This is John Kohler with
on another field trip. Yes, another subscriber visit, actually these aren’t subscribers,
well these are subscribers and friends of mine. We’re out her in Mesquite, Nevada,
and going to check out what they’re growing, and I also got them a gift. This is the other
one I brought too in my carryon luggage, took a lot of space. I got one other gift
for them too. Loquats, so these are fresh harvested loquats from California, before
I took off and I know they love all kinds of fruit, so I’m bringing them some fresh
loquats from California. So let’s go in and check out what they got
growing. So it just looks like in their front yard here they have a couple stone fruit trees
as well as a fig tree.  So we’re here in Ronnie and Minh’s backyard.
One of the things that immediately popped out at me was how many aloe vera plants they
have growing. I love aloe vera and I’m growing the Japanese aloe, but they’re growing the
king aloe right here. It’s a succulent it grows really well in the dessert and it’s
also edible. Many people don’t know that it’s edible. You
could cut it and get the juice and squeeze out the juice on sunburns and cuts and things
like that, but it’s also really good to take internally. It’s supposed to be really healing
and good for you. So Ronnie why don’t you tell me how you guys use this aloe and in
what kind of recipes you use in it. I mean, do you just eat the leaves whole? Or do you
cut them up and take or what do you do? Minh: We cut them. 
Ronnie: Well Minh will come out and she’ll cut off a leaf, a nice thick one and then
she’ll peel it with her little Vietnamese peeling tool and then she’ll take the inside,
wash it off, slice it up, put it in a blender with some orange juice and then from there,
that’s basically it. When you whip it up it’ll come out like an Orange Julius, you’ll have
a little bit of fuzzy and it’s a great drink and you can add some sweetener there if you’re
a person that likes sweetener, you can add– Minh: Sweetener and–
Ronnie: — a mint, almost anything that you wanted to that. But basically it’s just orange
juice and aloe vera. I tell you Minh’s been drinking this all her life but when she introduced
it to me John, one thing that I found immediately was this is one of those things when you drink
it you feel it right away. You can feel something is happening in your stomach and then later
on in your body because this stuff goes to work, and you can feel it, it’s powerful. The
other thing about it is it’s a beautiful plant.  John: It is. 
Ronnie: Right now it doesn’t have its stalk and it’s flower, but these things will grow
beautiful flowers. So you get to look at it, it’s medicinal. Out in the dessert this is
almost like a staple because if you have any kind of a skin irritation, a bug bite, or
a sun burn, you rub the, you break it off and rub the gel right on your skin and it’s
the same stuff that you buy in all these packages. But the thing is when you buy something in
a package it’ll be telling you it’s made with aloe vera and it is, but usually it’ll be
like five percent or three percent aloe vera. When you put the real thing on a cut or a
burn, it works, it really has some powerful stuff in there. 
John: Aloe vera for the teeth, oh wow.  Ronnie: For the gums. 
John: For the gums? Ronnie: Actually I researched that because
it’s the same thing, it’s antibacterial, that’s why they use it on wounds and things like
that. So when you do put it on your gums it’s great if you have any kind of a gum disease
or close to it.  John: Oh wow, I didn’t know that. 
Ronnie: Yeah, it’s very good. This is one of those plants that really requires, basically
nothing.  John: No care?
Ronnie: No care.  John: This is like one of the plants you plant
and ignore and then it’s going to do better than if you water it because if you water
it you’re going to over water it and it doesn’t like too much water. 
Ronnie: Absolutely.  Minh: Yeah. 
Ronnie: It’s one of those things that it gives you so much for so little. It gives you beauty,
it’s healing, it’s delicious to drink. What can you say? It’s just a fantastic thing.
If you research it there’s reference to aloe vera in almost every culture going back to
the beginning of written history. Cleopatra used aloe vera on her skin, there’s written
accounts of it. This stuff’s been around for a long time. 
John: Wow so aloe vera besides just putting it and fileting it and peeling it and putting
it in, and blending it with orange juice, you could use it for your gums, use it on
your skin, use it for cuts. Wow, aloe vera’s a succulent so you pretty much need to plant
it and ignore it. Maybe we’ll give it a little bit of water sometimes. Aloe vera it’s a great
plant to grow and you should grow some too.  The other thing I noticed about Ronnie and
Minh’s yard is that they have so many fruit trees. I mean there’s a fruit tree here, a
fruit tree there and like almost every six feet there’s a fruit tree. There’s a fruit
tree next to me there because growing in the desert, growing fruit trees is probably the
best way to go because they’re really low maintenance and some varieties will do fairly
well. When did you guys plant this and it already has fruit on it!
Ronnie: We literally planted this about a month and a half ago, put it in the ground.
We bought it in a nursery and it’s grafted onto another tree. But here as you can see,
it’s already got fruit and this fruit has been growing and this is all new growth. This
is all, you can see here this is all brand new growth since we planted it in the growth
since we planted it in the ground.  John: So what other trees do you have Ronnie
here?   Ronnie: Figs. 
John: Okay, figs grow good here.  Ronnie: We got some figs, we’ve got plum,
almonds do fantastic, absolutely fantastic out here in the desert. Pomegranates, pomegranates
do really well. We don’t have an apricot this year, but apricots do really well out here
in the desert. Apples, Fuji apples will do well. But my favorites are the pomegranate,
figs, the almonds, so I guess all of them. I’m listing all of them.
John: Well you got grapes, but grapes aren’t necessarily a tree. But you have lots of grapes
on trellises, maybe we’ll take a look at that in a second. 
