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Thread: Corn Island Finca -The Adventure Continues

  1. #1
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Corn Island Finca -The Adventure Continues

    August has been a bit kinder in the weather department than July, around 12" of rain so far this month, much more manageable than the 45" we had this time last month.

    Okra coming strong, my love for okra grows everyday, not just because I like to eat it, but because it is about the only thing in the garden I can find to smile about, I have 1 100' row producing & just planted 2 more 50' rows, more okra than could ever be consumed on this Island, why, because I need something to smile about. I have a 50' row of Black-Eyed Peas producing nicely & am about to plant another 50' row, no one here except myself & the pig eat it, but again it gives me something to smile about. After planting corn 4-5 times & getting about 10 sprouts for every 100 planted I finally got about 60% of the seed planted to sprout on my last try, I just went through & filled in the bare spots this last week if I can get 60% again I will be happy. I have lots of pumpkin (squash) plants coming & have been getting a few butternut squash off of some vines that made it through the rain. Peanuts looking great. I had 140 tomato plants in bloom going into June, a few producing, I have 4 now. Pepper plants almost as bad as the tomatoes although about 30 that made it through look like they are getting a second wind. I had 15 or so beautiful zucchini plants before the rain, I have 1 real sad looking one left. Eggplant fared about the same, 20 plants before, 3 now. Been getting several watermelon & cantaloupe but most are bursting or rotting due to all the rain, gives the pig something to smile about.


    Most any day I can be found shaking my head a good bit (mostly at my own actions), conventional wisdom would tell you it is foolish to be planting something that is going to take 2 months to bear when you will be lucky to get much more than 2 months growing weather, the first thing you quickly learn is that "conventional" does not apply here. I just keep planting, sooner or later I will get lucky & have a good run of growing weather. Eventually I will get the garden in order & I will be able to control more of the variables that for now I have no control over. 2-3 more years & I should have a lot more of the kinks worked out, I am just spread too thin here to dedicate myself to the garden, yet.

    Plantain is coming nicely, September through the end of the year will be good months if last year was any indication. I found one bunch missing this week, it was at the back of the property so not much of a surprise, I have been trying to cut all the plantain back there before it is ready, just to feed the pig & beat the "Rockman" out of it. The missing bunch had the signature mark of a local thief that has been giving myself & a few neighboring growers some trouble. I saw someone buying pear (avocado) from him the other day & a few days before that I saw someone buying breadfruit from him, both of the buyers knowing well that what they were buying was stolen, at least one of the buyers most likely knew where it was stolen. A new dog has been added to my line-up & it looks like he will be a serious threat to the "Rockman's" well-being, I have no first hand experience, but being eaten by a dog must be unpleasant at best. I will report on the degree of unpleasantness soon as I get a first hand report.

    Getting a few Soursop from one of my trees, interesting looking fruit, some get really big, got one yesterday almost 5 lbs. Most people here use it to make a fresco, the flavor is hard to describe, I like it ok. A few pear starting to fall (when they are ripe they fall off the tree), I have a few trees bearing this year, my big tree did not bear this year (not uncommon for them to bear every other year), I have started on my pear sandwich diet, already had 2 today & can't rule out a 3rd, on toasted coco bread, it is a real nice thing, guacamole is also making an appearance on the table a few times a week. I have some culantro that came up by itself, no fresh cilantro here to buy & mine died so I was thankful for the rogue culantro, especially with pear season coming on. I have 2 lime trees at the very back of my property, but no lime, they produce, I just don't get any, they keep disappearing before they ripe, the "Rockman" is usually kind enough to leave a sturdy stick (used to beat the lime off the tree, picking lime is a bit like wrestling with barbed wire), sometimes they miss a few on the ground (or their bag is too full) & I get some, I have been planting some closer to the house, but it will be years before they bear. Full size lime sells for 3 cords (15 cents) each here, so losing a tree full of lime is not so cool, losing 2 trees full is even less cool. I have 3 bitter & sweet orange trees on the property, one right by the house & it seems to produce year round so I usually use it for garnishing cool beverages, I also have creole lime, it is orange inside & more tart than green lime, like sour orange, I get some of those off a tree on the property & planted a few more the other day. Getting a few coconuts from my 2 mature trees (planting more everyday) I save some to sprout & trade some to a neighbor that makes coco bread. Should start harvesting some cassava (yucca) soon.

