Carmeta’s Corner

This space was created to discuss and exchange ideas about promoting good nutrition, food security and related matters – Blogmaster


  • Planted zucchini, beets, Chinese cabbage, spinach seedlings this weekend. Reaped lettuce and chives. Sweet peppers appearing on plants. Celery looking good.

    Hot pepper transplants still yellowish and struggling. Just a few baby carrots salvaged. Will plant more this week.

    In the kitchen, I am now a cou cou expert but still to tackle bread.

    Life is indeed interesting at present.


  • @ Donna,

    Bread is easy. Google a recipe and follow it.


  • Hants,

    The problem is time. As I am a novice, the gardening is time consuming. I have to research and re-read before I work. Thanks for the links. I will use them as I did your microwave method for cou cou.


  • @ Donna June 29, 2020 9:02 AM “In the kitchen, I am now a cou cou expert.”

    i salute you.

    Never give up.


  • @Eobert Lucas,

    there is a story in the Sat 4 July nation newspaper about a Dr Cheryl Rock who is a food scientist in the US. she and her twin a bajan lawyer Susan Sealy will be putting on a course in food science in Bim. i thought of you and your protestations about black people and bajans not studying science when i read the story


  • @ Greene July 4, 2020 7:33 PM

    Do you consider one person to be a lot?


  • @RL

    I never mentioned anything about a lot and this comment was not to challenge your views. in fact i was attempting to show you that persons are perhaps doing what you wanted. who is to say she is the only one? why so defensive man?

    BTW are you going to attend? and what are you view on the recent Govt non lethal PDF about combating the green monkeys


  • Greene I know that you did not ask me, but i read the non-lethal monkey document and it is non workable nonsense. Seemed to have been written by somebody who feels that nothing should ever die. We all die. Since the monkeys have no natural enemies, then we humans have to be the enemy. We need to kill some of the monkeys so that we humans get to eat our produce. I have been killing, principally chickens since my early teens.

    We have a population of monkeys which predate on human food, the monkeys have no natural enemies, and do not understand how to use contraceptives. Are we going to wait until there a million monkeys and farming in Barbados becomes unsustainable?

    This year because of drought and because of a large troupe of monkeys eating the blossoms on my avocado tree i will be lucky to get 50 pears instead of 500 or 1,000.


  • Cuhdear Bajan,

    I have not read the document but I too believe that eventually the population will become unmanageable and will need to be culled eventually.

    I love monkeys but if the choice is between their premature death and that of myself or my son, I choose their premature death. Quick and painless!


  • @ Cuhdear Bajan July 5, 2020 10:28 AM,

    even the PDF seems to suggest that the measures therein may not work. the consensus appears to be that the only serious way to abate the situation lies in a lethal solution which the Govt seems reluctant to make happen.


  • @ Greene July 5, 2020 8:54 AM

    I have not seen the PDF .


  • @Greene

    That link will not work. That is local to your system. You will have to provide an external link or email to BU.


  • @ Cuhdear Bajan July 5, 2020 10:28 AM
    “We have a population of monkeys which predate on human food, the monkeys have no natural enemies, and do not understand how to use contraceptives. Are we going to wait until there a million monkeys and farming in Barbados becomes unsustainable?”

    The green monkey is not indigenous to the Caribbean. The ‘immigrant’ monkey was brought to Barbadoes on the same ships which transported the ‘captured’ people from West Africa.

    Do you know the background to the presence of their relatively large numbers around Barbados?

    Let’s just say that the green monkey is considered a delicacy in some West African culinary cultures including the ancestral source of many black Bajans.

    Maybe the government should designate the Green monkey as the national animal of Barbados and you might see how fast those monkeys become an endangered species.


  • Among the headings of the opening page at GIS is a promo “How to start your backyard garden”. One can follow the links to obtain more information on methods and approaches to get a desired result. Everyone in Barbados complains about monkeys and the losses they incur because of the destructive nature of the animals. One cannot blame monkeys; they will do what monkeys do but how can a Gov’t encourage people to start growing food without a national program aimed at decreasing the monkey population.

    I have seen monkeys among the casuarinas at Miami beach; I have seen them among homes in residential areas; I have seen them in the older areas around chattel houses; I have seen them in urban areas in the city and I have seen them in rural areas. If you are in Barbados and haven’t seen a monkey wait five minutes and take a photo. Humanitarian methods aimed at controlling them aint going to work, the nuclear option is best.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Sargeant

    Spot on!


