Harvesting Broccoli

I miss the cold weather in Manila. I miss it terribly. Although we were already warned by many reports, it was still heartbreaking for me to experience the heat so soon, because I wanted the cold weather to last for a few more months. I was just getting used to wearing hoodies, not experiencing sweat that much and constantly feeling the cool breeze whenever I would take a quick walk outside. However, when I stay inside or go outside of our house nowadays, I’m not able to feel and appreciate the cold, fresh air anymore.

My first Broccoli. :)
My first Broccoli. :)

Just last week, I got so affected by the sudden change in the weather because I noticed how both my Broccoli and Cherry Tomato plants were having a difficult time surviving each day. Before, watering the plants twice a day (morning and evening) was already sufficient. But because of the extreme heat recently, the plants and soil dried up immediately after they were watered.


Also, I noticed how weird my Broccoli eventually looked like. In my former posts, I showed photos of how the Broccoli plant was able to produce its first Broccoli, but when I had a closer look at it a few days ago, I saw little flower buds growing on it. The Broccoli certainly didn’t look like the ones being sold at the supermarket. It had puffy buds.


After doing more research online, I found out that the heat and lack of water caused the Broccoli to grow prematurely, thus, allowing the flower buds to grow. And when we allow the yellow Broccoli flowers to grow on its head more, it would eventually develop a bitter taste. So, I inspected the head and saw that some of the flower buds already started to open up a bit. At first, I didn’t want to remove it from its stem since it was still a small head. But then, I also knew that I needed to harvest it soon because if I didn’t, it would end up as a ball of yellow, inedible Broccoli flowers. I prayed about it and decided to harvest the head the next day.



Steamed Broccoli with Salt & Pepper. They were quite sweet! :)

When I was tempted to complain and grumble last week, God encouraged me to thank Him instead because He gave me the privilege of growing even just a small head of Broccoli. It reminded me of the verse in the Bible where it says:

“Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food…
yet I will rejoice in the Lord…”

[Habakkuk 3:17-18]


Two days ago, I went online and browsed through one of my favorite gardening blogs, White On Rice Couple (http://whiteonricecouple.com/). To my surprise, the couple behind the blog shared about how they lost their 10-year old Blood Orange tree due to overwatering. Somehow, I sympathized with them because I felt like I lost my 9-month old Broccoli plant when it grew a head prematurely because of the heat and lack of water. But in their blog, they shared about how they decided to plant a new tree to replace the old one. And that simple act reminded me of hope. Hope not in ourselves or in the situations around us, but Hope that is found in God who causes things to grow.


When I first planted the Broccoli seed, I remember placing a sign in the pot to encourage me. It said “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” [1 Corinthians 3:7]


Thank You, Lord, for the past nine months of growing a Broccoli seed and learning more about You from it. Thank you for allowing it to grow. I look forward to growing more plants and trees with You in the near future. ‘Til our next harvest!


Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)

Simple Sunday Snack: Little Trees (Broccoli) with Sticky Cheese

Exactly a week ago, I was hanging out at our veranda where our cherry tomato and broccoli plants were. It was such a joy for me to see a new batch of cherry tomatoes ready for harvest. However, I couldn’t help but wonder when the Broccoli plants would produce their heads. I then decided to do more research about it after I finished watering the plants that morning.


While I was watering one of the Broccoli plants, I noticed something different in the middle area. It looked like a baby Broccoli head, but I wasn’t sure yet. I told my sister, “Ate, I think the Broccoli has a head!” and I asked her to check it out too. After a few seconds of observing, we both concluded that it did grow a tiny head! Oh, you could just imagine how happy I was! I remember feeling physically weak that time because I was sick, but the moment I saw the head, I jumped up and down like a happy bunny while shouting “YAY!!!!”.


After eight months of waiting, one of the Broccoli plants finally produced its baby and I am one happy, proud, and grateful gardener!

It took a lot of faith and courage for me to plant the Broccoli seeds months ago because I knew that it was a cold weather plant. In the Philippines, they usually grow these in Baguio and in other cold places. So, the chances of it growing in Manila (considering its usual hot weather) were really small. But by God’s grace, He made the weather in this country cooler recently. As you can see in the news articles I included below, we have experienced really cold days in the country last month!




