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Thread: Cookshow's Corn Island parts 5-7

  1. #1
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Cookshow's Corn Island parts 5-7

    March 19th

    Made it in to Managua on the afternoon flight from the island. We had a few errands to run, then went out for some nice beef & were at the hotel by 9pm & I was asleep by 9:05. Yesterday I planted some corn & went to check on the tiller, looks like it is fixed (was back in one piece), the mechanic was out fishing (on the island most everyone, even the hardest workers take Sunday for a day of leisure), I hoped to catch him at home, guess I will pick it up on Tuesday. Today is going to be busy, with shopping & errands all over town. I am ready for a few days away from physical labor, this project has turned into a great deal of (hard) work & anyone that knows me knows that is a 4 letter word I try to avoid. Need to rest up for the days of tilling to come. So far I am happy with the progress of everything & am a little further ahead than I expected to be, other than the delay on the tiller & putting in the irrigation I feel good about the way things are going. The timing is going well, several of the plants are nearly ready to go to the ground. Lots of interests in the gardening & not all of it positive. Islanders tend to have a lot of time on their hands & are capable of coming up with some pretty interesting theories. Some are sure that I have some get rich plan (you would have to sell a hell pile of tomatoes at 10 cords (18 cords = $1) a pound just to get back the investment we already have in this, not to mention the labor). I have tried to explain that this garden thing started because Ike & I wanted lettuce & things got a little out of hand. I think I am going to start telling people I am with the Cantaloupe Cartel, hell I think some of them would believe it. I have spent more of the past 2 days explaining my plan than working on it, when I get back I am just going to start wearing a shirt that says "tell me in 2 months what I did wrong". It is frustrating (& at times highly irritating) to hear over & over what you are doing wrong (I am sure I am doing plenty wrong), or that this or that won't grow (hard for me to take someone's word when no one has ever tried to grow some of these things). I know some of the thing we plant will not do well on the island, but the whole idea was to plant a large variety (nearly 100) of different plants & different varieties of those plants to find what will do best on the island. I have been keeping a detailed journal & that should help in the future. Anyway I needed this short break to Managua to help keep the spirits high & recharge the batteries.


    March 22

    Got back from Managua Tuesday night about 5pm. Spent all day Monday & Tuesday running all over Managua getting everything on our lists. Managua is a crazy place, in the early 70's there was a huge earthquake & a good bit of the city was destroyed, there is no city center or proper addresses, every address is given by using a landmark then giving directions from that. Traffic is insane & even riding in a car is exhausting. An interesting tidbit of history is that Howard Hughes was living in what is now the Crowne Plaza Hotel in the 70's when the earthquake hit (before he went to Vegas), his jet was at the airport & he flew over Managua ablaze, never to return. Managua has all the comforts of home, good hotels, good food, Mcdonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut, you name it.

    Tuesday night had dinner at a place here by the hotel & had an Island specialty Chop Suey, yes that's right. The Atlantic Coast had many Chinese Settlers, my friend Ike's father was Chinese.

    Yesterday was a typical Nicaragua day. Go to run a few errands & at the first stop the truck won't restart, so the day begins with a problem. I have other things to do so I just leave the truck & go on about my business. I hire a truck to go get the tiller & get back to the garden & start tilling, it works great, still a little problem with the shifting mechanism, but it will do for now, made 2 passes with the tiller one at 3" & the second at 6", I am going to spread a little more sea grass this morning & make one pass. Took the tiller over to Marvin's & made a pass through the Watermelon patch & will make another run through first thing this morning. By this time it is almost 2:30 & I am supposed to be at the airport to pick up Marvin coming back from Bluefields so I start to figure out what to do about the truck. Ike drives me to the truck gives me a pull & we are back on the road, I pick up Marvin & everything is fine. There is a short for the Glow plugs (or they are going out), about 10 days ago we call the man that fixes these kind of things but he is in jail, no problem, it is a Sunday so we figure he made crazy with the rum on Saturday & got jailed, yesterday I ask why the man no come to fix the truck & find out that he was released from jail, but immediately went home & beat his woman (I am guessing she had something to do with his original jailing) & now he is back in jail. This sounds crazy but if it looks this is a long term confinement we will have to take the truck to jail to get it fixed or to find out what the problem is. Just another normal day on the island.

