Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Things in the Yard

My neighbor Amparo brought over a handful of magic beans for me to plant. They were pink and pretty humongous for a bean.
I soaked them for a few days and planted a few of them. This thing is like a dinosaur coming out of the ground...this is the first set of leaves!
Since it was drizzly today I did a yard tour instead of yard work.This is a cluster of flowers on the Paguil (cashew).

There are also small cashews/fruit growing! Here in PR people eat the fruits (I don't like the texture) but I am really after the nuts. I'm not going to try to roast only a handful of nuts but I love the bizarre way they grow. Nut on the bottom and not inside the fruit.

Another bizarre one is the Buddha de Mano (Buddha's Hand) which is Citron. That's the fruit cake stuff - not good eating but a really cool looking thing to grow. It is a gnarled, twisted creepy fruit that looks like twisty fingernails!

One of our favorite fruits (up there with quenepas and corozones and mangoes and avocados) is the canistel. This is the first tree I put in and we have had over a dozen fruit and it has only been a few years. This Ceiba was only 4 inches tall when someone gave it to me.

Our cinnamon tree...Right now the corazones are ripening. I have to watch them carefully and listen for birds. I have to get them before all the little twittery birds peck into them.

A ripe corozone that was a pound and a half - Chicken is just amazed! This flowering tree is one I planted that is indigenous to the island supposedly.

Finally my lemon tree is blooming. Lemons are a MUST have in the yard and you can never have too many. You can always put the juice into ice cube trays and freeze it. Just a cube in a glass of water is refreshing.
I planted some peppers but I forget what they are. I am getting a bunch of peppers though.

I planted the tomatoes too early I think but do have a lot of little ones. I started some more plants but I am probably too late. I am really hoping for zucchini. I love zucchini BBQ'd, spiralized, in currys etc. I haven't had much luck with them. To the right is berejena (eggplant). They should grow well but the stems have nasty thorns on them. They get to be a nice sized shrub.

These are not the fiber less mangoes, they are the local "everywhere" ones that are delicious also. I freeze them for smoothies and use in chicken mango curry. The fiber less mango tree is blooming and has little ones too. This tree is 60 feet tall and puts out thousands of mangoes, so many I could spend all day processing them but I lose interest after the initial ripening phase. This year I will harvest more. So there you have it...fruit at the Kruse's. The trees are starting to fruit and the arboretum is filling in. A grafted avocado tree is 8 bucks to buy. In 3 years you will probably get a handful of fruit and at $2 or more a piece you will get back you initial investment. Plus you can control your use of fertilizer and avoid pesticides or at least use oils and detergents so your food source is chemical free. I have black covering a lot of my citrus tree leaves and just before blooming did a Neem Oil treatment. Now things are blooming and the trees are almost fungus free. I think we forget how lucky we are here to have all this fruit all the time. Right now we have a lot of bananas and some plantains. I just had a plantain, ground beef pizza of all things (at Faccio's pizza) and it was really good. A different use for sweet plantain - maybe the dark beer made it taste extra good. Anyway, we are really lucky to have mature fruiting trees and our new little ones already bearing fruit. Hard work brings good things!


Fran and Steve said...

What you have done with your property in the few short years you've been there is nothing short of amazing. You're leaving property that is bountiful and sustainable. You've also done some remodeling! Being off the grid with your solar solution is the cherry on top. You should have absolutely no problem selling your finquita to a very lucky buyer. -- Fran

Anonymous said...

Hope so. It is a real bummer to leave it but everything we do is up north. When we got the house there were still engineering jobs in San German and Mayaguez and we had never been caving before...had no idea we'd love it so much! If we didn't have to work (Jeff is 43) we'd stay here definately. It is definately country but only 6 minutes off of hiway 2 and 10 minutes to kmart, econo, and 20 minutes to the Mayaguez mall, and IN THE SUN all the time. The north will be greyer and wetter. Like everything north of the mall. We'll be closer for Jeff though and that is 5 days a week. A necessary change...wish us luck!

Cassie said...

Those magic beans are awesome! Jack and the bean stalk for real. Your yard is so cool. I love growing food and interesting things. Our house has far too many plants in it that it's starting to look like a jungle. I can't wait for the real thing!

Britton said...

Those beans are cool. I am amazed with the size of those things! LOL