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Thread: October Update

  1. #1
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default October Update


    Broken record. Rain & the "Rockman", nearly 4 feet of rain for the month, "Rockman" made some strong advances early in the month, a few close calls the first part of the month & the "Rockman's" visit's have dropped dramatically in the past 3 weeks, one of his chance encounters ended in him dropping his night's take & jumping the fence only to find himself in a 3 feet wide gap between 2 fences, I guess the decision between attack by barbed wire or dog was an easy one, a sure bet he did not get away unscathed. We have had some nice days, but some real wet ones too, one with over a foot of rain in 12 hours.

    Been getting some chopping done, but no fun when the 3' tall grass is wet, so more time spent watching the bush grow than stopping it. Always planting (you would think I would give up, but somehow I really don't get that discouraged anymore). More coconut trees, 2 more pear (avocado),trees, for right now I about done with tree planting except for coconut (still a long way from 100). Put out some pepper plants I had growing on the porch, & have another 3 dozen or so to put out in a few weeks, trying to plant them in protected areas around the property. Planting more shrubs, & flower bushes, & pretty things all the time as I find them. Letting grass & such take over the garden, figure that is better than the erosion from our heavy rains, will fight it in January..

    The garden is about played out & if November goes as usual the North Winds & plenty of Salt Spray will be in our near future, taking care of the rest, still some great okra, black-eyed peas, & pumpkin, planted pumpkin on the South side of my house several months back, just started producing, maybe I will get lucky with them. A little corn left but pulled most last week. The last 2 pear that I could see fell a few days back, sad day.

    Finished up the last bits of the pig meat. Made a marinade from stuff I gathered up around the yard & garden (culantro, garlic, oregano, sour orange, creole red lime, hot peppers) & grilled it, along with some red rice, beans, & freshly made tortillas (someone comes around selling them), & of course some guacamole, not too bad. Still have about a gallon of lard which should last me a while. Been looking for a new pig, but so far they are all either too small or too expensive. I have a few more weeks before papaya start ripening so I am not desperate yet

    A new puppy this past week, if he turns out to be half as good as he is ugly than maybe he will be worthwhile. When he arrived I thought he was itchy (local term for anything not looking too healthy),& had to inspect before accepting, Weighed less than 3 pounds, but no, looks healthy, just real, real, ugly. My dog took to the puppy good which surprised me, so I guess I will keep it, truthfully I don't think I could give the ugly looking thing away anyway. Looks like he may be a little young, he is real small, but is more interested in dry dog food than milk so I guess he will make a go of it, after a few days here he added nearly 50% to his weight, the big dog seems to like him, even with a little more weight on him he is still real ugly, but seems happy so I will keep him around.

    Haven't done any plantain branding in a few weeks,still a little gun shy since nearly impaling myself, but I had a few more of my branded bunches stolen early in the month, gives me something to smile about. I get a grin every time I think about someone buying a bunch of plantain that they know is stolen & upon cutting open the first one finding a surprise, cutting into the next thinking it was some fluke, another, another, another, the surprises only end after every single plantain (some had over 20 per bunch) has been cut, or better they resale the plantain & they get numerous angry buyers coming back for refunds chirping Hell all the way. I have never heard about the "Rockman" giving refunds, buyer beware. The sad thing is the waste, any of my branded plantain are perfectly safe to eat (I ate plenty, no one else would), but no one would dare eat them, they sure don't look safe to eat. I cut one a week or 2 back & it was a real masterpiece, red all the way through, I had to show several people & they were all amazed that such a thing was possible. So if anyone runs across an ad looking for a plantain brander, keep me in mind.

    Hard to get too excited about the coming months, November & December can bring down some real hard weather & lots of rain, but this year has been so crazy that maybe they will be nice. I really believe we will break 200 inches of rainfall this year, seems like a lot of rain to me.