    Did some more planting in the "nursery" yesterday & all of the plants are looking good. Will start planting Monday, about a week later than I originally planned but probably for the better, the plants will be stronger, I have almost all of the plants thinned to one per pot except for the ones just sprouting. We got a shrimp net yesterday & will use it to put on the inside of our barb wire fence to keep out the chickens, dogs, etc.

    My last 2 trips I have tried to coordinate a trip to Puerto Cabezas (Bilwi) on the Capt D (a supply boat that works the Atlantic Coast) the population Puerto Cabezas is largely Miskito Indians. There is usually a trip every 4-6 weeks, but they are very sporadic with no set dates. Last week we called the Captain (& the owner) of the boat he told us the next trip was to be in the first week of April, yesterday we find out that it will leave today (Thursday) at around 4 & return from Cabezas on Saturday afternoon. Looks like Marvin & I are taking a little cruise. We have many friends up there & have been talking about this trip since last October, maybe if all the stars line up it will happen today.


    March 25

    We (Marvin & me) made the trip to Puerto Cabezas on the Capt D, the trip was 14 hours (left at 5:30pm on Thursday & arrived 7:30am Friday). We had smooth seas & a private cabin with bunk beds, toilet & shower, I had packed a picnic & we had plenty of ice & refreshments, was not a bad way to travel. The boat was supposed to return on Saturday evening, but for some reason left only 8 hours after arriving, we both decided that it was silly to travel 14 hours (one way) & only spend 8 hours visiting so we decided we Would fly back to the island. In Port we had a nice time visiting all our friends, Marvin (74) got to reunite with an old friend Gaston (I think 86, may be off a yr or 2) that he had not seen in over 40 years. Gaston was born a Corn Island Boy, but moved up to Port many years ago & now has the premier pig shop in town. Gaston is a pig butchering man & from what I saw he does a brisk business. My friend Lampson who is a Taxi Man, Bodyguard, Speaks 3 languages, & plays bass guitar was there to keep us safe, his father was a Corn Island boy & was related to my friend Ike's mother, he is as big & strong as a bear & one hell of a nice guy. Of course our friend Lyin Farmer John Wayne was the master of ceremonies & kept us amused with his stories & humor. I cannot even start to summarize our 30 hours in Port, but I want to thank all of the good folks there as they really treated us well. We were picked up at the dock, taken to a house to shower (been some problems with electric & water there) because they did not want to put us at the hotel & us be without water. Thanks for the hospitality.

    Today I am going to do a little work, may till at Ike's one more time. Today I will start to build the irrigation system & hopefully complete it tomorrow. Eddie Downs from South End is coming to help me tomorrow & then once this garden is planted we will plant at his place. Eddie has been doing lots of clearing & has a few thousand sq ft ready to plant. Eddie is one of the ones excited about this & will be a big help here tomorrow, he is in his 60's big & strong & looks like a Island Man Santa Clause because of his big white beard.

    I guess one of these days I better make a list of all the characters & explain who they are, but just don't have the time now. Some of you know all these people & some don't have a clue what the hell I am talking about. Anyway there are plenty of fine folks over here on the Atlantic (Caribbean) Coast.

    Sunday is Nacatamal day for Ike & myself. A Nacatamal is a large Tamale wrapped in a banana leaf, today we are having chicken ones & I am about to eat one as I write this. Just ate it & was damn good.

    Well it's 7:30 & I have got to get to work, going to try & finish up by noon & planning on doing some cooking later for a nice dinner.


  2. #2
    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Great post Kevin. Keep up the good work and please say hi to Ike and Marvin (not his dog though) .

    I am very interested in this project amd may get one going on Little Corn next year.
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

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