Carmeta’s Corner

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

234 comments

  • 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.

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  • @ Donna,

    Bread is easy. Google a recipe and follow it.

    http://justbajan.com/menu/recipes/sweet_bread/index.htm

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  • 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.

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

    i salute you.

    Never give up.

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  • @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

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  • @ Greene July 4, 2020 7:33 PM

    Do you consider one person to be a lot?

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  • @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

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

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  • @ 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.

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  • @ Greene July 5, 2020 8:54 AM

    I have not seen the PDF .

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  • @Greene

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

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  • @ 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.

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  • 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!

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  • 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: prensa@cepal.org; Telephone: (56) 22210 2040.

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

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  • 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.

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  • @ Cuhdear Bajan,

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

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  • 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.

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  • @Simple Simon

    You got up to wee wee?

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

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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

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  • And 400 feet of carrots today.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Donna, all sounds good.

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  • People sometimes say that Barbadians are bad minded. Some people even use the phrase “crabs in a barrell” Even while not denying the experiences of others, that has not been my experience. So this week even though i am not a pastor i received the following “love offerings”
    3 breadfruits
    2 avocados
    4 limes
    1/2 pumpkin
    4 Julie mangoes, Ahhh!!, Julies, the sweetest thing this side of heaven.

    The pumpkin went very well in a soup with some sweet potatoes, homegrown spinach and okras, an American or Canadian pig tail [I did not check its provenance] some Bajan chicken and some corn dumplins. It was so nice, I had to have it twice.

    Some Bajans still real-real sweet and loving.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Could be a lot of rain in the coming weeks.

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  • Some nice rain this foreday morning and today.

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  • How much ofir will runoff to the sea and evade the aquifer?

    Too much water does not help the farmers anyway.

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  • @ David,

    Barbados is a water scarce country. Its hurricane season so expect extra showers of blessing and hope for minimal wind.

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  • More rain overnight and again this morning. Good for sugarcane and for root crops, not so good for lettuce etc. if those are growing in open fields.

    I’ve completed planting 500 feet of cassava, 200 feet of sweet potato, 200 feet of hot and sweet peppers, 600 feet of okra, 400 feet of carrots and a few yams at the “plantation.” Will planting 100 to 200 feet of butternut squash in a day or two.

    I already have a surplus of okra, spinach and cherry tomatoes at home, so I am giving away the extras. I never sell anything planted at home. The old had a saying “if you sell all that you have, you will have to buy all that you need.”

    The old man was NOT, repeat NOT a graduate of LSE nor nuffin so.

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  • I too have a surplus of spinach. Eggplant flowering. Expecting a few beets. Zucchini loosing the battle somehow. Chinese cabbage lost long time along with the celery and hot peppers. Chives growing back. Basil trying to take over the bed.

    Banana plants thriving. Pomegranite alive but not kicking.

    Got some okra seedlings to plant too. Marjoram, tomato, butternut squash and paw paw. Trying sweet pepper again too. Maybe with the bigger pots I bought the sweet peppers will grow larger. Will have to mix a brew for my friends the beautiful butterflies.

    Got thyme seeds to plant. Carrots again too. I’ll wait until the cooler months to try celery and lettuce again. The lettuce grew nicely a few months ago. Great in my salad.

    The rain is falling mostly intermittantly. I look outside and the raised bed has puddles. I look outside minutes later and the puddles are gone. In a few hours the top soil is dry again. Intermittant rainfall allows for absorption. This rainfall pattern has been the case almost every day for weeks up this side.

    I would think run off would be minimal.

    P.S. Had some fish and spinach cassava flour cakes made with the spinach and chives I grew.

    What a feeling!

