Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Visit to a neighbor and October seedlings

Today Miguel was not feeling well and stayed home, the children decided to stay home with him
and surprised me with a very creative Halloween creation when I returned.
 I will share this project tomorrow.
I went to visit a neighbor, a mexican woman who used to be a dancer in Las Vegas, 
and who is lovingly called the papaya lady by the children.
I mention the dancing bit because I find it so interesting;
all the different walks of life found in just this little part of the jungle.

From the outside, and from the inside too really, her garden looks a bit confusing.
Everything is randomly planted in between the cracks of the rocks, but how healthy and happy all the plants look. And the variety was just amazing,
she must have a good 50 different kinds of fruits, perennial greens, nuts and herbs. 
I took many photos of trees but I cannot as of yet identify them all, far from it, many of the fruits I had never even heard of. She even has two apple trees, one pear tree and a couple of peach trees growing, 
I think they are all young trees and not yet fruiting, but she is convinced that they will, and they look healthy. I will be very excited if we can indeed grow apples and pears here.
Visiting this garden was very inspirational for me, to have such an abundance of food growing with absolutely minimal effort is amazing, it baffles me that just down the road a local family lives and they have not a single fruit tree growing, not one.
In a place such as here, meaning the tropics, it seems everyone should have all their basic fruits growing right outside their door. Some do, but far from everyone. 
 Since arriving here in Mexico I, and the children especially, have enjoyed a red drink which we make from dried red flowers boiled in water, it is called flor de Jamica, and here in this garden I saw the flowering plant, and was even  gifted a few babies to plant on the land.
Beautiful and useful too, love that!!
 These are the flowers once they fall, they are then left to dry before cooking.
(most likely they can be used fresh as well, though I imagine they rot quickly 
if not used or laid out to dry immediately.
 Here is another perennial green, I already forgot the name even though I was told several times.
I must write it down and look it up.
But it is I suspect similar to the Chaya in terms of nutrients, it does however have a very
distinct licorice scent when the leaves are rubbed between the fingers, and I was told that it is most delicious in foods, I am looking forward to try it.
We were also gifted two large seedlings of this tree/bush.
Below is a Noni fruit, I brought home several fruits to try, 
Miguel knows them but I have never had them.
I will take the seeds from the fruits and hope to start little trees from them. 
And here is an old favorite. I had two growing in my garden in North Carolina.
A beautiful Fig tree, I was so happy to actually recognize one of the many fruit trees in this garden, yes well besides the obvious ones.
And we were also gifted three seedlings from this lovely Fig.
mmmmmm, so grateful
Back at home it is becoming obvious that the seedlings are not nearly as pleased with all the rain we are having (it is still raining on and of). All of the pak choy has rotted, the tomatoes look like they are going the same route, and the salad greens the same. The only ones still looking healthy and strong are the cucumbers and zucchini.
A friend told me the other day, that each year he promises himself not to start anything tender, really any annual vegetable, between september and end of november as that is the heaviest rainy season in these parts. He told me that each year the same thing happens; 
because of the humidity with all this rain, the seedlings simply all rot. 
He even spoke of healthy arugula already in his beds about 10 cm tall, gone.
It sounds to me like good advise, 
besides this is an excellent time to focus on all the fruit trees, the trees that love all this water, 
and can really benefit from being planted now.

This spinach was so healthy a couple of days ago, and now one by one they are keeling over,
frustrating really!



  1. I'm amazed everyday more with nature.it just doesn`t stop providing for us.
    thanks for sharing.

  2. It takes time to pick up the rhythm of a place, the flow of life. You will learn this place, its timing - how to work with the wet seasons and the heat. The life you are living is real. It's hard work, but Christina - we live in a world that has forgotten the work of life and expects carpets and large televisions and things to simply appear at the store. It's a dangerous state of mind to be in. There is such tension in our patina of "civilization." When it gives way, no one will know how to do anything real. but you will.


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