Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Food Supply Shifts...for the Better

Finally it looks like we will have something green to eat again...beans! Not my favorites, but they grow easily here and you get a nice crop that goes for a while, and now that they are starting to appear I should plant some more.

Vegetable gardening here is easy/hard. I am still learning when it is the correct time to plant things to eat. We haven't had rain for weeks and weeks, cracks are appearing in the ground and 2 of my small trees (Abiu and Canistel with blossoms) have a small amount of scale on them. This is the time the vegetables start doing alright since a couple months ago they would have rotted or gotten some mildew on them due to rain. Or simply gotten washed away. Plant when it is too wet and things wash away or rot, but in another couple months things will get buggy. I've got a couple full size tomatoes, basil, green beans, and a couple aji dulce peppers here. I cut the basil back by half and dried it (kept some fresh if I can find pine nuts for pesto) and cut a lot of leafy parts off the tomatoes so I can see the worms which will appear any time now to devour my green forming tomatoes. Also it will increase air flow. I have a new faucet there so I can water things and that will help out! (thanks honey)

The quest for green food here on the island aggravates me, and here I have a lot of green but it is basil. Kind of limited with what I can do with that.

We have 3 carambola finally, and have been having a lack of fruit. I pruned the oranges last year drastically (they needed it) and only left one tree to bear this year. The oranges have started and there are a hundred or so but we have only 1 avocado left. Quenepas have been done forever, no acerolas (trees are getting stripped of leaves by mysterious beings I can't find), guayabanas are not that entertaining, I don't like guava (they are done), and although there are literally HUNDREDS of guineos in the wings it could be another month and then all banana hell will break loose! We have been enjoying papayas every morning and if I could find plain yogurt I could make some nice smoothies (it is white so I should be able to find it here ha ha).

Fortunately the corazones are starting up. I have to check twice a day to see what is ready. I can check in the morning, and then when I am having afternoon coffee I can sit under the tree and watch the birds. They manage to peck most ripe ones before I can get to them!

Here is one just starting to blush. It can be hard as a rock right now and in 4 hours be soft enough to eat. This is one of Jeff's favorites (I like them too) and a favorite of the birds. The insides are what color? Just guess - white like every other Puerto Rican food!


Anonymous said...

Don't sweat the type of nut for the pesto. You can use anything from walnuts to pecans. I personally like pistachios or almonds. I pretty use them exclusively to make my pesto as pine nuts go rancid quickly and there is nothing more than shelling out big bucks for product that is suspect. So give it a try; peanuts may be pushing it--but you could call it thai pesto.

Anonymous said...

Thanks - I'll try almonds (we can get them at Sam's Club and they aren't as strong as walnuts). katrina

Summer said...

Our garden is finally back from the dead (the 2 months I was off the island pretty much put a nail in that coffin) and although nothing is producing yet, we have lots of healthy heirloom tomato plants, cucumbers, bell peppers (green, orange and purple), basil (green and purple), green beans, brussel sprouts, cilantro and tons of lettuce. I've been using organic fish fertilizer ever couple of weeks and the veggies seem to REALLY like it.

Minerva said...

I brought pine nuts for pesto and anchovies for caponata from the mainland, but a friend told me there ar at Amigos in international department. But I also use almonds fro pesto sometimes... so far have not found any replacement for anchovies, while my provencal caponata (black olives,capers, garlic, anchovies and olive oil) was a - not quite expected - hit at the recent potluck lunch of International Friendship Club, so it looks like Puerto Rican's like anchovies, too.

Minerva said...

Katrina, I recently found plain yogurt at Mr Special in Cabo Rojo Previously I brought it from Fresh Mart, where I get my kefir - plain, but they have fruit flavored as well - pomegranate tastes pretty good), too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks everyone - food seems to be a hit or miss here like everything...grab it if you see it! I used to get natural peanut butter (creamy only, no chunky) at Pueblo and then I guess I bought the last 6 jars or something - it disappeared! Now we go to Freshmart and they even have unsalted if you aren't a salt fan or are making cookies with it. In my trek for food I find unsuspecting surprises everywhere - small zuchinni at Mr. Special in San German, cellophane noodles in the Yauco Grande, Top Ramen (which can be used in a pinch). Minerva - I haven't had trouble finding anchovies, even flat ones, at all - Pueblo at the mall and in San German regularly have them. Anything that comes in a tin can be found and enjoyed!

Anonymous - I made a pesto with almonds and loved it! The only difference was that with pine nuts you can smell them as you eat them. Almonds were mild and made it nice.