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  • Okras keep getting a mention, then I saw this today via Washington Post and the first recipe was Bajan Cou Cou ( Cornmeal and Okra)- as per the newspaper When I went to the recipe page this is what I saw

    “Cou cou is said to be the national dish of Barbados, traditionally served with salt cod or fish fried with onions and gravy. This is a version by way of Jamaica, and the recipe calls for a lot of stirring so the mixture becomes as smooth as possible”

    Imagine they gave the Jamaican recipe and to compound the slight they didn’t provide any directions on how to make the gravy😊 perhaps they expect you to eat the food as is. There are a few more Okra recipes here so some may find them useful (remember it’s a paywall so if you like one of the offerings copy the information as you may only have limited access to the site)

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/voraciously/wp/2020/08/15/expect-the-unexpected-okra-with-these-9-recipes-for-pilaf-griddle-cakes-fried-rice-and-more/?hpid=hp_food-8-12_okra-530pm-0815%3Ahomepage%2Fstory-ans&itid=hp_food-8-12_okra-530pm-0815%3Ahomepage%2Fstory-ans

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  • Donna, no luck at all with my celery which I tried to grow from seed. Not a single one germinated, but the Chinese cabbage grew beautifully with very little care. I guess that there are micro climates in Barbados, or it may be the soil, or the altitude. I have had no luck with christophene either. The vine grew well and even flowered, but no fruit formed, then when I trimmed it to give it a chance to grown back now that we are getting good rain, the thing up and died. Sigh!

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  • Thanks Sarge. I will go over to the Post now.

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  • WAPO suggested cooking the cou-cou for an hour. I think that an hour is way to long to cook 1 cup of cornmeal.

    Sometime last year I had to do a big cook and I “threw away” the cou-cou stick and used an electric hand mixer. It made the stirring so very easy that I may never use a a cou-cou stick again.

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  • @Cuhdear

    Yuh gotta employ the technology, you don’t use a “jucking” board or a larder. I hope you saw other recipes that may have been of interest.

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  • Bajan style

    Okra,onion,tomato,salt fish pun top a bowl a ( cou cou cooked in a Microwave.)

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  • Be prepared.

    tropical depression is likely to form within a
    couple days

    Formation chance through 5 days…high…90 percent.

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  • Hants August 16, 2020 5:41 PM
    The image updates to current latest report.

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  • Cuhdear Bajan,

    It seems celery prefers cool weather. The seedlings were doing well for weeks until it started to get hot. I’ll try again later in the year. My eggplants are flowering but so far no fruit. My bees have been busy elsewhere and my self-pollinating seems not to have worked yet.

    Transplanted seedlings last night -tomatoes, okras and butternut squash. Tonight it will be parsley, more beets and sweet peppers. Thought I had purchased marjoram and paw paw but it seems I left them in the store by mistake.

    Next time.

    I really must try the bunching onion seeds I bought months ago. Still haven’t planted the thyme. This gardening thing takes a lot of time.

    Still fun though!

    I had an old cousin who used to grow much of her own food. As her knees started to give way she would use a cane. More than once she fell in the garden. She never gave up.

    When she saw someone for the first time in a long time she would ask,
    “Wuh yuh doin’ wid yuhself, jus’ tekking up space on de eart’?

    She would be happy to know that I am producing.

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  • Could someone repeat the instructions for the microwave cou cou. The dear madam cooked cou cou once and would be glad for some help.

    Some will be puzzled by ‘once’ and Theo being an old geezer.

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  • @TheoG
    There are a few bajan (lets call them old wives tales) about the nature of cou-cou in romantic relationships. E.G. The cou-cou was ice cold but steam was coming out of it, or he gave the cou-cou to the dog and de dog turn up at church so if you only had it once in recent years it means it worked well or…… BTW didn’t you write that you have a MIL? MIL’s pass on those recipes and instructions to daughters so why don’t you write that you need the recipe for self rather than try to foist it off on de madam?

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  • @Hants
    Thanks.

    @Sargeant
    Thought you would have figured it out. C-s-a-u-a

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  • The single guy’s method..

    cut up 3 okras and put in a microvable bowl. pour in enough water to cover them. Cook for 3 minutes.

    pour a cup of cornmeal 3 cups of water and half a teaspoon of salt in a microwaveable bowl cook for 2 minutes. Stir to make sure there are no lumps.

    Add okras to corn meal and stir well. Cook for 3 minutes and its done.

    I will be cooking coucou tomorrow.Have a salmon steak which I will cook with onions tomatoes and fresh thyme.

