Dr. Bilhaj’s Planting Diary

Bilhaj, Abdulkhalig Ali Dou
Apr 23, 2020
Shibakawa High-Tech LED and Strawberry


A reader from the Siberian Pavlodar city of Kazakhstan sent me a message just today,which includes a question regarding the previous article.The reader’s concern is about the hydroponic systems and the process of growing tomatoes using the Shibakawa’s Inter-Lighting technology.Considering my respective reader’s kind request; in the diary of the coming month,I will write about that in detail.

This month diary article is dedicated to my research activities on strawberries using Shibakawa’s high-tech LED lamps.

In general, conventional agriculture faces the issues of season extension challenges to meet consumer demand for year-round availability, and in the same time,experience confronts with pests and the hardness of obtaining appropriate and sufficient harvest labor.

Increasing consumer demand for berries, climate change-induced weather variability,high pesticide use, agriculture policies, and land availability do negatively impact any regional production.Thus, the adaption to the new agricultural hydroponic systems becomes crucially necessary.

Shibakawa’s high-tech LED is facilitating this adoption through continuous research,development, and innovation.We already have been able to make the year-round vegetable-fruit availability possible.Better space allocation, saving water, climate control, pests and disease free,and less labor are some of the advantages of the new hydroponic system industry.That in turn adds a considerable amount of production to the world agricultural map.Practically in this regard, Shibakawa high-tech LED lamps can be installed as an Inter-Lighting that supports the growing of flowers, Tomatoes, and any fruits or vegetables in the green house environment.

Furthermore, these lamps are able to substitute 100% the light of Sun and efficiently accelerate the growth of any indoor hydroponics plants as well.In this article of April, first of all I would like to thank our Siberian reader so much indeed and all of you for your careful reading and following up my articles since September of last year.This time, I would like to share you my research on strawberries.Talking about strawberry, although it is one of the most valued fruit worldwide,modern cultivated varieties exhibiting larger fruits with intense color and prolonged shelf life.

But yet, these valuable traits were attained at the cost of the intensity and variety of the aroma of the strawberry.In connection to this, wild strawberry display smaller fruits and fewer yields compared with cultivated varieties; but they accumulate broader and augment blends of aromatic volatile compounds.As a fact, the large diversity and strength of aromas is occurring in natural and domesticated plants.

My research on strawberries was focusing on how Shibakawa LED’s different levels of Infrared Red influences the plant growing speed, flowering frequency, its fruit size, taste, color,and fragrance.

Simultaneously, to enhance my research, I utilized diverse types of strawberries such as Aki-hime,Seriinu, Enjeru-Eito (pure-8), Ai-berry (love-berry), and wild-berry.So hopefully this article can be somehow attractive to you.In each one of these types, many plant aspects will be stated, imaged, and illustrated such as leaves,flowers, and fruit’s color, formation, size, fragrance, softness, and taste.In fact, considering the leaf and flower difference, in my varieties I noticed that only wild berry can be recognized from other types. The following 4 images show that.



The leaves and flowers of Wild berry.



Only Wild berry can have a flower with 4 petals and 4 distinctive sepals.



The leaves and flowers of Love-berry



Seriinu flower, as you can see, is so similar to Love-berry’s.


Starting from Aki-Hime strawberry, Let us now look to the fruits of each strawberry type with their internal and external characteristics.Externally, we take a glance to color, size, shape, and smell. Internally we test the taste and softness.



Aki-Hime Strawberry

Aki in ancient Japanese means beauty, and Hime means princess.So it can mean the princess of beauty.This type of Strawberry is developed in Japan in 1992, and then it became widely popular.Externally, it has a gloss red color of the peel, mostly with a conical shape and normal strawberry size.But unfortunately, no aroma could be detected at all.Internally; as for taste and softness, you can enjoy a fully reddish flesh, which gives you acidity-free,watery, and intensive sweetish impression as you smash it between your teeth.



The Princess of Beauty, Aki-Hime, can have different shapes even with no availability of the magical touches of the honey bee.



The gloss red and the conical shape are the main features of Aki-Hime.



Seriinu Strawberry

As you can recognize from its image, externally Seriinu has a larger size with a calm red color.Actually, its taste is like the normal strawberry obtainable in the market.The watery and softness can be felt while sensing its acidity flavor.But similar to Aki-Hime, no aroma was available.



A larger size, usual taste, and much yield are the main features of Seriinu



Enjeru-Eito Strawberry (Pure-8)

Externally, the combination of shiny white color peel and the spots of the tiny red seeds offer this strawberry an extreme beauty.The big size with a noticeable strawberry fragrance makes this strawberry even more attractive.Internally, a white solid flesh with a taste of peach or a mixture juice of pear and kiwi is the Enjeru-Eito’s special feature.



The romantic figure of Enjeru-Eito



Wild Strawberry

On one hand a moderated red color and high level of acidity can be identified as a part of its noticeable characteristics.On the other hand, we can convey that, in spite of its small size, an extraordinary strong aroma among other strawberry types can be easily distinguished while approaching the nose sense of smell.Practically, the fragrance of this strawberry is so intense that a few ripe wild strawberries can perfume an entire room with a penetrating Libya’s Mediterranean fruit scent.



In spite of its small size a strong fragrance and high acidity are the main features of wild strawberry.



Ai-berry (Love strawberry)

It is so similar to Seriinu but just smaller in size. It has nothing special in fact.



The Strawberry Delight

Here is how the internal flesh color and a sense of delight can be seen for the first 4 types above.



Right of image: Enjeru-Eito, Upper: Aki-Hime, Left: Seriinu, Lower: Wild strawberry



In few Words

Briefly, I can say that, if you would like to enjoy strawberry as a sweet fruit take Aki-Hime.If you want to enjoy strawberries in cakes, jam, bread, etc, then just utilize Seriinu for acidity taste and wild berry for the fragrance.Also, if you interested in the romantic beauty of the strawberry with your husband/wife,or for a special guest, or as an elegant present offer him/her the amusement of Enjeru-Eito strawberry.



It looks like a heart isn’t it? Close your eyes and taste it, then try to guess whether it is strawberry or peach!!(Enjeru-eito)



For the coming golden week article

At the end of this article I would like to challenge our readers with this question: Is Strawberry a fruit or a vegetable?

In the coming article of the golden week in Japan, the golden tomatoes will be in the menu.It will include also, one of my research challenges, and the answer to our Siberian reader concerns.



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!