Last week we took a drive around the countryside down the peninsula to get ourselves better acquainted with the property. Over the next four weeks while our amigos take a much-needed break we will be helping to oversee the property. We’re very familiar with the part that is in development for the landowner but we hadn’t really explored the other pieces of property that our friends manage. SU and I hopped into the truck with our amigo on a somewhat grey day and traveled about a half hour or so away from their home to the Tonosi Valley on the other side of Venao. This area is one of my favorite places on the peninsula. I love the Tonosi Valley because of the rolling hills and the greenness of the farm country. I don’t know if I’d ever want to live out there because it is a little far removed from town, but there are some pretty little well-kept houses that look like they’d be quite comfortable. As we drove to the other side of the Venao area the road changed from paved to gravel. The power poles disappear as you drive further past Cañas because in this area there is no electrical service in place although there are people who seem to get along well without it. Our destination was a little plot of land down a side road where a nursery of different plants is growing. On this plot there are palms being cultivated for use in the future for roof thatching. Companion plants such as maize and beans are being grown in between the young palms. There are also fruit trees; papaya, citrus and a bush that produces a red fruit used locally to produce fruit drinks. The bean plants are growing quite well around the maize and are producing long green pods from the pretty purple flowers. The beans are somewhat like cannellini beans but larger. I think that they are closer to a variety of lima bean called Giant White. I was so interested in them that our friends brought us a plant and some more seeds that I can’t wait to plant. The Giant White apparently has creamy consistency and an appetizing flavor and is native to Central America. The bean is large, and cream-colored and about 1 inch in size. The beans are a rich source of potassium and is used in soups and casseroles. This seedling is only two weeks old. One of the workers even planted some tomato seeds and the plants are producing tiny fruit. At one end a few vines of pumpkin are growing. They’ve been given plenty of space to spread as they could easily take over the plot of land. The pumpkin grown here are not the same as the “Jack O’Lattern” pumpkin that we see in North America. The shape is the same but it doesn’t turn orange and it tastes somewhat like an acorn squash. The property is bordered on one side by farm land and on the other by a small river. Closer to the river there are several different varieties of flowers and plants including heliotropes. It was a lovely time spent walking amongst the garden and listening to the river gurgle in the peace and solitude of the campo.
- Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere (natureswalkphotography.com)
- Sharing and kindness (projectsunshineaotearoa.wordpress.com)
- Growing lima beans a snap for Lincoln farmer (kansascity.com)