Gardening

The days seem to go by so fast. I think it has something to do with the year round consistency in day and night. We wake up at 4:30 in order to be ready to greet the workers at 5:15. I start the day by making lemonade for the workers, then onto short walks to the street with the dogs and then preparing breakfast. I take advantage of the cool time in the mornings and evenings to do tasks in the garden and vivero. I am using Ed Bernhardt’s “The Costa Rican Organic Home Gardening Guide” as my tool for gardening in the tropics. In it he suggests starting most seedlings in flats. When they are an inch or two high they are transplanted into beverage cups for a few weeks before being transplanted one more time into the garden. This method works well for me. I am planting the vegetables in different areas as well as pots in order to find out what works best.

I have found that lettuce does best for me either in one of the hydroponics bins or in pots in the vivero. Recently I found some arugula seeds. Even though I believe they like a little cooler weather, they are doing well here. We enjoy eating them and so do the worms. I inspect the plants at least twice a day to remove butterfly eggs. After our house is built I will most likely screen in a portion of the vivero to keep the flying insects out.

We are growing some excellent kale. I am hoping the kale plant in this picture goes to seed so that I can keep growing this wonderful green, one that cannot be purchased in Puriscal. We have enjoyed steamed kale and mustard greens on many occasions during the past few months. I also just finished harvesting green beans, there were so many that we had to blanch and freeze most of them.

On Friday Mario harvested taro from the garden. These were initially growing wild in a very wet spot on the property. We moved some closer to the house and they did well, even though the soil wasn’t as moist all of the time. They are a delicious potato substitute. I’m also growing Chinese green beans, radish, celery, spinach, squash, sunflower, cilantro, peanuts, several types of hot and sweet chilies and many herbs. The chores in the garden never end but doing them has been a dream of mine for a long time. I’m grateful to be here and to have this opportunity to “live the dream”.

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