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  • Another one just left Africa and is at 40%. At the very least rain and flooding.

    Hants August 16, 2020 5:41 PM

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  • Love offerings this week, 2 breadfruits, 3 avocados, 1 lemon almost as big as a baby’s head, 5 purple sugar apples. Don’t know the last time I saw purple sugar apples. 2 mangoes.

    Rural Bajans are still wonderfully loving people.

    Will finally plant my butternut squash this evening and do some weeding between 3 and sunset.

    Will plant one more bed of sweet potatoes next week.

    The pumpin vine has finally started to put our female flowers, so crossing my fingers for some conkies in November.

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  • Planted some beets as well.

    Had a real, real good afternoon.

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  • Was given a large ripe paw-paw this evening as well.

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  • @Hants August 19, 2020 8:29 PM “I will be cooking coucou tomorrow.Have a salmon steak which I will cook with onions tomatoes and fresh thyme.”

    If you hear a knock on your door at mealtime, quick, quick, put another plate on the table.

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  • Barbados Government Information Service

    13tuSgpocanhsoreld
    ·
    How To: Backyard Gardening – Episode 1 – Kyle Batson
    Social Media Influencer and Photographer, Sandy Pitt learns how to start a backyard garden from small farmer, Kyle Batson.
    Do you have a small backyard food garden you are proud of showing? Why not email us at backyard.gardening@barbados.gov.bb or WhatsApp your photos to 234-0992 with your name and contact information.
    To learn more about Backyard Gardening and to download a few helpful booklets visit https://gisbarbados.gov.bb/blog/know-how-to-start-your-backyard-garden/

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  • I’ve started to harvest cucumbers.

    Continuing to harvest spinach and okras

    Pumpkins looking good, but not quite ready yet.

    Tried the cassava, but it needs about another 6 weeks. I ate the trial anyhow. I went down alright with a little olive oil, salt and pepper sauce, lol!

    Planted some more okras today.

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  • Thanks David.

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  • @ Cuhdear Bajan and Donna, looks like nuff rain gine fall a few days from now.

    https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/gtwo.php?basin=atlc&fdays=5

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  • TROPICAL STORM PAULETTE and then Tropical Depression Eighteen. After that another depression forming later this week.
    Hope they all pass North of Barbados but…..

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  • Wait! Nuff nuff going down pin dis blog dat I miss.

    More than a handful of eggplants will soon be reaped by me with just two dollars invested and very little labour. So eggplant parmesan will be made with my own eggplants and basil next week. I cannot wait!

    What this experience is teaching me is that nobody needs to be hungry in Barbados. I now have the confidence to expand my plot.

    Thanks for the weather watch, Hants. I often forget to check. Rain will be welcome. All we are getting this side are short sharp showers. The barrel got topped up this morning though.

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  • Paw paw trees planted. Some eggplants reaped.

    Life is good!

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  • Good rain yesterday. Filled every container available.

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  • Heavy rain today Sunday as well, at least in northern and central Barbados. None yesterday in my areas.

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  • MP for St Peter, Colin Jordan, toured sections of Speightstown on Sunday after torrential rains caused flooding in Gill’s Terrace. He said something had to be done to harness the water, which was flowing into the sea, while people in surrounding communities were without water.

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  • Backyard farmers learn how to kill pests

