?



After just a few days the same tomato cluster grows and the mature tomato started to have a clear crack

in the upper part of it as illustrated in the following image.



Cracking of tomatoes and other fruits might be a real problem for large production sales.

But in fact the crack happens when the fruit skin become thinner approaching maturing stage.

Some other reasons include the sudden changes in the pressure inside the fruit cells

by excessive water uptake and the excessive fruit size caused by application of plant growth regulators.

From my personal experience,

I love the taste of the cracked tomatoes and fruits because of the over maturing state

with a high saturation of fruit sugar.

Some examples of this state are the Japanese cracked San-Fuji type apples,

as well as the figs and pomegranates which we are growing in my family farm in Libya.

At least, you can try the taste difference of these cracked apples yourself,

I am sure you will love the deep sweet taste of it.







In the last image of this article, I would like introduce the hot pepper grown with Shibakawa LED.

I tried eating it myself, but it was unexpectedly and extremely hot.

Immediately I needed to drink water.

However, since there was no drinking water nearby,

the mini tomatoes grown next to me was the only solution.

I had no choice only to swallow full mouth of it to neutralize that spiciness.

It was a very spicy memorable for me.

So let’s be careful about peppers.


Feb 10, 2020
Blooming pistil flower


Hello my friends!!

I am so happy to be here again; to deliver you part of my research and challenging news.


Oh yes … you can guess from the new images that today dairy is about Zucchini and Eggplant.

But guess why I did choose Zucchini and Eggplant?




This photo has been taken just 40 days after the germination.

You can see how Shibakawa high-tech LED make plants grows fast, strong, and tasty as we will see.


Although you may know this, but let us together sharp our knowledge about these plants!


For Zucchini, it is a thin-skinned summer squash, of Mesoamerican origin,

which is usually harvested when still immature at about 15 to 25 cm.

(please read  Wikipedia for more details).

By the way… Do you like it? For me yes, I like it and I was growing it in Libya.

Before I come to Japan to study in Niigata and Nihon universities, but I could only grow it in summer.


I love its soup as it made by hands of my Mother, especially in the month of Ramadan.

So, now I wanted to challenge the ability of Shibakawa LED to grow Zucchini in this cold winter!!

The result was the image in front of you. It is so beautiful, isn’t it?




43 days after germination, the Zucchini growing speed is accelerated and the flower is going to bloom.



Pistil is the female or seed-bearing flower.



Similarly, stamen is the male or pollen-bearing flower.


From the image; you can recognize easily that there are 2 types of flowers.

One holds Zucchini and the another not.

The holder flower is the female or the seed-holding pistil which is composed of the ovary,

the stigma, and the style.

The other one is the male or pollen-loaded stamen.

In fact, most plants sprout bisexual flowers (which have both male and female parts)

like Tomatoes and Eggplants; but plants like Zucchini grow separate male and female flowers.

So interesting, ya…and looks delicious too!!

Of course, welcome to Shibakawa, if you visit us, I will present them as a gift to you (smile)


Can you eat Zucchini blossoms?

Many people say that they are not only edible but incredibly delicious.

I did not try them yet, but I would like to have a try!!




Now, let us move to the purple vegetable.


Actually, most of the diverse European and worldwide names

for the Eggplant derive from the Arabic word Badinjan.

“A book on Agriculture” written by Ibn Al-Awwam;

who lived in Al-Andalus (Iberian Peninsula) in the 12th century,

was the first book prescribed Eggplants in the history.

Eggplant blossom Looks happy, doesn’t it?



It is similar to tomato, that its skin and seeds can be eaten; but like potato,

which usually eaten cooked specially with its capability of absorbing oils and flavors into the its flesh.

Do you like it? If you do; Yes, I like it too.



Both Zucchini and Eggplant can be used in various recipes.

Please try to cook some of them, and enjoy eating their delicious dishes!





Jan 22, 2020
Introduction of the Libyan country


Hello our dear reader.


I came from Libya.

By the way, do you know where is it?

It is A country of a size 6 times bigger than Japan and located

in the Mediterranean coast of North Africa and Southern Europe.

A country mostly covered by the Sahara Desert except for the seaside area.

Although its petroleum reserves are the eighth largest in the world,

most of people are doing agriculture activities.

My town Agelat also has a beautiful Mediterranean Seaside.



It is my hometown, old town Sabratha.



A large variety of fruits; such as grape, orange, apple, pomegranate, fig, mulberry, and pear grow

in the Libyan Mediterranean and agricultural climate.

There are also olives, date palms, almonds, and many other fruits, which are hard to grow in Japan.

Vegetables are so many too, such as tomatoes, cucumber, strawberries and corn.

In summer, the wadi rivers dry, so rice cannot grow but wheat, wheat, oats, etc. are cultivated.





The farm of my family(Goats appear in the photo)





The enjoyable blossoms in Japan are cherry blossoms, but Libya enjoys almonds and apricot blossoms.

They are so beautiful and similar to cherry flowers.



In Japan, the important Olympic year is about to begin,

but the year events including the new year in Libya are different. Here are some of these differences.


Libya does not have a new year or a golden week as in the west calendar,

but they rather use the Hijra lunar calendar.

This calendar has 2 main events,

one is a post-fasting (post-Ramadan) event called Eid Al-fiter

and a sheep sacrificing event called Eid Al-aduha.

As of now it is the year1441 on this calendar.


During the month of Ramadan, fasting all over the day time continues for a month (eating only at night),

and Eid Al-fiter is the 4-days event following the end of Ramadan.


During Eid Al-fiter, people give food, new clothes and much care to the poor before the end of Ramadan,

so that all dress new and enjoy a happy Eid time.

In the meantime, every one visit friends and relatives,

go and greet the neighbors and the people living around, and eat together at homes.


The second special event is Eid Al-aduha; which comes 70 days after the end of Ramadan.


In this event each Muslim family around the world approaches Allah,

who is the Creator of us and the whole universe.

This approach is done by sacrificing a sheep or goats, or shares sacrificing a cattle or a camels.


A pressure steamed whole sheep



It is recommended that the sacrificial meat be divided into three equal parts.

The family eats one third themselves, gives one third to relatives,

and volunteers the other third to the poor.


In fact, for me the most enjoyable time is every night of the month Ramadan.

Even in Japan, you can go in any Ramadan evening to any Mosque

and enjoy a free meal while having cross cultural talks.


For example, Tokyo Camii (https://tokyocamii.org/en/), built in 1938,

offers Turkish food to anyone free of charge on every night of Ramadan.


The Tokyo Camii (Mosque) in Yoyogi-uehara



Free and enjoyable dinner at each evening of Ramadan month.



If you are interested,

please do not hesitate to go visit there to enjoy eating free Turkish food

and have warm talks (Ramadan month in 2020 starts about April 25th)