domingo, 7 de marzo de 2010

what's growing on?

Despite devastating dryness, the farm grows on! I am holding back on too much planting for a while, as I sharply ride the learning curve of dry season farming. However, with the creative assistance of our long term visitor and farming aficionado, Payita, the farm is not just a dust bowl!
Taking advantage of the shady chayotera, where dense chayote vines enthusiastically climb and twine, Paige established a beautiful bed of arugula, cabbage, carrots, and cilantro.
Protected from the fierce sunlight yet thriving on its nourishing warmth, the seedlings enjoy the ultimate natural greenhouse!
Perhaps you remember the papaya seedlings I started almost a YEAR AGO?? Standing tall at over 6 feet high, the papaya trees are now basking in tropical sun, flowering, and finally fruiting!
The papaya fruit emerges from a pollinated female flower. I was lucky to end up with at least one male plant, identified by the long skinny flower stalks, pictured below, and at least 2 hermaphrodite plants.

A hermaphrodite or "perfect" plant is the ideal papaya variety; although in severe weather conditions, a plant may change genders! Crazy.

The papayas grew fast with little attention, and now provide desperately-needed shade along the perimeter of the garden. Superstars!

The forever hardy congo chili pepper is at home on our farm, self propagating everywhere I turn around. This is the most common chili you will run into in Nicaragua-- and don't be fooled by its tiny size either. Once a congo ripens to fire engine red, hot DAMN!

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