    by SHERIA BRATHWAITE sheriabrathwaite@nationnews.com

    A MAJOR SIDE EFFECT of the COVID-19 pandemic is the impact it has had on the average person’s ability to access basic necessities such as food.
    And one way some Barbadians have sought to address this issue is by growing more of what they eat.
    In fact, extension officers attached to the Ministry of Agriculture told These Fields And Hills there had been a resurgence in backyard gardening and one of the main contributors to this development was the coronavirus.
    Barney Callender and Alvin Romeo said that while the Ministry of Agriculture was heavily engaged in various programmes aimed at encouraging Barbadians to grow food, people were realising the importance of agriculture, especially on the heels of COVID-19.
    The extension officers said several women had been attending workshops and seminars hosted by the ministry and had been calling in for tips and assistance. Callender said that women were organising themselves on social media platforms and creating support groups to help each other. He said he was aware of a Facebook group with a following of 4 000 people.
    Romeo said people wanted to be more self-sufficient in these times, especially as job losses and salary decreases had affected a wide cross section of people, adding that growing food significantly reduces one’s expenditure.
    Some of the most common crops backyard farmers plant include lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs.
    Pest management
    During a backyard gardening seminar held at the ministry’s headquarters in Graeme Hall, Christ Church, earlier this month, entomologist Ian Gibbs told a group of close to 30 farming enthusiasts that pest management was an important aspect of growing crops.
    In the interactive session, Gibbs said pests could cause significant damage to plants by transmitting diseases, affecting the physical structure of the plant and they could also affect yields and the sustainability of the gardening venture.
    The entomologist said sucking pests such as white flies, mealy bugs, mites, aphids and thrips were some of the most common unwanted creatures found on crops.
    He explained that sucking pests pierced and sucked the cell sap from plants, which stunted and distorted them, caused the leaves to curl, turn brown and fall off, deformed the fruit or caused the entire plant to dry up.
    Gibbs said there was a cheap and simple home remedy that could rid plants of sucking pests – mix two teaspoons of dishwashing liquid and half of a teaspoon of cooking oil with one gallon of water; turn up the nozzle of the spray can to allow the mixture to get under the leaves.
    Gibbs recommended spraying on evenings after 4 p.m.
    Cutworms are other annoying pests that feed on plants. Gibbs said cutworms loved cornmeal but could not ingest it and suggested that cornmeal be sprinkled around the plants to organically kill the moth larvae.
    Gibbs added that neem oil extract also worked well to eradicate soft-bodied insects. For those who did not have the time to extract the oil from the leaf, he suggested they purchase Neem-X or Bio Neem.
    For snails and slugs, Gibbs suggested using an unorthodox home remedy – spray stale beer on the plants. He also inspected several leaves from the gardens of the participants.

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  • ‘Fair’ progress

    Phase 1 of market village to be completed by mid-October
    BY MID-OCTOBER, Phase 1 of the Fairchild Street Market Village will be completed, and close to 50 food and beverage vendors who were displaced by the closure of two markets in The City will have a new space to ply their trade.
    During a tour of the Bridgetown facility yesterday morning at the same time the Throne Speech was being delivered by Governor General Dame Sandra Mason, acting director of the Urban Development Commission (UDC), Sonia King, estimated that the first phase would be completed by late September to the middle of next month.
    “Phase 1 is designed to facilitate 48 food and beverage stalls, and those persons who were displaced from the previous Fairchild Street Market and the Probyn Street Market will be given allocations through the Markets Division to operate food and beverage stalls.
    “We expect that this phase will allow us to have those persons who are currently on the Fairchild Street Market as you know it now to come into the food vending area,” King said. The projected cost for the first two phases is $3.8 million, with 125 people being employed. Six service providers, a five-member project team and 20 small and medium-sized contractors have been utilised on the project to date.
    So far three bathroom blocks have been completed. Many of the stalls, which have built-in sinks and which King said were stormresistant, are almost finished.
    Central promenade
    The market will also have a central promenade with seating for patrons.
    “Each roof has a 45 degree pitch, and we also had buried infrastructure which allows us to ensure that should there be high winds, the infrastructure would be maintained after the storm passes,” the acting UDC head added.
    King also spoke of other stages of the project.
    “Phase 2 is to include not only the car park space but about 56 stalls for the vegetable and fruit vendors. There are also other variety stalls that are to be included in the major component of the project. Phase 3 of the market project is the butcher and fish vendor block. The entire facility is going to be transformed into the Fairchild Street Market Village,” she explained.
    Barbados Association of Vendors, Entrepreneurs and Retailers president Alister Alexander and its public relations officer Valentino Barrow attended the tour and spoke on behalf of the vendors.
    Barrow said although some people were sceptical, they were pleased with the progress.
    “Some people had reservations because others had larger spaces that they utilised. But now they will have a more organised space to accommodate the vast amount of people they have to incorporate,” he said.
    (TG)

    Like

  • Good stuff, David. Quite true about the resurgence. The seeds and seedlings disappear off the shelves in no time at all.