Ronnie: Yeah, the grapes do great. We eat the leaves and the grapes themselves. Plus
grapes is another one of those plants, they give you beauty, they give you shade. Sometimes
we grow the grapes just for shade out here because a little bit of shade out in the desert
you get five or ten degrees. John: Difference, yeah. 
Ronnie: That’s a big difference when it’s 110 degrees outside. 
John: Oh I bet. Alright, cool. Well hey, let’s go check out the grapes next! Now we’re standing
in front of the grape vines and they just basically made a trellis out of some–
Ronnie: Scrap wood.  John: Scrap wood, some stakes and some little
tie things, they tied together. This is basically a nylon trellis. They have all these beautiful
grapes growing with all these little baby grapes, immature grapes, not yet ready to
harvest. So Ronnie why don’t you tell me eat these leaves. Like this? Could you eat grape
leaves? Ronnie: Absolutely, they’ve been eating dolmas,
grape leaves, the dolmas in Greek culture. You go back to the ancient writings of the
Greeks and you’ll find them taking dolmas on ships with them. What they would do is
they would take the grape leaves and they would cook them and then they would store
them and then they roll them up with rice and vegetables or whatever. Well we don’t
cook, Minh and I don’t cook, so we just roll them up with pate or a raw rice and vegetables
and we eat them. The other way that I like to eat them is I
come out in the morning and usually my breakfast every morning is fruit. But after I’ve had
my fruit I’ll go get a date and an almond or some seeds or nuts, and I’ll put in inside
the grape leaf, roll it up. If I had one here right now I’d eat it. Roll it up and eat it.
They’re great. People have been eating grape leaves for centuries.
If you look it on the internet you’ll find out there’s some really, a lot of vitamins
and nutrition inside grape leaves as long as the fiber. Then they give us the grapes
too of course and a little vine like this, last year off of this vine we got over twelve
pounds of grapes.  John: Twelve pounds of grapes just off this
one vine here, that’s, I mean that’s amazing. So fruit trees and grapes and vines will yield
a lot per the space they’re growing in and they’re really low maintenance compared to
vegetables. So I’m going to go ahead and try a grape leaf.
Well it doesn’t taste like my tree collards, but it’s edible and if the Greeks used to
do it, we’ve been eating these for a long time and actually you could go into a Greek
store and buy like what, these in oil right. Actually you’re supposed to buy those so why
not use your grape leaves fresh.  Ronnie and Minh have three raised beds. This
bed basically has a, what is it?  Minh: Right here. 
John: Chard, and oh they’re picking ripe tomatoes. So it’s the beginning and June and my tomatoes
aren’t even near being ripe yet. But we’re harvesting fresh, ripe tomatoes here in the
beginning of June here in Mesquite, Nevada in the desert where it’s so hot.
Yeah, so they grow back here in the backyard, but when I came they had this all covered
with shade cloth and that’s to help reduce the heat to keep things a little bit cooler.
Then he puts this this shade cloth over everything so that could be definitely important growing
in the dessert, definitely keeping your things shaded so it doesn’t get too hot. Also mulching
is very important and keeping things watered as well. 
Ronnie: Dripping, using the drip system down close to the ground because out here it’ll
evaporate.  John: Evaporate, right. 
Ronnie: You can water with a hose and I can guarantee you that probably half of it is
just going right back up in the air. So you learn a few tricks how to be successful out
here in the desert, but there’s no question you can grow food no matter where you are. 
John: I brought on the plane with me my famous tree collards. So we’re going to present this
to them as a gift so hopefully they could grow some tree collards out here in Las Vegas.
They might have to keep this on the inside for a little while and then acclimate it and
then it’ll be really interesting to see how well it does outside. I don’t know that I’d
plant it in full sun, maybe have it in a pot you could take in and kind of monitor it.
But here you go. See, I’m doing my part to spread the genetic
wealth and spread this because these plants are pretty rare actually and you can’t propagate
these by seeds because they don’t go to seed. So I’m sharing plants, this is just like seed
saving and then when I got here then they, they’re offering me a plant too so this is
really exciting for me and Minh or Ronnie do you want to tell me what that one is? 
Ronnie: Minh tell about the ha.  Minh: No. 
Ronnie: Well we’ll tell them in a minute. This is called ha, can you say it? I can’t
say it right. How do you say it? Minh: Ha. 
Ronnie: Ha. This is called ha and this is, Minh brought this from Vietnam, she’s being
eating this since you were a child right, a little girl?
Minh: Yeah, yeah.  Ronnie:  Basically it grows like grass and
John you said this a member of what family kind of like garlic?
John: I think it’s the allium or garlic and onion family. It has a resemblance of flavor
like that, maybe like, not like chives but different like that. But I’ll know when I
see the root bulbs and stuff.  Ronnie: I don’t know what family it’s from,
but I know this. It grows like crazy. The minute you cut it off it’ll grow back in about
three or four days, it’ll be this tall and it’s free which is my favorite thing about
food. Just come out and pick it every day and Minh you put it in wraps, salads, put
it in everything.  Minh: Yeah, yeah. I put everything in here. 
Ronnie: Great, there you go  John: Ha, this is called ha, is that right?
So it’s from Vietnam, another herb, it’s going to be planted in my herb garden, so we’ll
watch for the ha.  Minh: Ha. 
John: Ha soon in my herb gardern. So this is John Kohler with
keep on growing. And do you have anything you want to say?
Ronnie: I want to thank the academy for this award. 
John: We’ll see you next time!