Gardening as Intervention, a Mega Update

Recovering Imbe Start in CoamoConfessions of an exotic fruit seed junkie

I thought 3 years in, I would be done with planting seeds and moving on to keeping them watered and watching them grow.  Not so.

My obsession has turned acute.

Pitaya Cactus Sprout Red Fruit Variety GardeningTo accommodate these additions, I’ve had to clear off more undergrowth. That’s not easy for a guy who recently celebrated his 60th birthday. There’s still more clearing to be done too!

I have to pace myself.

I do see a time when I’ll spend more ‘time’ keeping things watered and concentrate on the veggie garden.  An acre is about all I’m good for.  Most of the fruit trees I’m trying to grow do not get big – “big” being a relative term.  Some of these, I’ll ‘set free’ down in the hoya (ravine) and wish them well.  Then as the surviving ones prosper, I’ll cut back the natural stuff.  At least that’s the plan.

This update includes my progress on earlier efforts and a few gardening ‘experiments’ I’ve got going.  I’ve made a few new discoveries too. Continue reading

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How Does Roberto’s Garden Grow..

It’s been a while since I was able to write about me gardening effort so I wanted to do some ‘catch-up’.  I’ll be doing an update to the Bamboo Site, very soon as well.

I’ve been at this for about 3 years now and I’ve come to the conclusion that the seeds, trees and flowers I’ve started flourished in spite of my efforts, not because of them.  Home Garden, Pulasan StartsAs I mentioned earlier, I’ve had my fair share of failures.  Mostly because I was not prepared for the different needs some seeds/plants have.

That, and the fact that I tend to over water.  A hard habit to break.

Though Seedman was generous enough to provide me with a new batch of seed, none of those came up either.  I now think the black trays in the direct sun may have toasted them.  Those seeds called for direct sun so that’s what they got.  Probably too much of a good thing.  Home Garden, Malay Apple StartsI do not attribute any of my problems with anything Seedman did or did not do.

The good news is, I do have several new prospects on the way.

I scored some very fresh seeds from my pal Sadhu at Govardhan Gardens here in PR.  I now have 12 Malay Apple sprouts in their own pots, 8 Pulasan in their own pots and 8 Cherry Mangosteen in their own special pots. Continue reading

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Guayama, PR… ‘The City of Witches’

The Old Sugar Mills & Plantations of PR, Part 2

As mentioned in my last post, the area in South East PR was home to the last Sugarcane haciendas (plantations) and sugar mills. This is evident by the numerous red brick structures still standing from its distant past.

Guayama was the epicenter of this climatic chapter in Puerto Rico’s history.

Abandoned Sugar Mill Along Highway in Guayama, Puerto RicoGuayama as a settlement dates to before its founding in 1736 and boasted no less than 200 houses, a church and plaza by 1776. Guayama was also involved in the Spanish American War of 1898. Two battles were fought here, one in Guayama (August 5, 1898) and one North of town (August 9, 1898) as part of a campaign to move on Cayey, then on to San Juan. The war ended before that happened.

View of Second Chimney from Abandoned Sugar Mill Along Highway in Guayama, Puerto RicoThe nickname comes from the fact that African folklore is still celebrated today. This must not be confused with ‘black magic’ or Haitian rituals. There is a week long festival in March, the colorful Brujo Carnival.

There are several other fairs to see in Guayama, but the Dulce Sueño Fair is high on the local’s list. A celebration to honor the esteemed Paso Fino horse. I’ve seen a couple of these smaller horses out where I live. They are of Spanish origin and brought to Puerto Rico hundreds of years ago, however the Paso Fino is unique to Puerto Rico as its a mix of 3 specific breeds.  A subject I will explore in the future. Continue reading

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