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  • Harvesting cucumbers now.

    Nothing is as sweet and delightfully crunchy as a cucumber fresh off the vine.

    Like

  • On Saturday I saw Bob’s Red Mill Cassava flour in my supermarket at $20.99 BDS for a 20 ounce bag. Still glad that i am growing my own.

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  • I’ve heard that carrot tops are edible, but never tried them until today. I pulled a few, washed them, and ate the raw leaves. Crispy and delicious. I may never throw away carrot leaves again.

    The journey from “farm” to table? About 2 meters.

    Like

  • Cuhdear, thanks for that information. I know you can eat sweet potato leaves and pumpkin leaves, but never heard of carrot tops.

    Just finished digging my english potatoes (Peruvian) and came in to have a vittle, or is it bittle? The purple Peruvian ones produced a lot, much more that the genetically engineer yukon gold. I had a bumper crop of pumpkins this year. 36 from the allotment and one from home. I got 10 butternuts, ten of what I think are garden pumpkins, long neck, but not skinny like in Bim and the rest were yellow long island cream and our green and white ones. I polllinated by hand as the bees were late this year and scarce. the apples are finished and the grapes almost. the brussel sprouts are still growing but I have been picking as needed. I gave everybody okras and froze about 5 pounds.

    the frost got my yam, but as it is in a pot, I am bringing it in, cutting it back and hope it springs back.

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  • Beet leaves are also edible, I hear Never tried them or the carrot leaves though. Gotta get with it.

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  • I eat my beet leaves. You cook them just like spinach. the little ones I pinch off sparingly and put in salads. the spring greens i buy from the store always contain baby beet leaves. it may also contain carrot leaves which i thought was escarole. lol.

    Like

  • @Dame Bajans October 10, 2020 2:40 PM

    You are doing wonderfully well. It seems like you could shut your door and hibernate for the winter. Lol! Potatoes are indigenous to the area which is now called Peru. Hundreds of different varieties there. I think that my pumpkins are reaady, but my planting buddy wants to wait a while more. We have 15, a good many quite large, I estimate above 10 pounds each. We plan to save a few for the friend who has been supplying us with the most delicious breadfruits all “summer” long. Last year my beets did well. This year a total failure. But since it is still early October i may try with a fresh batch, because I expect some rain to last into January.

    I have frozen some bok choi and some kale. I will chop the carrot leaves and add to that mix, then when i feel like a veg rice or a stir fry or even a soup or stew I am good to go.

    Just curious? How big is your allotment?

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  • My allotment is 33x33x30x15. I have a half lot, which is an end lot. There was lots of grass at the end and I put down plastic to kill it to keep the seeds out of the garden. When I removed the plastic, I forked it up and added itto my lot. A full lot is 24×50, a half lot is 12×50. My lot is irregular. My first harvest of pumpkins were all ripe. I picked 25. The second set I had to pick because of the frost and they were not fully ripe, so I gave most of those away for immediate eating or freezing. I got 17 last year and still have 2 downstairs. I grew the eggplants,okras, potatoes, brassicas in the backyard garden which is 24×9. My bok choi bolted early because of the hot sun. I should have done a planting for fall but missed the deadline and they just came up. I have about 8 cups of shelled beans in the freezer. I should have had more but the chipmounts and mice ate my bush cranberry beans. They also ate the top half of my beets, so I did not do well there. The blackeyed peas did well but ran like vines all in between the pumpkins which ran everywhere. I do intensive and companion planting. When things start to grow, only I know where the paths are.

    I took pictures of my haul and of the garden, but I do not know how to load them to the site. They are on my cell which my male friend gave me recently and I am still learning how to use the damn thing.

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  • Thanks. The lot we work is about 100 x 100. Land bought for about $250 deep in the country in the 1930’s, just after the 1937 uprising. The full lot is twice that amount but the family house is located on about half the lot. It has nourished a lot of people since then.

