Needless to say, Vanuatu has been on our minds all week long. As mentioned last week, we were worried for them because they were about to be clobbered by a category 5 hurricane. Well that hurricane did not pull any punches: if anything, it was even worse than predicted. No sooner than word arrived, Austin started writing to relief agencies. One thing he knows they will need, one way he knows he can help, is with Happy Chicken.
So he sent me over to our neighbors to get follow up photos on the Happy Chickens he gave to neighbors two months ago. Yesterday afternoon the little sister and little brother of young Chicken Man were home. They easily rounded up the juveniles.
This morning I went back to so I could talk to Prashneel, the 14 year old chicken farmer, himself. I got the update. Austin originally gave 9 chicks; they are all still alive. A few weeks later he gave 5 more chicks. Of these, two were pecked to death by the older chicks. (Nature is so cruel !!). He knows for sure that 4 of the remaining 12 are roosters, and figures the other 8 are hens. This is great news for somebody looking to build a flock, as you need one rooster to every six or so hens to get good fertility.
I was looking for some flowers Austin said were extra lovely and found this cactus instead.
“Is this the pearl dragon fruit, Austin?”
“No, it is [some forgettable Latin name], a thorn-less cactus. An edible Mexican cactus.”
(Edible ! Now we’re talking !!)
“Yeah, the people in Fiji don’t know how to eat it. If it were in Vanuatu, it would be lying on the ground now, but they’d be able to eat it….”
Junia borrowed my camera to go take photos of this beautiful bunch of bananas.
Not only are there heaps on the stalk, but each banana is itself humongous. I thought maybe they had crossed with vudi, that big fat cooking banana I blogged about 14 months ago. https://ffwrfromfiji.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/9-january-2014/ But oh, how dumb I was – Bananas don’t pollinate (I knew that); they are grown as clones from different “cultivars”
So here is that stalk with two others. The one in the middle is our normal bananas. and the ones on the outside are cultivars given by agriculture. The big one on the left – you’ll note it is so big it is sitting rather than hanging – is an unknown variety referred to as “feer unknown.” The one on the far right is referred to as “feer seventeen” (Don’t ask ME !!)
They take a lot longer to produce than I would have guessed. Junia said Brother Dave helped plant them – Brother Dave the toad juggler. https://ffwrfromfiji.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/22-august-2013/ That was 19 months ago – August 2013.
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Not much other news. Austin brought home two orchid seedlings that he says are wonderful flowers – but there are no flowers yet.
And our New Year is nearly upon us so Akka got enterprising and did some spring cleaning behind our kitchen. Well, autumn cleaning in the southern hemisphere. It is FINALLY starting to get a little cooler.
If only I’d had a before picture, you’d be really impressed.
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