Belize's most complete independent agricultural publication

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Jenny Wildman - page 4

Jenny Wildman has 39 articles published.

Beyond the Backyard – The Golden Egg, Canistel

in Issue 10 by

Oh what beautiful seeds, brown and shiny like polished walnut wood, nestled in a bed of rich yellow meat and encased in a bright golden egg, pretty enough to be a Christmas tree ornament. This fruit conjures up archaic images of creation, Adam and Eve and temptation. Fortunately this fruit has not been tampered with, unlike the impotent seedless grapes, watermelons etc. which make a pretentious performance on supermarket counters but sadly no longer taste like the fruits of our childhood and certainly fail to have the nutritional value that nature intended with the creation of life from seed. The flesh of canistel is sweet and fluffy, appearing a bit like hard boiled egg or orange pumpkin. It should be…

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Beyond The Backyard – Save The Penguins

in Issue 09 by

I was discussing my garden project with a friend who is a phythologist eager to pick his brain on plant behaviour. Now if you (like wikipedia) tell me that this is not a word I will indeed beg to differ. It is a very old word that has been lost from language along with the knowledge of the importance of symbiosisand common sense. A lost “ology”. Anyway it will be back. We chatted about garden pests. You may spray everything with chemicals, yes, or you could make a concoction of soapy, garlicky, pepper spray if you need ammunition. Alternatively, if you consider that mostly everything in life has a purpose you could try to pay more attention to what the…

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Beyond The Backyard – Swamp Thing

in Issue 08 by

I was given a couple of recommendations for trees to add to “the perfect garden” list: coco plum, moringa and neem. The first is great for shade but it’s fruit; a cross between a marshmallow and a cotton ball is definitely an acquired taste . The second is absolutely wonderful in scrambled eggs or an omelette besides all of its touted health benefits. Neem is an excellent inclusion as it keeps pests, such as aphids and mosquitos at bay and can be used for many medicinal purposes. The next suggestion was “coconut boy”. What? Is this something like a garden gnome or a pink flamingo?…..true godwottery! After a brief description I ascertain that it is a local name for the…

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Beyond The Backyard – The Perfect Garden

in Issue 07 by

Standing looking at my garden I reflect on its contents past and present and reminisce about the glorious garden of my childhood. Rows of raspberries, asparagus, rhubarb, gooseberries, potatoes, brussel sprouts, such rich soil with abundant possibilities. It is strange that these prizes originated from far away places and through cultivation adapted so well to their new environment. When I first came to Belize no one was planting coffee and seemed to believe it would not grow well here. Today we have all sorts of crops which were previously thought impossible: huckleberries for instance. Has anyone ever grown an apple tree here? “No it would turn into a Guava.” was the answer. Is this cultivation of non- native plants worth…

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Beyond The Backyard – Divine Intervention – The Air Potato

in Issue 06 by

I was shown a strange looking tuber by an avid gardener. The attractive vine with pretty patterned green leaves, climbed high on a tall old tree and displayed an abundant crop of fascinating brown nubby looking potatoes. He said his pigs happily fed on them and that they are easy to grow. “Well how about for people?” “Never tried one.” Everyone likes to grow unusual exotic plants, especially edibles. So armed with a couple of samples I head home eager to try this intriguing vegetable. However I first decided to google air potato and see if it was truly edible. Imagine my surprise to find an onslaught of information. On the one hand the promoters selling the plants and then…

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Beyond The Backyard – Culantro – A Garden Essential

in Issue 05 by

Having a lime tree in the yard is very very necessary, especially if you like to make ceviche. Another ingredient you will need is cilantro unless you have the wondrous cilantro readily available. So many times when I mention this people say ” what is that !“ Those who do know may be under the impression it is the poor man’s cilantro . The appearance of the two plants is quite different but the aroma is similar ,a bit more pungent and can be used as a substitute. With the influx of ethnic groups introducing their native tastes CULANTRO is becomingwidely popular in North America and Europe. Even chefs of the Food Network have this included this in their recipes.…

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Beyond The Backyard – Food For Thought

in Issue 04 by

When I was a young girl my Grandmother Bella often used the saying―Well …….. Iʼll eat my hat‖ an expression of great surprise that something actually happened or of disbelief that something could really happen . There are many claims as to the origin of this yet historically this phrase dates back to the 1700ʼs about the time of Charles II . It is highly possible that one of the earlier seafaring explorers had discovered remarkable straw hats in other continents and used this phrase from then on. Out of choice no one would actually eat a hat…………..but could they? Panama hats have long since had the reputation of being the best quality iraca straw hats and they are made…

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Beyond The Backyard – Dasheen, Number One Root

in Issue 03 by

Recently whilst driving in the car I listened to an arduous radio report describing the inconveniences caused by permits and restrictions for the importation of potatoes. Since I can hardly remember having a tasty potato here ever, I got to wondering what is this obsession with potatoes. They are not native to here, spoil quickly and are expensive. Obviously all have forgotten about or never discovered DASHEEN which grows fast and furious, large and luscious and just one piece could feed a large family for days. I started asking people and found a few called it sup yam or soup yam (nobody knew the spelling) they remembered it from child-hood. Most had never heard of it . There is a…

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Bissy For Sale

in Issue 02 by

I have been driving the Hummingbird Highway for many years and have a favorite fairy tale house that I admire. One day a few months ago a sign appeared outside saying―Bissy for Sale‖. I asked around and no one had the answer as to what bissy was. After driving passed several times curiosity got the better of me, I stopped, honked the hornand finally got to meet the owner of this pretty house. “What exactly is bissy ?” I asked. I learned that her father, originally from Jamaica, had brought it here. It is a cure all for everything and a little grated and put under the tongue a few times a day will fix you up in a hurry…

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