Correction from last post: farming so far has been trial by error. Yes, error, ok? i'm being honest here. Deep breath,,,here's to learning from one's mistakes.
The blossom end rot was a bummer for many of my tomates y ayote; there was an unfortunate pest attack on the potatoes (though i did manage to salvage a couple tiny taters and they were GOOD); i've already gone on about the cacao (see Feb 28); i already went on about the wind? And another sad story is the tale of compost. Before any seed sprouted or blossom bloomed, when the farm was nothing more than a lemon forest, I faithfully hauled our household compost to a designated spot, layered appropriately (greens + browns), and encouraged Mother Nature to do her thing. Some people send out pics of their kids, some their pets, even a shot of a well-manicured flower garden might pass without raising eyebrows. I, however, shared with my nearest and dearest an intimate photo of my very own rotting pile of discarded organic waste mixed with yard clippings, seen here:
Looks great, eh? Gracias, but la problema presented itself in the form of this adorable, starving, and to top it all off pregnant, farm dog, who was delighted by the loads of yummy-smelling edible treats I generously dumped for her each week.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
The owner of Niña, who is actually the mandador of our farm, has more important mouths to feed than poor hungry Niña's and those of her then developing 4 puppies (who subsequently all died, surely of malnutrition). Entonces,,,, compost hasn't happened. seriously, what would you do?
Bitching and Moaning Part 2: Live and Learn
Tomato Season Round 1 is winding down, thankfully, because the tomatoes were not good. (Like i said, honest). In this case, I feel comfortable blaming the tomato variety, as this same square-ish flavorless mealy fruit is the only type to be found in the markets here. Boiled down and carefully seasoned they yield a decent sauce, but i would never ever choose to eat one in my ensalada. Upon researching, we discovered that the tomato variety we so despise is a hybrid known as UC 82, probably cultivated for its ability to ship long distances and maintain a vibrant red. How did this tasteless excuse for a tomato infiltrate the Nicaraguan vegetable market?
I prefer to showcase them here in my toaster oven, broiling handsomely, where they maintain some shred of culinary integrity, rather than naked and so glaringly inadequate.
Anyway,,,lessons learned. Not all tomatoes are created equal. And,the UC 82 is a determinate variety of tomato, in which all the fruit comes in and ripens at once. I am now armed with several different seed varieties, including an indeterminate heirloom seed that touts superb FLAVOR with no mention of the tomato's shape--hallelujah!
Tearing out the tomatoes' withered brown stems today was cathartic, bidding adios to my first crop as a Nica farmer and heaping the leftover nutrients into the compost pile--one down, many to go.