Saturday, 19 of April of 2014

Antonia’s Garden Experience (continued) — October 2012

Rain, rain go away! It is rainy season here on the island. It has been one of those weeks with torrential downpours, flooded streets and “rain days” where school was cancelled because it was too dangerous to transport children to school. Everything feels wet, including clothing and furnishings inside our homes. However, the plants and trees are thriving. The photos are from Antonia’s garden area . . . bananas almost ready to harvest and coconuts contribute to the family’s nutrition.

During a home visit, the kids in Jose’s family told me they missed three days of school this past week due to rain. When I asked them what they had been doing while home on the rain days . . . they said eating squash “muy dulce” (very sweet) grown by Antonia, their grandmother (photo in previous blog posting). What better endorsement can you get about the value of growing vegetables when children ages 6-15 comment enthusiastically about eating squash?

Antonia shared exciting news . . . she recently sold three rose cuttings for 25 pesos (about $2 US) each. I commented about her raising prices 5 pesos from two weeks ago. She just smiled and said that people will pay it for healthy plants. She is so proud of being able to sell a few of the things she is growing.

Although Antonia has been growing flowers for years from cuttings given to her by friends and neighbors, her experience in growing food is new. Here’s her first small garden plot about 3′ x 5′ filled with the first crop of radishes. The seeds were given to her by Friends of Cozumel volunteers.

Now she wants to expand her efforts. She’s planning to clear the junk and trees off this area of land and put in a larger garden. Antonia’s is one of several families we plan to support in implementing home garden projects during the next year.

A community garden project sponsored by the Cozumel Rotary Club will be initiated soon to educate families in different methods of growing vegetables and will include composting. Check back for an update to be provided by Cindy Trautwein, Rotary Club member and Friends of Cozumel volunteer.


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