The rains have come!

The rains have come so we thought we’d show off some of our plants that we have worked so hard to get to this point. In the past few weeks we have gotten upwards of nine inches of rain. I know you are probably thinking that it must be a muddy mess down here, but it’s not. The rains usually come in the late afternoon or in the middle of the night and the next day is filled with clear blue skies. This is great because we haven’t had to water anything for quite a while now. With all the rains you can really see the difference in how much greener and more growth there is in the hills. Of course, all of our plants are loving it too, and you can literally see how much they have grown each day. So this blog is going to be all about our plants.

A pink torch ginger. There are also red, and white.

First I’ll start with some mushrooms. Last time I had mentioned about some tree ear mushrooms that we fried in oil. They were okay but nothing spectacular. Well, they started popping up all over so we decided to do a little more research on them. I guess they are called wood ear mushrooms and they are sold dried in the states as black fungus. They are used in a lot of Asian dishes, especially hot and sour soup. We decided to give them another try and Kelley made some hot and sour soup and a couple more recipes and they were quite good. So I guess since they are not always available, we need to harvest all we can find and then throw them in the dehydrator so we will have a supply until they come around again. We are glad we dug a little deeper and gave them a second chance because they really are quite good when cooked right.

tree ear
Tree Ear mushrooms. They really do look like ears.

The zucchini, yellow squash, and green peppers are doing well. The hatch green chile plants are getting waist high and are loaded with peppers. We have been picking a few big ones that will make some great chile rellenos. It’s been a long time since we have had chile rellenos, in fact, we almost called Sally to see if she would deliver. Green chilies like this are almost impossible to find down here, all they seem to have regularly are bells, jalapeños, and habaneros.

Peppers and squash garden.

The zucchini patch is doing well so we decided to try something we have been wanting to try for some time now. Stuffed squash blossoms. They are supposed to be delicious, we’ll let you know.

squash blossoms
Squash blossoms that we will stuff and maybe deep fry.

The 100 or so okra plants are starting to produce well and they usually need to be picked just about every day. Currently, there is only enough for some deep-fried okra and gumbo, but that is changing rapidly. Once they really kick in, Kelley will be canning her pickled okra with some fresh habaneros. They are delicious!

The okra patch.

We can not say how happy we are with all the steady rains. During the dry season, we watered at least every other day and saw very minimal growth, it seemed like we were just keeping the plants alive. Then the rains come and everything just seems to get bigger overnight. The banana plants are getting more bananas and are shooting up more stalks that seem to grow a few inches daily.

More bananas plants coming up around the others.

Our lime tree with the one lime now has more blossoms and a lot of new growth. Looks like we actually might get some margarita mix’ns in a few months.

Our first citrus.

The coffee plants are doing well and are getting more and more berries on each plant. Maybe in a few months, we might have enough to make a pot of coffee for the morning after the margaritas.

One of the thirty-plus coffee plants.

Pineapple patch #2 is doing well. No new pineapples showing yet, but we know it will happen soon. Patch #1 over by the house is growing a little slower because they are mostly in the shade. With the 50 plus pineapple plants going there will be some tropical rum drinks in our future.

The hill of pineapple plants.

The starfruit tree is now over six feet tall and has three starfruits on it. There are a lot more blossoms, but we seem to think the tree needs to get a little bigger before it gets too many fruits on it.

The star of this plant is the starfruit.

We also planted some turmeric roots. They seriously had leaves on them within a week of planting the root. Dried turmeric is used in curry powders and is very good for your health, so we are picturing some curry lamb in our healthy future.

Turmeric plants are doing good and growing fast.

The flowers and colorful tropical plants we have been putting around the house are really taking off. The purple knights we put around the porch to form a hedge are starting to bloom. They were green for the longest time, but now they are starting to get their purple flowers and once they do the bush will be completely purple.

The purple knights are taking over the toucan.

A while ago we put in a  few caladium plants and they all looked like they just died. I guess we can’t expect every plant we put in to make it, or can we. Once the rains came they started to come back stronger than ever and are getting new leaves daily. As fast as they are growing we should have a good patch of them very soon.

These caladiums are also known as the heart of jesus.

The heliconias or birds-of-paradise are doing well and are starting to bloom. The orange heliconia (which we dug up on our road) is starting to get a bunch of blooms and the lobster claw also has new blooms coming out.

A type of a birds-of-paradise.

plant5Lobster claw.

The table used to be a plant and we plan on planting our ass around it so I’m including it in this ‘all about plants’ episode.

The new table.

A while back I had mentioned that we purchased some big round slabs of wood in hopes of making some outdoor tables. Well, I finally got around to making one. After a lot of sanding and a few coats of varnish, it was looking good. For the legs, I wanted to use wood logs or stumps, but that didn’t happen. Instead, I opted to make some out of 2 inch flat steel and give them a good coat of brown paint. This was going to go out back near the BBQ, but we decided that it might work better on the front porch. That way we could eat or play games out there and get a better view of the wildlife. Okay, so that now leaves me four more round slabs of wood, do we make more tables and open a jungle restaurant, have something carved on them as a sign, cut the middle out and call it a donut, or cut it up and use it in the smoker. The possibilities are endless, maybe after sitting around this one for awhile something will inspire me. If it inspires you to come and sit around it and help us come up with an idea, then please do so.

5 thoughts on “The rains have come!”

  1. Wow! You can literally live off the land. Carol would love all the plants. It will be interesting to see if the Hatch chilis are as hot, or hotter than the New Mexico grown ones, since your home soil is way different. I experienced this with Anaheim chilis.
    Brad & Carol

    1. We only have 7 artichoke plants at the time, but they are starting to do well. No chokes yet but we have our fingers crossed.

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