    Papaya a plenty, the past few months I have had a glut of papaya, I feed a few a day to the hog, I was moving the hog around to a new spot every few days to eat grass & root up rock, everywhere I had the hog I now have papaya trees coming up, in some spots hundreds of trees, also everywhere I spread his manure (if you have never seen a fresh cut papaya it has 100's of seeds). I have been thinning out the trees & transplanting some into rows. The problem with papaya is that there is a he (does not bear) & a she (bears), I am unable to tell the difference (& don't know if it is possible) to differentiate the 2 until they get about 3' tall (a few months), then they either show signs of flowering (he), or fruiting (she), at that time you cut the he papaya down, it is of no use, but to confuse things a he or she can turn into the opposite sex & a tree may have a branch with each sex, I just stick to the simple he/she test of flowering or fruiting. In 5-6 months I am going to have more papaya than you can shake a stick at, another one of those it grows so it makes me smile things, plus it is easy to cut down even a full size tree with a whack of the machete & it dies out. Papaya is a great pig food, but an even neater use is as a meat tenderizer, take a look at that bottle of meat tenderizer in your cabinet & the main ingredient is likely papian (not sure of the spelling) derived from Papaya. I use the inside of the papaya, mash it in my fingers & rub it on the meat, some people score the outside of the fruit & it "bleeds", they use that, I read you can use the leaves as well, but they have an odor I am afraid would get on the meat. You have to be careful with it, leave it on the meat too long & you will have mush. I use it when I grill meat or make chicken fried steak & it leaves little or no taste on the meat, much better than the commercial stuff that has MSG or some kind of sodium that makes my tongue feel weird. I have been told that eating the seeds helps control intestinal parasites, another plant with many uses beyond the obvious.

    Going into June I had the place looking as good as it ever has, garden spots were weed free, all of the front 2 acres were chopped, the plantain was trimmed, 75 inches of rain later & I am living in a jungle. Still fighting to get the garden weed free, had the front acre chopped a week back, in another week you won't know it, the back 1.5 acres are a scary sight. Last night I looked at pics starting in early June & running to present, wow things can get bad quick. I will get it under control in September & all will be well again, but for now what a mess.

    More trees going in every week, in 5 years this is going to be a pretty neat looking place, will transplant some cashew, avocado, & citrus in the coming days, a few more coconut ready to plant, still a long way from my goal of 100 coconut trees, but getting closer every day. I have been planting plenty of shrubs, flowering bushes & trees, right now it looks like I am growing weeds, but one of these days I will get the place tamed. I am just about done planting trees for now, except for coconut & any cool fruit trees I find around the Island, once I get all the trees in & growing I will start working on grafting some of the citrus trees to see what I can create, I am not going to run out of things to do for a long time.

    Most of the timeI have no idea what I am doing, but all I know is to keep doing.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Corn Island Finca -The Adventure Continues

    Good luck Cookshow, sounds like you are enjoying yourself overall.

  3. #3
    TRN Surgeon General El Doc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Corn Island Finca -The Adventure Continues

    Great post, Cookshow. I'm not sure if you're enjoying yourself with all that work, but it sure doesn't sound boring.
    "Un Estado que no se rigiera según la justicia se reduciría a una gran banda de ladrones." --San Agustín

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    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Corn Island Finca -The Adventure Continues

    Great post Kevin ...it's good to hear that you are smiling now.

    Have you planted any ginger? It grows wild on my place.
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

  5. #5
    Active TRN Member RGV AG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Corn Island Finca -The Adventure Continues

    Cookshow:

    If you can get me some Okra to Managua, I will pay top Dollar, or top Cordoba. They grow it down here, but I be dammed if I can find any to purchase.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Corn Island Finca -The Adventure Continues

    Keep up the hard work, Kevin. Traditional turkey dinner coming in November... with a side of okra.
    That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable

  7. #7

    Default Re: Corn Island Finca -The Adventure Continues

    Quote Originally Posted by RGV AG View Post
    Cookshow:

    If you can get me some Okra to Managua, I will pay top Dollar, or top Cordoba. They grow it down here, but I be dammed if I can find any to purchase.
    I see it on occasion in the "Imported produce section" at La Union Car. a Masaya. Usually kind of expensive as is everything in that space.

  8. #8
    Former SJDS Bureau Chief, TRN Danpolley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Corn Island Finca -The Adventure Continues

    Quote Originally Posted by tresfrijoles View Post
    I see it on occasion in the "Imported produce section" at La Union Car. a Masaya. Usually kind of expensive as is everything in that space.
    I bought some at La Colonial at Galleria last week and it was expensive, something like $8 a pound.
    Sometimes I think I understand everything, then I regain consciousness.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Corn Island Finca -The Adventure Continues

    Quote Originally Posted by Danpolley View Post
    I bought some at La Colonial at Galleria last week and it was expensive, something like $8 a pound.
    Sounds like the Imported Mini zucchini I purchased, was something like U$7 dollars for a pound or the Portabello Mushrooms. I really need to start planting my own when I get a big enough lot.

  10. #10
    Active TRN Member RGV AG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Corn Island Finca -The Adventure Continues

    Quote Originally Posted by tresfrijoles View Post
    I see it on occasion in the "Imported produce section" at La Union Car. a Masaya. Usually kind of expensive as is everything in that space.
    Man, I have never seen it for sale here, I heard that once in a while it will be for sale at El Mayoreo.

    You all know that they grow it for export here in Nicaragua, but dammed if they sell it here.

    I even cut out a picuture from the Newspaper showing "product of Nicaragua" packaged Okra and took it around to show people what it was, but not only do they not have it, most folks don't know what it is. It is hell on my Gumbo making to not have Okra.

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