    After months of rains & upcoming months of more I decided the other day to take the rest of the year off. The other day I decided I have been working too hard & since the weather is usually bad in Nov & Dec, I will take some time off. I have been pretty lazy the past few months & can see some extra pounds in the belly (last year this time I weighed less than anytime in the past 20 years). My vacation days still consist of 4-5 hours of chores & such, just no hard work (things I do not want to do). January will soon be here & I can work then, get things clear & pretty.

    Today on my first day of vacation I transplanted a few dozen plants, cut some plantain, picked okra, got some oranges to squeeze, built a flower bed, & planted a mango tree, more of the same tomorrow. A nice vacation is never far away, just do things you like.


    I still think I can successfully garden here, even in years with this much rain, it will be a challenge but maybe an easier one than a really dry year will be. Impossible to say how good the wells will be, watching through the dry season this year I felt good about the well I use, but... One important lesson this year has taught me & that is be ready for the extremes. A few more years of weather watching, & learning from my mistakes & I think I will do better.

    Already thinking about next year's garden, I will do about the same as this year, maybe use only half of the garden, working on the other half. I expect mediocre results, but I will start spending more time on soil improvement & maybe 2011 will be a good gardening year.

    Many times over the past 2 years I have nearly cut down & dug up all the plantain on the property, harvesting small plantain just to avoid theft is not that appealing to me, it is an inferior product & sales as such. I imagine that sometime in the future I will remove most of what I have, keeping enough for personal use (close to the house). Last week a neighbor told me of 7 bunches stolen one night, same night another neighbor lost 4, 11 bunches of plantain (possibly over 200 plantain), lost between just 2 growers, no end in sight. Big Dogs are a big deterrent, but 3 dogs eating up to 7-10 pounds of food a day combined is a big cost & that is what I would need to properly patrol my place, maybe I will cut down the plantain & start a dog farm. Anyone with crop ideas let me know, I will plant anything to see if it grows.

    Someone gave me some broccoli seeds several months back, not a warm weather crop, but since I had the seeds I planted, a few plants almost a foot high, put them in a shady area where they can get some sun, curious to see how they turn out, in one of my gardens a few years ago I grew some brussel sprouts, somewhere I had got some seed, the " sprouts" won' t come in hot weather, but the leaves were huge & great to use for stuffed cabbage rolls, I will grow again just for that, they are flatter than cabbage & easier to work with to stuff, a pretty plant.

    2 years into this & I am on my 3rd machete, countless files I have worn out sharpening them. The entire time I lived in the States I never wore out a single machete, imagine. When you wear down a machete it then gets used around the house or given to a kid (4 year old neighbor kid can chop a Hell of a lot better, & longer than I can, best part, he will work for jelly sandwiches).

    Starting to look back at this year & many things could have been better, but still things were not so bad. I know now that I can produce most of my food, I am not there yet, but it is possible, coming here I never thought much about food self-sufficiency, but now it interests me more all the time. 5-10 years from now it will be amazing, the variety & quality of food that can be produced on my little piece of Earth.

  2. #2
    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: October Update

    Please by all means go into more detail about "Branding" you plantians......

    You brushed over it to fast....
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



  3. #3
    TRN's fiesty redhead catahoula fan's Avatar
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    Default Re: October Update

    Great update! We love to hear how you're doing out there. An education, whether in college or in the real world, can have a hefty price tag but the cost is unimportant as long as you're learning from it. Keep up the great work!

    On the dog issue, I can honestly say that I always feel safe with my Catahoula pack. Having lots of dogs is an effective way to keep the bad guys away, and to me that is worth the price. It's also helpful to own a breed that makes noise at the slightest enchroachment. (Heck, my dogs get p*ssed if the neighbors make unusual noises on their own properties.) I think we're shelling out around 1500 cords per month for dry dog food (El Champion) and another 200 cords for raw ground meat for the pups, and that provides us with happy, healthy, very territorial dogs that the neighborhood, and the closest town as well, are all aware of. I like having the sense of security that a pack provides, knowing that I can go out to meet friends for several hours and can come home to a place untouched and just as I left it.