    Like

  • Today’s Nation Editorial:

    Transforming agriculture

    THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC has highlighted the important link between food security and Barbados’ well-being, as well as the need to have greater interlocking relationships across all sectors of the economy.
    The agriculture industry, which had been sidelined, was propelled to the front line during COVID-19, with its relevance to the economy, ecology and health very evident.
    As Barbados prepares to observe World Food Day on Friday, it is pleasing to hear all the political parties contesting the upcoming St George North by-election speaking about the importance of agriculture to that constituency and the entire country.
    Our politicians and technocrats have been impressive with their talk about agriculture over many years, but the talk and the action have not coincided. There needs to be meaningful transformation in agriculture to attract a new corps of well trained and committed farmers. The days are gone for the fork and hoe, workers toiling for little reward, lack of job security and no guaranteed benefits on retirement.
    Agriculture, however, is here to stay, especially if Barbados is to reduce its staggering food import bill, develop family-operated farms and stop the island from becoming a sprawling urban area.
    The resuscitation of agriculture must be supported by meaningful research and development driven by strong leadership from the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Finance.
    Barbados needs a Vision 2030 plan which looks to the next decade to achieve certain measurable benchmarks in various sectors, with agribusiness high on that list.
    We cannot grow every possible food crop or grass, or get into large-scale livestock production given our limited land mass. There must be a national policy which determines what acreage will be set aside, whether for the production of medicinal marijuana, the growing of sugar cane to produce molasses for the rum industry, or for pasture lands. We must decide whether the Sea Island cotton can bring us major foreign exchange and how best to grow exponentially what is
    being done at Groves in St George North. The introduction of high-tech agriculture is critical, but it is an expensive undertaking beyond the reach of many of our small and medium-sized farmers. The answer may be the establishment and operation of co-operatives to promote access to inputs and markets.
    Our farmers must master post-harvest management technology to reduce perishables using flash freezing, cold storage and other methods to minimise wastage and satisfy consumers. There is a genuine need for foods free of chemicals and preservatives which can be part of the fight against Barbados’ other pandemic, non-communicable diseases.
    Crop and livestock theft, wild dogs, water management and access to markets are major problems for our farmers, but they will not disappear overnight. The farmers need greater support, which must come from the hoteliers, restaurateurs and major retailers, who must understand the value of agriculture to the local economy.
    The words of the late food promotion specialist Senator Carmeta Fraser must not be lost on us: “Eat what we grow, and grow what we eat.”
    The days are gone for the fork and hoe, workers toiling for little reward, lack of job security and no guaranteed benefits on
    retirement.