Interestingly, PAGASA even recorded the coldest day (so far) of 2014 last Sunday (January 26, 2014), the day when the baby Broccoli head grew!


God used that moment to encourage me to continue being faithful and to trust in His faithfulness and provision. Honestly, there were days when I didn’t feel like watering the Broccoli plants because they were only growing leaves and not the vegetable that I wanted. And during those days, the leaves of one of the plants wilted and I thought that it was already going to die. But after two days of regularly watering it again, the leaves stood tall!

“Faithfulness is not doing something right once but doing something right over and over and over and over.” –Joyce Meyer


God showed me how the discipline of watering the plants daily and taking care of them every now and then also helped in growing a healthy plant. I know that I have so much more to improve on and I hope and pray that by His grace, I will also be faithful in the other aspects of my life. In maintaining good relationships, in honoring Him with my daily walk with Jesus, in doing my best at work and in ministry, in regularly tithing, and even in taking good care of the things He has given me.


Deuteronomy 7:9 says “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.


Looking forward to the day when I can harvest the beautiful Broccoli! I’ll most probably blog about it soon. But for now, I’ll be sharing a simple snack for you guys:





Spices (Salt, Pepper)

Mozzarella cheese (or quick-melt cheese) at room temperature



1. Cut the Broccoli into smaller pieces. Steam for 3-5 minutes, depending on your desired texture.

2. Season the steamed Broccoli with salt and pepper.

3. Add a tablespoon of butter and grated cheese on the vegetable while it’s still hot.

4. Enjoy! It’s a great source of vitamin C!


Read more about growing Broccoli and Cherry Tomatoes here: https://encouragingtreats.com/growing-broccoli-cherry-tomatoes/

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)

Simple Sunday Snack: Cherry Tomatoes on Baguettes

Nothing beats fresh ingredients in home-cooked meals. It has always been my dream to own and manage a huge garden or an orchard where I could pick, eat, and cook various fruits, vegetables, and herbs anytime. In the future, God-willing, I’ll get to experience that. But for now, I am very much pleased with my baby plants in our veranda. By God’s grace, I harvested my first batch of red cherry tomatoes and made an easy, cheesy snack at home.




While I was removing the tomatoes from the plant, I started reminiscing about its younger days. It was just a beautiful experience to see that one, tiny seed grow into a leafy and fruitful plant. When I was in gradeschool, I remember collecting fruits on the ground that fell from the trees and I was happy even in those simple moments. I guess I’ve always admired the beauty of seeing fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs grow in trees and plants.






And now that God has given me the privilege of growing my own plants and vegetables, I am reminded even more of how amazing God is as our Creator. He is able to make seeds grow and bear fruit! The remarkable thing about it too is that even when I wasn’t able to regularly water and fertilize our plants at home, God still made a way for them to get their needs (e.g. through rain; my mom who sometimes watered the plants too).




Seeing his grace in the growth of the plants encourages me to trust in His faithfulness. If He can easily provide for the plant’s needs, make it grow and bear fruit, how much more can He graciously work in the hearts and lives of His children?


Philippians 1:6 says: “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Thank You, Lord, for the simple joys of knowing you more through nature. :)




  • Ripe tomatoes
  • Spices: Salt, Pepper, Dried herbs (oregano, rosemary, basil, sage, etc.)
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Baguettes (I got mine from Le Coeur de France)
  • olive oil
  • Fresh Basil leaves



1. Slice the tomatoes.


2. Add a dash of salt and pepper and sprinkle some of the dried herbs. Drizzle olive oil on it and mix.


3. Cook the spiced tomatoes in a small pan, until soft.

4. Place the tomatoes on sliced baguettes and add shredded Mozzarella cheese.

5. Toast them for 2-3 minutes.

6. Sprinkle chopped fresh basil leaves on the baguettes.

Mom’s fresh basil

7. Enjoy white it’s still hot, crunchy, and cheesy.

I served it with Sbarro’s baked ziti with Meatball. :)


Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)

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About Me

My name is Nicole Obligacion and I started this blog because I was inspired by Hebrews 10:24 and Hebrews 3:13. I love to eat, cook, bake, read the Bible, and encourage. :)

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