    Please let me know how your broccoli does. I've got some seeds as well but have been hesitant to plant as there's only so much space around here. My first planting of pumpkins (the Halloween type) were a bust, but I got seeds from the pumpkin I bought in Managua to sprout, so I'll try again. Not really pumpkin time, but learning from the process is what it's all about!
    "Patience is a virtue, but persistence to the point of success is a blessing."

  4. #4
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: October Update

    Never had luck with the Halloween pumpkins, tried a few times. The local "pumpkin" I have several varieties growing right now & have had good luck with them here.

  5. #5
    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: October Update

    Quote Originally Posted by Just Plain John Wayne View Post
    Please by all means go into more detail about "Branding" you plantians......

    You brushed over it to fast....
    "Extreme Plantains"?

  6. #6
    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: October Update

    Kevin, Is there a book in the future?
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

  7. #7
    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: October Update

    Here's one thing that can be done with the plantains

    http://tropicalchips.net/

  8. #8
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: October Update

    Our illustrious forum master with his score of Plantains..
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by bill_bly_ca; 11-19-2009 at 09:34 PM.
    ==================================================
    Dude !!!.... Its a Canal !!! Can you Dig it ??

  9. #9
    TRN's fiesty redhead catahoula fan's Avatar
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    Default Re: October Update

    It's also rather entertaining to set the plantains out on top of a box, just outside the gate, with a "gratis" sign, then watch what happens when the Catahoulas see someone stopping by the gate.

    Good thing I had the grown dogs chained at that point (it was bone feeding time) and only the last two pups for sale were runnning free. They did give the folks a good scare though, as they can get through the fence easy as pie.

    Guess next time, I'll move the free stuff a bit farther away from the gate. Live and learn, eh?
    "Patience is a virtue, but persistence to the point of success is a blessing."

  10. #10
    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: October Update

    Quote Originally Posted by bill_bly_ca View Post
    Our illustrious forum master with his score of Plantains..
    Not me, I would never be caught dead wearing a suit and tie!

  11. #11
    Junkyard Dog randude's Avatar
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    Default Re: October Update

    200 inches or rain IS a lot. Seattle I beliive gets 120.

    What is this Branded plantain?
    Survivor

  12. #12

    Default Re: October Update

    Quote Originally Posted by randude View Post
    What is this Branded plantain?
    That's where you throw a rope over the horns of the plantain, throw them to the ground and put a hot iron onto the hip of the plantain right behind the hipbone.

  13. #13
    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: October Update

    Quote Originally Posted by robertharvey View Post
    That's where you throw a rope over the horns of the plantain, throw them to the ground and put a hot iron onto the hip of the plantain right behind the hipbone.


    DSB you got me goin' here buddy....... I nevah did hear such a graphic description......
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



  14. #14
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: October Update

    Sorry I never followed up on this one, been running a little behind. People always ask about the "branding"

    Branding Plantain.

    One day, after suffering a big loss of plantain I decided I better get proactive. All kinds of ideas. I have spray painted Plantain in the past, but the thieves usually avoid them, I wanted to do something that would hit further up the food chain than the Rockman, people make a living buying and selling stolen agriculture goods. Needed to figure out a way to "brand" the inside. I have a few big meat marinating syringes, made up red and green dyes with food coloring and took off to start branding.

    I got pretty good at it, timing is important, when you inject them at the right time the whole Plantain will have a red streak through it.

    I never got any local feedback, but I can tell you that no one that saw one of my "masterpieces" could believe them, I was even surprised. I could not give them away, ate it all myself.

    Been 8 months since Tropical Storm Ida and I am just now getting back into Plantain. In June I had 3 bunch stolen, not too bad, this month will be a good indication of how well the dog is working, as always I hope for the best, sometimes it is an uphill battle.

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