    Like

  • Group developing eco farm in St John
    A GROUP has begun developing 20 acres of leased Government land at Bath, St John, to create a sustainable, environment-friendly farm.
    The farmers will rear Black Belly sheep, set up bee hives, grow several crops such as coconuts and establish a plant nursery, said Janet Trotman, a member of the Ichirougaini Council for the Advancement of Rastafari.
    Last Friday, a training project funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in association with the Pinelands Creative Workshop (PCW), a non-governmental organisation, ended with a brief ceremony at the PCW headquarters in The Pine, St Michael.
    “Eventually we would like to establish a processing plant,” Trotman told the MIDWEEK NATION.
    She said the Pinnace Organic Eco Farm started developing the land with 20 of its 30 members, and was also working on establishing a cooperative. Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy Kirk Humphrey pledged Government’s support for the farm project.
    He said that in addition to reducing the use of chemicals in soils and protecting the island’s coral reefs and fish from chemicals, “we all need to start eating healthy as well”.
    The farm project received a small grant and has been benefiting from technical assistance from the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation.
    Trotman said plans for the farm included a green market on site, a herbal garden and application of renewable energy to pumping water from catchment areas.
    PCW consultant Dr Rodney Grant conducted a training workshop supported by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy and the UNDP’s Global Environment Facility.
    Twelve people from seven civil society organisations attended the ten-day business development workshop which was conducted between March and June.
    Among the participants was Sade Deane, founder of Step-up Sustainability Solutions (SSS).
    Deane said SSS aimed to launch a carbon credit service involving visitors to the island which would fund sustainable environmental projects here. She added that design of the project was under way.
    Grant said PCW had always supported the notion of developing business alongside social development. He said work was under way on a six-month University of the West Indies Open Campus course linking business and social development. (HH) GROUPS OF VOLUNTEERS are continuing their best to clear Barbados’ beaches of waste and keep them in pristine condition.
    The Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN) is spearheading the 26th Barbados International Coastal Clean-up, which kicked off on September 19, International Coastal Clean Up Day, and is running for six weekends up until October 25.
    “We started in Christ Church and we are going right around the island where we end off in St Michael,” said national coordinator of CYEN, Arabelle James-Anglies.
    When a NATION team caught up with James-Anglies last weekend, she was leading a clean-up team at Lakes Beach, near Barclays Park in St Andrew.
    “This is our sixth year of doing islandwide clean-ups. We targeted every parish in the last six years. Our target is 35 beaches. Unfortunately, we may fall a bit because we weren’t able to do some beaches because of conditions as well as weather and low numbers,” she said.
    Determined to meet their target of cleaning 35 beaches, she said CYEN was considering adding one more weekend.
    Volunteers included members of the Kiwanis, JCI Barbados, Cub Scouts, students trying to get “give back hours”, students from the University of the West Indies (UWI), and some pursuing a Duke of Edinburgh International Award.
    Conditions of beach
    “We have consistent people who, every weekend, are just like ‘yes, we’re ready to go’,” James-Anglies said. “When we were doing Enterprise, Christ Church, we had some UWI students who said they were shocked at the conditions of the beach.”
    Among the items they collected were plastics, diapers, condoms and sanitary napkins.
    One of the strangest pieces of garbage collected last weekend appeared to have washed ashore. James-Anglies said she believed it might have come from a spaceship as it carried an unusual code and did not resemble the average TV or monitor.
    “In these parishes along the East Coast, we get a lot of trash coming on the shores . . . . We had a few strange items, but this is definitely the most unusual and it is extremely heavy.”
    Every year CYEN collects over 60 000 pieces of garbage. The data on the haul is used by both local and international organisations.
    With two more weekends left, CYEN and its volunteers will be on beaches in St Peter, St James and St Michael.
    With the group of volunteer starting clean-ups from 6 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, James-Anglies is urging people of all ages to participate. (RSG)

    Nation News

    Like

  • Good stuff! I haven’t been on an organized beach clean up since last I took my youth group many years ago but I do my own thing with the small bits of litter.

    On the agricultural project, still waiting on Heather’s video. But the Rastas seem to have got going!

    Great editorial from the Nation!

    Going out to my own garden now. It is good to learn the old time way first before you switch to high tech, I believe. That way, if stripped of the technology for some reason, one can still survive.

    Soon will get my greenhouse/shadehouse combination up and running with drip system and serious water harvesting. Still small scale unless my son gets involved but I am looking forward to growing all my own food. Pesticide free. All natural.

    I do like soil still rather than hydroponics, though. I just like the earthiness.

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  • As a factor in the cost of production hydroponics/aquaponics is more efficient. Especially given the land space and security considerations.

    >

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  • that is true David, but think of the chemicals they put in the water. It is better to use dirt and cow dung. I buy horse shit from a farmer for my garden up here.

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  • @Nation “The days are gone for the fork and hoe”

    Ooops!!!

    Sadly I did not consult the Nation’s editorial team this morning and went ahead and without their permission used my hoe. I I got 2 hours of hard exercise. Feeling real-real good. Haven’t gained any weight in decades, haven’t gone to a gym, haven’t gone on a diet. I really don’t know what is the cost of NOT having an early heart attack or stroke.

    However I am all in favor of modern high tech agriculture, but we must be careful that we don’t discourage micro farmers, and then 10 years later say to ourselves “ooops!! we shouldna do dat” I believe that modern high tech agriculture and old fashioned fork and hoe agriculture can coexist, will coexist.

    No I don’t “fork up de ground” anymore. I hire a guy with a plough as my parents doid before me, but for micro farmers like me a hoe is still a very efficient way of removing weeds without pesticides. So using a mixture of old methods and new methods I actually produce more kilos of food each year than I consume.

