15 August 2013

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I am sure that some day I will sing all the praises of the coconut tree, but this week I just want to say a little about  a mostly overlooked piece of the tree – the cloth.  The coconut cloth is a mystery to me – why this palm tree needs the hairy stuff between its leaves and other palms don’t.  I never saw the coconut cloth being used by anybody – but Yokoi, Guam’s famous Japanese straggler for 28 years, made shoes out of them.  I saw those in the Guam museum when I lived there.   Yokoi let himself get captured a few years before we moved there, and he was still a popular news item.  To me, the most interesting thing is that Mrs. Yokoi was still waiting for him – after 28 years.  That’s dedication!  http://www.jeffspiratescove.com/yokoi.htm
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The hibiscus hedge is finally growing back after having been trimmed with the chainsaw about 4 months ago.   There are a lot of holes in the leaves from some insect damage.  The curling leaf disease looks like it is starting up again.  And inside some of the leaves I can see the white plaque of scale insects.   “Why are you going to write about THAT?” Austin asked me.   I’m writing about it because it is something that I SEE. It worries me. I really like the hibiscus and hate to see it languishing from one pestilence after another.
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 That wild pig that our neighbors saw in the cassava on our distant property last month – well, they got him or one of his relatives.  Story is that they caught him with a snare for his foot on his usual path.  All I saw of him was a small bowl of cooked meat.  It was not “hot” (picante) – but was spicier than any dish I’ve ever eaten – like taking a spoon of masala (dry spice powder) with a little meat texture rubbed in. Junia (new household member) said he could taste some gaminess underneath the spice, but I couldn’t.
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A pair of pictures of our peanuts.  Austin got all enthusiastic about them and wanted me to take a photo.  They don’t look like that much to me – about twice as many as he planted, and many of them didn’t sprout – but so what?
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This is verbena (sorry I’m not much of a photographer).  It’s a sweet purple flower that lives half way up a shoot from the plant.  It’s been on every Pacific island we’ve lived on.  A botanist on Kauai said Hawaiian women used verbena for menstrual cramps and for migraines.  Just to let you know.
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And here is an edible weed – moca  (pronounce “mo-tha”), or amaranth. It is yummy, tastes like good spinach.  People around here don’t cultivate it because it grows wild.   I can recognize this because of the flower (just a green flower – you know it by the shape) – without the flower, I get the leaves confused with similar ones that are not edible.
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I thought this one was a wild basil because of its flower – and the leaves looked the right shape.   So I crushed a leaf and sniffed it.  Not basil. Too bad.    Wrong again.
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So I can end on a note of success – here is chicken plucking.  Six roosters got the axe because there were too many roosters for the number of hens; they were making the hens miserable and also getting ready to fight each other.  These are an egg laying breed, and that’s why the guys are scrawny.   The cockerels (baby males) were GIVEN to Austin by the feed company, because they knew he’d buy many bags of feed to feed them.  Neighbors weren’t interested in buying them this time round, so into our bellies and freezer they go.
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GUESSING TIME:  :  What part of the chicken is hardest to pluck?   A – wing,  B – neck, C- tail,  D- leg.
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(To leave your guess or another comment you go to the top and there is a bubble beside the blog entry title – sorry for the bother.  I’ll fix it as soon as I figure out how.)
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6 thoughts on “15 August 2013

  1. I don’t know what is the hairiest part? I’d think the legs or the wing. Basically i don’t know how you do it Kim, I don’t think i could pluck a chicken. I love all the plant identification. we have wild Amaranth here. you eat the leaves? I always thought it was the grain that you ate…. anyway, i’m really enjoying the blog keep up the good work! love, joyce

    • Hi Joyce – thanks for the encouragement.

      I was calling the coconut cloth the “hairy part” – it just strikes me that way. You can see the cloth clearly in the photo – like a woven cloth at the base of each frond and hanging around the trunk.

      Austin says the Moca is amaranth – I was taking his word for it. The leaves are very tasty – but we’ve never used the grain of this plant.

  2. I plucked a chicken on my last visit, and I don’t actually recall any one area being harder to do than the others. I’m sure one was, but it wasn’t very memorable.

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