24 April 2014

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I noticed a lot of animals out in the field getting put to work this week.  Farmers must be putting in their winter crops (though the daytime temperatures still feel like summer to me).   This is one of my neighbors plowing with a pair of bulls.
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Bullocks always work as a team.  One is permanently the right-hand bull,  the other permanently pulls on the left side.  Here is another neighbor using bulls to do harrowing, I think.  The implement attached to the harness is like a curry-comb, not a wedge-like plow.  You can see how the dirt the bulls have covered on the left is in smaller chunks than the less-processed ground on the right.  (Beats me why there was still vegetation under where he was harrowing!  I’m not claiming to have any understanding of this process….)
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Here is yet another neighbor with his horse harnessed up to be the living watering can, while this family plants cabbages.
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All three of these farms lie between our home and Vina’s.
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NOT AGAIN
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Last year we had a mysterious and tragic duck die-off at the pond. .. 15 or so females just weakened and died.  Austin thought it was from them eating tadpoles, or something else in the pond.  He moved the survivors to the chicken pen.  Then the pond dried out.  Then the rain came and refilled the pond and he moved the ducks home to it, and all was ducky wonderful.    Now the pond level is dropping, and this handsome fellow is looking sick.  Darn it all.  He is such a beauty – he was born at the pond – this is the first male who has been sick.   I have hope that we got him out of there on time.  He’s been up in the kitchen in a box for 3 days and is looking better, not worse.
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NEW FRUIT
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Austin got a new variety of passion fruit and it is bearing now.  You can see that the new fruit is longer and is red.
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This fruit was MUCH sweeter than the normal yellow variety.   Yum!
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NEW CRITTER
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Akka found this new moth – in our kitchen – it’s not like you have to hunt for wildlife here.   What’s interesting about this fellow is the bump he has on the back of his head.
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Humpbacked – see?   Is that normal?
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YUM YUM
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Duruka is in season again.  Duruka (ndoo-roo-ka)  is a vegetable that is the flower of a grass that is similar to sugar cane.  Duruka can grow in swampy areas, but it needs very dry weather when it starts to flower.  If the flower starts getting moisture even from dew, it starts to go bad.  So duruka is a fussy crop.
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It is sold in bundles like this in the market.  I saw it in the market selling for $8/bundle – too much! We thought our own duruka was not ready for harvest.   But we got a phone call from an honest neighbor who told us there were some boys in our field.  They were stealing duruka!.    Junia unchained our fierce dog and ran to investigate.  The boys got away unidentified with a few bundles, but there is plenty more duruka down there and it is ripe.   Oh Boy!    This is a fraction of our harvest.
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Duruka has a bland taste but a unique texture.  It is kind of crunchy, squeaky against the teeth in a way that is very satisfying.    Fijians usually boil the duruka whole and serve with coconut milk, as above.  Indians usually mash it up dry, and make it as a curry.   It is delicious both ways.
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FATSOs !
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Tarsi always has well-fed puppies, but she only had 4 in this litter and they are getting 8 puppies-worth of nutrition.
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MORE BANG FOR THE BEAN
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My sister-in-law wrote and shared this news about something called “Bullet-proof coffee”
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Coffee with a tsp of coconut oil and a tsp of ghee in the morning, helps cognition and lean muscle mass building, gets rid of fat!!!  guards against dementia and alzheimers!   Put it in a blender or a frothed, it whips up so creamy and it is satisfying!!!    woof!!!
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I can tell you – with a bit of honey it is like having coffee candy for breakfast.   Woof, indeed!
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