  • ECLAC Calls for Urgent Regional Cooperation beyond the Pandemic to Foster More Integration and Avert a Food Crisis

    Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the UN regional commission, participated today in a conference organized by CELAC and FAO’s regional office for Latin America and the Caribbean.

    (July 23, 2020) The Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, urged the region’s countries to implement urgent cooperation beyond the pandemic and foster greater productive, trade and social integration, during a virtual conference held today under the organization of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the regional office of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for Latin America and the Caribbean.

    Other participants in the webinar entitled Multilateral Action to Prevent the Health Crisis from Becoming a Food Crisis included Marcelo Ebrard, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, in its capacity as President Pro Tempore of CELAC; Joseph Cox, Assistant Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM); Vinicio Cerezo, Secretary-General of the Central American Integration System (SICA); and Julio Berdegué, FAO’s Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean. Serving as moderator was Camila Zepeda, Director General for Global Issues at the Secretariat for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico.

    During her presentation, Alicia Bárcena emphasized that the region is at risk of experiencing a true food crisis. She specified that more than 96 million people will be living in extreme poverty – 11.8% of all people living in cities and 29% of the residents in rural areas.

    “This is a huge warning, the income of households is declining along with their access to the food basket. It is not that there is a shortage of food, it is that people do not have the resources to be able to acquire it. This comes on top of the low nutritional quality that people are experiencing, above all the poorest families,” she warned.

    She added that in the region, we are in a lost decade in social and economic terms.

    “This downturn will lead us to the worst crisis in a century: GDP will fall -9.1%, poverty will affect 37.3% of the population, and unemployment will reach 13.5%. In Central America and Mexico, the drop in GDP will be 8.4% with a big impact from the recession and unemployment in the United States. South America, meanwhile, will be the subregion most affected by the fall in international prices (-9.4%) due to its specialization in the production and exportation of commodities,” she said.

    With regard to Caribbean countries, she indicated that while they have managed the pandemic crisis better in relative terms, they are experiencing a great plunge in tourism and have high external debt (68.5% of GDP). The GDP of the Caribbean will fall by -5.4%, she added.

    ECLAC’s most senior representative added that governments have taken important measures, but they are not enough to account for the magnitude of the gap.

    She explained that to confront the crisis, ECLAC proposes implementing an emergency basic income equivalent to one poverty line ($147 dollars) for six months, at a cost of 1.9% of GDP, along with an anti-hunger grant equivalent to 70% of one extreme poverty line ($57 dollars), which would cost 0.45% of GDP. The Commission also recommends longer repayment periods and grace periods for credits to Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) and partial co-financing of the payroll; conditional support for at-risk big companies in strategic sectors; expansive and progressive fiscal and monetary policies; and cooperation for financing under favorable conditions.

    It also proposes a political compact for a welfare State and universal, progressive and distributive social policies aimed at dismantling the culture of privilege.

    Alicia Bárcena noted that to prevent the health crisis from becoming a food crisis, ECLAC proposes (in addition to complementing the emergency basic income with the provision of an anti-hunger grant) the granting of subsidies, debt restructuring and/or liquidity provision for agricultural and food-related SMEs and for family businesses, to guarantee the production and distribution chain.

    Furthermore, she called for deepening regional integration through greater resilience in production networks, diversifying suppliers in terms of countries and companies, favoring locations that are closer to final consumption markets, and relocating strategic production-related and technological processes.

    The senior United Nations official warned about the fragility of multilateralism and its exacerbation with the unilateral restrictions placed on the exportation of medical supplies in more than 60 countries. She also explained that in the post-pandemic period, globalization will not be rolled back, but there will be a more regionalized global economy organized around 3 poles: Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

    Finally, ECLAC’s Executive Secretary highlighted the importance of CELAC for expressing the region’s needs and urgencies, with a single voice, on the international stage, primarily in areas such as the search for financial support for middle-income countries under flexible conditions and guaranteeing the unfettered movement of food, medicine and goods.

    More information:

    · COVID-19 Observatory in Latin America and the Caribbean.

    For queries, contact ECLAC’s Public Information Unit.

    Email:; Telephone: (56) 22210 2040.


  • A lost decade in the region? Not just Barbados?


