Monday, August 6, 2007

Oh so good

One of the advantages of living in South Texas is the ability to grow a wide variety of my own tropical food plants. I aspire to be a permaculturalist. Like being a vegan, a permaculturalist makes her ecological footprint lighter by being more responsible for her actions. I have a hard time accepting someones commitment to being an environmentalist if she doesn't seriously consider being a vegan. The same goes for permaculture. Why have a lawn when you can cultivate a relationship with native plants and food plants? In these pictures, you see a variety of mango I'm growing called 'Carrie.' This is from my first crop. 'Carrie' is a delicious mango with such an explosion of flavor that can't be found in a grocery store. I had the ability to wait until the last possible second before harvesting this mango when it literally fell into my hand after simply touching it. In addition to two mango trees, my wife, Anita, and I are growing a wide selection of fruit trees, including two figs, two oranges, three key limes, one satsuma, one Meyer lemon, one regular lemon, one tangerine, four papayas, one longan, one starfruit, one guava, one avocado, one custard apple and one jujube. We also have two pomegranate bushes, and we are working on starting a vegetable garden. We have some vegetable plants growing in our flower beds. We grow herbs, as well, including rosemary, basil, oregano, epizote and sage. Everywhere else, native plants and roses are trying to help me kill the grass. Growing your own food reduces your need to buy oil-laden crops from the grocery store, and you can enjoy the healthful properties of crops that haven't been coated with pesticides. You can also take joy in returning your home's soil back to health. Think of growing food crops as a bank account. When peak oil crashes, your investments will pay off big time. I just love watching the magic of nature doing her work. I also think of my garden as a native seed bank that, with the help of birds, can help restore areas destroyed by development.


  1. Have any advice for 'pest control'? I have a banana tree, but I can't get near it, for the wasps living in it. I've left them alone, since I don't really like to kill them (it's their world too), but can't get near the tree, even sneakily, to get any bananas. wouldn't want to spray the bananas with pesticides, and then eat them, anyway.
    Any suggestions?

  2. I have never known wasps to a problem. In organic gardening, they are a boon because they eat so many pests, especially the leaf-eating kind. The wasps live inside of a banana stalk? You might try cutting that stalk so it is no longer welcoming to those wasps. Our bananas don't have any pests. Perhaps you should avoid the bananas until they produce; that way the wasps have a home and your baby bananas have some protectors.