Speaking of food...

Uncle Ron is retired and now works dawn to dusk every day driving his little CAT up and down our dirt road. He has colonized the wild hillside with ti plants and tropical flowers for a friend who does flower arrangements for the hotels. He has planted dozens of papaya trees up and down the road-- and tiny hot hawaiian chili pepper plants, and enormously bushy basils.

He has buckets of eggplants, green onions, a huge asperagus patch, and a wall of bitter melon behind his house. His cousin catches wild chickens, fattens them up for a couple of weeks in pens, and then eats 'em. Ron even carved a path up the steep hillside and built a pen for his geese and ducks where they honk and hiss and lay huge eggs. Sweet potato carpets all around the pen, and the greenest longbeans you've ever seen climb all the way over it. His longan, mango, avocado, coconut, noni, guava and lychee trees are all fruiting, and the lovely bunches of bananas are all narrow and green. In the winter he had clementines and oranges and limes and pomelos.

He swats away my impressed noises. He told me they used to produce tons more food-- now they're retired, he's toned it down. Too tired for all that work. This he mutters while manhandling a wheelbarrow full of cement to repave the side of his house. Which he built.

This is all on scavenged land, with scavenged materials, and an incredible amount of work. And he makes more food than his whole household (three generations, plus cousins and a daycare) can eat. He tells me-- take whatever basil I want, whatever peppers-- there's so much it's almost an irritation to have all that food to cope with.


  1. Wow, talk about a study in opposites! The one lady was so much, much talk. Uncle Ron won't stop to talk about his efforts because he'd rather be DOING the work! That's where the satisfaction is. Good for him, and good for you to have such a friend.


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