Wednesday, March 9, 2011


RECENTLY, three people wrote on the doomed picture of Puerto Rico's future in terms of food and its huge population, 3,400,000.
Only one will be mentioned for his consistent honesty, he does not plant, but knows the issues in terms of water and soil uses, family agricultural background,  history and  close observations planting of edibles in pots by his wife. Check: Planificacion Necesaria, Tema 1 Agricultura Urbana,

My constant practice with collecting, propagating and planting gives me a somewhat different approach to the possibilities in the field regarding ANY plan with a narrow or wide focus.  What you see below is applicable anywhere in the world, since agriculture is practiced by people.

If you have a concrete yard, most of it, and you decide to plant you could. However one needs a chisel and sledge hammer to break in.
A trowel, spade, bucket and place to put the debris.  The soil will not be in great shape. Solve that with your own compost. Dry leaves, coffee grounds, onion/garlic skins, earth worms added to it, will allow anything to grow, believe me.

Gardening demands some fitness.
Good knees, back, arms, stamina and guts are also necessary to dig one or five as I did in the north garden.  I walk between 2/3 miles daily. If you work in an office, sitting for forty hours at work, plus twenty watching television, gardening may not be for you or your children. Keep that in mind.

You need to know before hand what could be planted.  Do you live in the neck of the woods, high, or low, flat, close by the ocean? Is it humid, hot, wet, dry? Lots of shade or no shade, some shade?

Clay, sand or loam?  Or a mix of all or just one? Percolation is it excellent, medium or poor?  

Once you determine type, quality of soil, you could plant anything considering climate and weather conditions for your area. 

You will need tools, gloves, a cushion for your knees, a light seat,
weeder, hand pruner, A one gallon sprayer or smaller to irrigate, spray pests and kill weeds.  Are you keeping track?

To have any type of garden, edibles or ornamentals require tools and some notions of what you are doing.  Lets take plant selection for example.

Most people go for the monkey see monkey do: tomatoes, lettuce, peppers to name three.  Decide to plant seeds or grown plants.You need to learn how to care for them plants since they get particular diseases from the soil or insects. You need to learn to identify damage from chewing or sucking insects, and to read signs of stress to irrigate.  Leave some spare time for weeding, on your knees...

Once you got that, decide if you will  follow the organic or chemical path to solve the problems as you think suitable.  If you have a lawn, a trimmer, blower, or lawn mower, polluting with fumes and noise, I do not think flora, fauna or your neighbors will notice if you kill every beneficial insect and other living creatures with pesticides. Alberto Areces Mallea did not why should you? 

I repeat, decide what could be planted before you engage in any GARDENING. Make sure you get a fifty five gallon can to collect rain water. If not watering by hand, get a hose with adequate sprayer, do not use your finger, as so many imbeciles do, even in nurseries.  The water pressure will erode the soil around your plants!

Food is not only something that has to be cultivated or vegetarian, consider goats, chicken, but not roosters, I HATE their noise, rabbits, anything that could be eaten, if not violating the law.  Those former pets, green iguanas should become part of our diet. 

Besides the real planting, the one I do, other virtual possibilities should be explored. An inventory in EVERY urban context should be done to determine what fruits, vegetables, tubers are  already planted in housing projects and private residences. 

The possibility of a bank should be studied. Most people do not care about anything planted in their yards any longer, not even in the country side where I have seen piles of mangoes and oranges rotting in cart wheels offered for free.  Once this inventory is created the chance to exchange and/or sell will be there.

Finally not everyjuan cares for edibles, most people care only for aesthetics. Lets bring them in the bag. I am certain many in this segment would not mind swapping ornamental plants of aesthetic/resistance merits  for avocados, lemons, papayas or breadfruit to name four.

This post could go on forever. But it is enough to demonstrate the complicate simplicity of cultivating anything  worthy of time, effort and energy, with an above average rate of success.

Antigonum Cajan has spoken. Demos gracias a Dios. Show your colors. It is now or never....

apaga i vete. 

1 comment:

  1. Así como lo escribe parece complicado, de hecho lo es, más que bueno sería que nos pusiéramos manos a la obra. A los jóvenes no les pasa por la mente, están distraídos del mundo que les rodea, la tecnología los atonta y los medios de comunicación dan el batazo final con anuncios embobadores. Por eso cuando encuentro alguno que se interesa aunque sea un poco trato de animarlo a continuar.

    Gracias por la reflexión, un abrazo.


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