  • I planted a $1.52 package of okra seed on March 20. I had to give them a little water during the dry period. By July 20 when they stopped bearing I had harvested 600 okras. I gave some away. Some are in the freezer. i planted another set 3 weeks ago, so I should have some more okras soon.

    The Chinese cabbage/bok choi turned our wonderfully. I harvested about 2 dozen so far, and another dozen or more are still in the garden. The seeds took a while to germinate, but once they germinated and the rains began they were so easy. I’ve chopped some, bagged it and put it in the freezer for later. Gave away some. Chinese cabbage goes well added to a pot of brown rice about 5 minutes before the rice is done. Goes well with stir fries too, and chopped in omlettes, or fried up with some saltfish, tomatoes and onions and a few cassava bakes for a wonderful “workman’s” breakfast, even if no workman is present. Lol! The sweet peppers which were planted on the same date had a poor germination. Only 3 plants have survived, but they are all in bloom now

    The spinach which I planted about 4 years ago suffers in the dry season but regenerates once the rains start. It is blooming, loving the rain. I’ll start giving it away next week.

    I planted some cucumbers from seed about 3 weeks ago. I will see how that goes. I haven’t seen any monkeys lately but it has been my experience that they are a much greater nuisance in the dry season when wild foods are scarce in the gullies.

    I bought some hot pepper seedlings from a nursery and planted them out yesterday just before the rain. I am hopeful.

    The cassava on the “plantation” [what has become of whitehill?] which was planted in January/February has survived the very harsh drought and is responding well to the recent rainfall. A few yams sprung up from I don’t know where, I guess pieces left behind from last year;s harvest. Will plant some sweet potatoes soon. The sweet potatoes did very well last year. A soup with okras sweet potatoes, fish and corn dumplings goes down in a very, very satisfying way.

    I am glad that I enjoy gardening. During the “lock down” I did not feel locked down at all as I could still work in my garden as often as I liked. Could enjoy the fresh air and sunshine and exercise. People have spoken about gaining weight during the lock down, but I lost one pound.


  • @ Cuhdear Bajan,

    Another storm heading for Barbados and you can expect nuff rain late next week…..unless


  • Hoping for rain, but not too much at once. Don’t want any strong winds either. Keeping my fingers crossed, and paid up my home insurance.


  • @Simple Simon

    You got up to wee wee?


  • David. We all have to at some time. Lol!


  • Bought a variety of hot and sweet pepper seedlings today. Will plant them out late this afternoon if I am not too tired to do so. Hope to catch some of the rain promised for this week.


  • Thank God for the rain. The planting at home and on the “plantation” going very well.

    My second set of okras for the season will flower next week. I plan to plant 3 sets, mid-March, mid-July and mid-October during the course of the rainy season.


  • Planted some more cassava last week and sweet potatoes yesterday.


  • And 400 feet of carrots today.


  • The okras planted mid-July are in bloom today. The spinach leaves are as big as my hand. It is flourishing so well that i had to give away some yesterday and today. I expect to have more than enough right through until Christmas. The chive garlic the sweet basil are both doing wonderfully growing like weeds. I had to give away some of those today too. still have several bunches of bok choi waiting to be harvested. The sweet peppers planted from seed many weeks ago are in flower, but no fruit yet. They are doing so nicely that i am encouraged and planted some more seeds yesterday. Planted some more okras too. I’ve decided to stagger the plantings so that i have a longer harvesting season. T’ings tight but I still eating right. Weeded the cassava and replanted any that had not germinated. Will plant 600 feet of okras next week at the “plantation”

    Anticipating rain, I fertilized everything this morning. There was some rain late afternoon. Good.


  • Cuhdear,

    My spinach is also doing very well. Basil looking lovely. Chives too. Egg plants flowering. Beets looking promising. Zuchini flowering but looking poor.

    Banana plants thriving. Pomegranates struggling. Told my cousin to hold off and bring the other fruit trees when the rains come. They came and he hasn’t as yet. I’ll see him one morning and he will come then.

    Old mango tree bearing sweet mangoes and old sour sop tree has about eight sour sops coming right now.

    Nothing feels better than picking your own food from your own land!

    Compost heap doing well and my water barrel is full to the brim. If I had five more they would all be full by now. Haven’t had to wet anything in days. Rain falling daily several times a day.


  • Donna, all sounds good.


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