22 May 2014

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Fiji does not have any local commercial hot sauce!  Considering how many people like very spicy food, and considering how many local businesses produce packaged foods, we have an unexploited niche market, folks.  Akka gets into a hot sauce making mood about once every 3 months.  He made some this week.  Above is the hottest chili pepper on the farm – a Caribbean pepper our friend Maki brought.
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This is the bush – pretty shot – but it is still producing after 2 years.  The local pepper bushes give out after about six months.
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And these are the little rokete chillies (“rocket’)..   The other kind of chili common in Fiji is the “bongo” pepper – we don’t have any growing right now.
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Akka blended the chillies with limes from the property.  Here he shows our 2 main limes – the key lime on the right, and the big seedless lime on the left.
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Here proving that the big one really is seedless.   (How did we get that tree then? … must have come as a sapling.)
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This time the hot sauce is in an old vinegar bottle.  The joke of course is that the neck is so wide you end up with a triple serve of fire on the food.
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While I’m showing citrus, here are some supermarket style lemons growing here!  Surprise!  At least I was surprised.   Also in the bowl are some thick-skinned oranges in season.
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And a tree full of sweet mandarins, just by our front door.  These mandarins peel almost like tangerines.  Since this photo was taken, we’ve sent neighbors home with bags full of them.
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SPEAKING OF FOOD
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Austin came to the house with this paper wasp nest.   He said the larvae are good eating.  I thought he was joking, but he swears that he and our carpenter from Moce Island ate the larvae before, cooked in garlic butter, and that they were delicious.   I was willing to give them a try – but most of the larvae were gone already.   And then Vina sprayed the nest with insecticide.  Gee thanks.
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 Maybe next nest.
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RARE MORNING RAINBOW
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This was out my bedroom window – with the end of the rainbow touching our far property.
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READING THE LAND
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While in town, I was looking at the muddy river and the blue sky – and I realized it meant “there was a storm and it has passed.”
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I knew about the recent storm anyway from the rain a few days earlier – but it was interesting to realize I could learn to read the land a little better, also.    Heavy rain and a blue river would mean “the rain is only on the coast”
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OUT OF SEASON
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I was smitten by this flowering tree on Valley Road – when there are no other flowering trees.  So pretty, but somehow also not making sense.
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On second look – it is not a flowering tree, but a flowering vine ON the tree.   Whoa!
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And then I clued up on my old Wall of Green problem.
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Where everything is green.
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featureless even, and I have no idea what I’m looking at.
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I think the answer is vines.   NOW – to start knowing our vines!
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3 October 2013

stock malabar chestnut for 10-3-13
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Guess who’s got a MONEY TREE !!

(confession – this is a stock photo, but we really do have the trees)

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Remember that nut tree that Austin recognized as edible from Palau when we were at a funeral on the coast a few months ago?  The same tree that he got about 10 free trees of?  Well, it turns out it is a Malabar chestnut – and it is famous in the orient as a “Money Tree”
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Austin and Junia got all the trees planted this week.  Now, let the good fortune roll in!.
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It’s raining – and I’m in love with the green.  The camera isn’t catching the beautiful light green against the blue sky, but I had to try.
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Here are freshly harvested limes.  I love the green.
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Here is a leaf that goes green to red – and I have no idea for the name of this green – but you can tell I am green obsessed right now.   Never mind.
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Akka found some old photos of insects here on the porch.  Here is a big beetle that was around last wet season.
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Here is an interesting moth that Austin found a few years ago.  The wings look like stained glass.
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This less-photogenic fellow is a blister beetle.  Akka just found him this week and stuck him in a baby food jar.  We’ve had experience with this insect since Micronesia days.  They engage in chemical warfare – squirting out a liquid that raises blisters on you when they feel threatened.
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A bunch of chicks hatched  few days ago.  Austin wanted me to put a photo of them in.  These are factory-fresh – still egg-shaped.
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Akka and I were driving home from town – and he pointed out a very fine looking horse.   The photo does not do him justice – such a shiny brown coat and such a luxuriant mane and tail.   You don’t see horses this good up the valley where we live.  After we oohed and aahed a bit, we realized that he and his extended family were in the middle of the road.
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Animals in the road are normal here.
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