Friday, August 03, 2007

How Does Your Garden Grow ?


(Another recycled post. Very busy this week.)

When we moved into the village, I had great intentions of planting a vegetable garden. I really did! My grandmother always had a garden and my father would plant one any time he had the space. Not always possible for him as he is a Pastor. Sometimes the church provides a parsonage and there just isn't land for a garden. But whenever possible, he would plant one. My mouth waters remembering his tomatoes!

In the beginning years in the jungle, we only had fresh vegetables once a month. That was when the plane would come with supplies. We would stuff ourselves on fresh veggies for a few days! We did not have any type of refrigeration at first, so we had to eat it all fast. Later, when we had our own plane, we had more frequent flights, and when my husband was able to install solar panels, he converted a small fridge to a 12 volt system to run off batteries, which we charged with the panels! He did the same with a small freezer! We were living good!!!

Back to the garden... I had ordered seeds for things I thought might grow well in the jungle. Although the soil is fertile, it is a very thin layer of top soil as the heavy rains wash it away each rainy season. This is why the Indians have to cut new gardens every year. There are also a lot of insects to combat. The Indians grow, tubers mainly and the best, sweetest, pineapples, and lots of different types of bananas. The main food is casava made from yucca, so the majority of their gardens are given to the yucca plant.

I wanted to try to raise tomatoes, green onions and peppers. I thought that just those three things would "spice" up so many of our plain meals!. As I waited for my seed order to get to the states and then back to me, I tried to prepare a compost. One morning, I found an Indian friend diligently "cleaning" up my compost area for me. Oh well!!!

Finally, the seeds arrived on the flight day! That evening I had sat at the table and sorted them all out into nice little piles, imagining all the good food we would have. I left the room for just a moment ,only to return and find several Indian children enjoying the "snack" they thought I had prepared for them! I often would make popcorn and place it on the table for the visitors to eat and the Indians would eat dried pumpkin seeds as a snack, so they assumed I had left it for them! Oh, well!!!

A few months later, I received my second order of seeds. I was much wiser now. No more sorting at the table. I guarded the seeds as if they were gold. I even managed to get my tomato seedlings started. What joy! I would set them out each day for the required sunlight.



The village was experimenting with raising sheep. They kept the sheep across the river, usually. No one told me, but they decided to bring the sheep over to the village side because a jaguar was killing them off over there on the other side.
Well, you guessed it, the sheep assumed I had prepared a "snack" for them . They really seemed to enjoy my young tomato plants! Oh, well!

A few more months went by, and once again, I received my seeds, set the tomatoes , carefully guarded them from all 2 legged and four legged creatures. I had my husband clear a spot and build a small, low fence. You know, to keep out the sheep. I set out the young plants! I was very excited!



We had to leave the village for a few days and I asked a neighbor boy to water the garden since it was now dry season. He was excited to do it as I promised to bring him a treat from town for his work. And he did! He watered the garden faithfully.

The men of the village decided to burn off some jungle area. They burn off the areas around the village during dry season to keep snakes and critters away. Guess which area they burned? Yep! Bye, Bye garden!

When I returned the poor little neighbor boy was still trying to water the burned garden!

Ok, so I am not a quick study, it takes me awhile to figure stuff out, but after over a year trying to get a garden...I decided, maybe it wasn't going to happen after all!! Oh well!

My garden certainly never produced any vegetables, but I did cultivate something else. What, you ask?

Patience (Hope deferred maketh the heart sick!) and a good attitude when things don't go as I had hoped and planned !( Put away anger and strife) So I guess it was a success after all!

11 comments:

Michael said...

Lovely post.

My best memories growing up are of going out to the vegetable garden and eating cucumbers and green beans still warm from the vines...

Farmer John said...

Some of my best crops sprang from the furrows of my brow, as well.

Shaespeare, 2nd Sonnett...

When forty winters shall besiege thy brow,
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field,
Thy youth's proud livery so gazed on now,
Will be a totter'd weed of small worth held:
Then being asked, where all thy beauty lies,
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days;
To say, within thine own deep sunken eyes,
Were an all-eating shame, and thriftless praise.
How much more praise deserv'd thy beauty's use,
If thou couldst answer 'This fair child of mine
Shall sum my count, and make my old excuse,'
Proving his beauty by succession thine!
This were to be new made when thou art old,
And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it cold.

---
Your blog is like a child...
---
On "recycled posts"

Shakespeare, 5th Sonnett

Those hours, that with gentle work did frame
The lovely gaze where every eye doth dwell,
Will play the tyrants to the very same
And that unfair which fairly doth excel;
For never-resting time leads summer on
To hideous winter, and confounds him there;
Sap checked with frost, and lusty leaves quite gone,
Beauty o'er-snowed and bareness every where:
Then were not summer's distillation left,
A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass,
Beauty's effect with beauty were bereft,
Nor it, nor no remembrance what it was:
But flowers distill'd, though they with winter meet,
Leese but their show; their substance still lives sweet


So don't let your ink stay in the inkwell!

Jungle Mom said...

farmer John, Thank you so much!

Pam said...

AAWW he was really faithfully watering the burned garden? How loyal and sweet is that!?

So it took you a little while to figure out it just wasn't the Lord's will for you to have a garden!

Mountain Mama said...

PATIENCE! I would certainly say so.
I felt so bad for you as I read of the repeated disappointments, and that dear little boy still watering the burnt garden. OH GOD BLESS HIS LITTLE HEART!
Just makes me want to hug him.

Gayle said...

It is a lovely post for sure, Rita. "Oh well?" I think I would have been in tears of frustration! You are earning stars in your crown for sure, whether you know it or not. God bless! :)

Jackie said...

Could you email me your D&D address please? Thanks. This is the only way I know to get a hold of you!! :-D

serendip said...

Wonderful pos.

CONNIE'S THOUGHTS FROM THE HEART said...

Certainly sounds like patience to me. Maybe one day you can have a garden. connie from Texas

Obob said...

thanks for the information. Your blog gives me another view of South America. I again hope you don't mind if I share stories with my students

Webutante said...

Gardening for you, like fishing for me, teaches patience close to the ground!