Kim Seon Ho makan pare

Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha’s Kim Seon Ho Eats Bitter Melon. Here’s How to Grow It at Home

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The popularity of Korean drama ‘HomeTown Cha-Cha-Cha’ has brought Kim Seon Ho worldwide stardom. Despite a scandal with his ex-girlfriend, Seon Ho’s character in the movie, ‘Chief Hong’, is not losing fans.

HomeTown Cha Cha Cha has become another K-series global sensation and has made one of the 10 most popular Netflix shows in many countries, including Indonesia. In addition to its interesting storyline that relates to everyday life, the drama is played by well-known South Korean actors, Shin Min Ah and Kim Seon Ho, as the main characters. These two actors are so good at playing their characters and grab the sympathy of viewers. 

Thanks to this series that follows the success of his previous K-drama ‘Start Up’, Kim Seon Ho’s name shines even more. After making his acting debut in 2017 in the play ‘Good Manager’, new deals for starring in dramas and participating in variety shows came. Apart from those series, Kim Seon Ho has featured in many other dramas such as Two Cops, Strongest Deliveryman, Welcome To Waikiki, and 100 Days My Prince. He also participated in ‘2 Days and 1 Night’ reality show which aired on KBS 2. 

Interestingly, on the reality show, the 35 year-old actor ate bitter melon (pare), a popular vegetable-fruit in Indonesia. Kim and his friends were challenged by the show’s producers to eat some dishes made from bitter melon. Some of the bitter melons had been processed into several foods, and some were still raw. 

The producers of the show explained that bitter melon is a wonder plant. It has a high insulin content so it can control blood sugar levels and can treat diabetes. If you want to know more about bitter melons, stay tuned! 

Facts and Benefits of Bitter Melons

Bitter melon, also known as bitter gourd, is a tropical vine plant widely grown in Asia. It has a long pointed shape and a jagged surface. Bitter melon can grow in the lowlands, wild or cultivated. It is known for its bitter taste. But behind this taste, bitter melon has many health benefits. For Indonesian people, bitter melon is often consumed as a vegetable. Despite its bitter taste, bitter melon remains a vegetable that is often consumed due the many benefits it provides. 

Bitter melon contains lots of Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, beta carotene, phytochemical lutein, lycopene, calories, protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, ash, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and sodium. Because of this nutritional content, consuming bitter melon can help treat several diseases such as diabetes, indigestion, intestinal worms, as an anticancer, antibiotic, antiviral, lowering blood sugar levels, appetite stimulant and as a medicine for malaria. 

How to Cultivate Bitter Melon

It is relatively simple to cultivate bitter melon. The plant can grow in various types of soil up to an altitude of 15000 mdpl. However, to be able to grow optimally, bitter melon requires soil with a pH level of 5-6, has a lot of humus content and a loose soil. It is also a plant that does not require much sunlight, so it can grow even in the shade. 

Bitter melon can also be grown by planting seeds. First, you have to select bitter melon seeds by putting them in water. Good seeds to plant are seeds that sink, while those that float can be removed. You can plant the good seeds directly in the soil or you can also sow them. 

For the planting media, you need to make sure first that the soil is loose. Then make a bed with a height of 25 cm, a width of 1.5 m and a length according to the land area. Don’t forget to mix it with manure in a ratio of 1 quintal of fertilizer for every 100 square meters of land. Next, make a hole with a distance of 0.75 m X 0.75 m with a depth of 3-5 cm. Put 2-3 seeds in each hole, then cover with soil. Your bitter melon will grow within 4-7 days. 

After planting, don’t forget to water the bitter melon regularly every morning and evening. Pay attention to the flow of water around the bed so that when it rains the plants are not easily flooded. After about 2 weeks or when the plants have reached a height of 50 cm, you must make a rack so that they can easily vine. At the age of 3 weeks, when the plants start to grow stems, you should do pruning so that the shoots can spread and produce more. Choose at least 2 branches that are strong, large and healthy, then you can trim the other branches. You can do pruning after 6 weeks. 

To apply fertilizer, you can use organic and inorganic fertilizers. For inorganic fertilizers you can use NPK fertilizer with a ratio of 2-3 kg for every 100 square meters. Do fertilization by piling fertilizers around the plants as far as 10 cm from the stem. You can fertilize after the bitter melon is 1 month old, followed by the weeding. Bitter melon plants will flower after the age of 1.5-2 months. The flowers are yellow and long-stemmed and finally will turn into fruits. 

Written by: Renat