    Going to cook some sweet potato, pumpkin, okra and spinach now. Cucumber on the side.

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  • Oh dear! I get my sheep shit free. Plenty of free horse shit on the cliff down by the sea too.

    Commercial farmers can use their hydroponics. I will use my soil. I got plenty of that all around me free of cost too and can supplement with my own compost and a bag or two of soil mix or top soil if I need to top up or sand to make loamy soil. It’s not expensive and soil can be reused appropriately.

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  • Thanks Hants! i use the 3 ft. reusable in the gutters. I don’t mind weeding the beds but I will be damned if I am going to weed the gutters.

    Liked by 1 person

  • DISGUSTING

    Thieves stealing thousands of dollars worth of stock from farmers

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2020/10/16/thieves-stealing-thousands-of-dollars-worth-of-stock-from-farmers/

    Like

  • @Hants

    This has been a perennial problem. Agriculture production and the issue of food security will not advance unless this matter is addressed.

    Like

  • ” Less than 24 hours after shedding light on their persistent plight of praedial larceny, farmers at Pilgrim Place, Christ Church have been hit again.”

    When contacted on Friday, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Indar Weir told Barbados TODAY that he was not in a position to give a comprehensive statement.

    However, he reiterated that the Attorney General’s Office was in the advanced stages of establishing a special police unit to tackle the issue of praedial larceny.

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2020/10/17/farmers-at-pilgrim-place-counting-losses/

    Like

  • Sorry for the farmers but I swear the buggers would not have been stealing so easily from me!

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  • Still learning as i go along. Harvesting pumpkins now. Big ones 10 to 30 pounds. I smell a conkie feast sometime in late November. Still the vine is putting out new fruit. I did not know that the vines continued producing new fruit, even while the early blooms are being harvested. Wish that robert lucas was here so I could ask him about this.

    Okras producing nicely. Will harvest about 50 pounds this week.

    Cassava almost ready. Tried some yesterday. Good. But in 4 weeks will be perfect.

    The rain this month has been a real blessing.

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  • @Cuhdear

    Do you mind sharing part of your bounty with some on BU? A contributor here wrote words to the effect that some people here to use the bajan vernacular “starve out” and I’m sure they would appreciate a piece of pumpkin to add to their “stone soup”.

    Like

  • Cuhdear, my vines fruit until frost. I just finished one of the baby ones in a half cup of rice. I have a large mustard bush (tree) still in the garden. I promised it to an old bajan lady, so i have been forking around it. All i have to do now is pick my brussel sprouts and spread some fall leaves and put the garden to bed for the winter. Two years ago i harvested pumpkins that weighed 25-30 pounds. I got the seeds from a hawker, called Gervaise from Bathsheba, who sells in Marhill Street market. I also got some seeds from a hawker who sells in the alley leading to the van stand. hers are big and round. I got four of those this year. They range about 8-10 pounds.

    i hope you have a market for all your extra produce. All I sold this year was callaloo.

    What happened to Dr. Lucas. Do you think he is sick?

    @ Sargeant: you mean wind pies and rock stone soup. hahaha. recently, Donna referred to some one with their “stink mout”. I burst my belly laughing as I had not heard that expression since I left high school.

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  • @Dame Bajans October 22, 2020 11:27 PM “my vines fruit until frost. I just finished one of the baby ones in a half cup of rice. Two years ago i harvested pumpkins that weighed 25-30 pounds. I got the seeds from a hawker, called Gervaise from Bathsheba, who sells in Marhill Street market.”

    It looks like you have done very well. We still have about 2 or 3 months left before it gets too hot and too dry to do much, unless we use artificial irrigation. We do use a drip system, but from my experience it is not only the lack of rain but the strong winds which dry out the soil starting about the end of January.

    Small world. I’ve met Gervaise a couple of times. She is the neighbor of a friend of mine.

    David: Do you know what has become of Dr. Lucas?

    Like

  • @Sargeant October 22, 2020 8:49 PM “@Cuhdear. Do you mind sharing part of your bounty with some on BU?”

    Anytime.

    Lol!

    Like

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