Planting the Seeds for Recovery in Puerto Rico

 

Full Article from CityandstateNY.com can be found here: Planting the seeds of recovery in Puerto Rico through reforestation, sustainable farming

Saving Puerto Rico with Seeds

Click photo to be taken to the article.

 

Baker Creek Free Shipping offer for PR residents

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds is offering free shipping for 6 months if you register tonight. Their seeds have an exceptionally high germination rate and customer service is a 10. Best of all, they ship to PUERTO RICO, even the live plants will ship free if you register in time.

If for some reason you miss out on this deal, it’s still well worth a try since shipping is very economical compared to other vendors.

I am not affiliated with the company, just a huge fan. :)

Plaza del Mercado in Santurce & Cabo Rojo Steaks

I can’t believe it has taken us this long to hit the Plaza del Mercado in Santurce and evidently we’ve been missing out. I can think of no better way to do my dreaded errands than to knock out my produce purchases and then relax having a cocktail. All the while getting my people watching on and listening to some great music.

AND if you’re done eating what they call meat these days (imported from the states) you’ll want to check out Cabo Rojo Steaks inside the market. They sell the finest grass fed, LOCAL beef money can buy. Prices are comparable or modestly higher than what you find in your local Pueblo, etc.

Cabo Rojo Steaks now has online ordering available, simply place your order and they’ll have it ready for speedy pick up at this same location.

Summertime = Fruit Sunami

My favorite time of year is Summer, everyone is sharing fruits from their yards. Best of all in August we get to have Quenepas, good lawd I love these babies! Those aren’t as freely given away though. We drive around neighborhoods looking for vendors selling the fattest, freshest, juiciest ones we can find. We’re addicted I tell you!

Agricultores Unidos del Centro, Utuado

Due to a gardening obsession, I was able to see an abandoned cigar factory and a lot of bats. Aka, our trip to the Agricultores Unidos del Centro (AUC) in Utuado.

I have been searching for compost for ages now, months and months and months. Why do I need compost when the island is full of great soil? Because I am just a lowly container gardener for now, a gardener that MUST plant something or she goes nutty. After watching hours and hours of videos on Puerto Rico farms and reading about the slow and steady food movement taking hold here I finally got in contact with someone who could “set me up”. This turned out to be a farmers co-op in Utuado at the AUC.

As some of you may know, maps are useless in Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico laughs at your GPS. Not only that, directions include statements such as “turn right after the cemetery, then you’ll see a big yellow building, keep going until you get to a crossroads with a broken lamp pole…”

As usual though I had convinced myself we could find the people who possessed my precious compost without asking for any help this time. After all I had my NEW map, produced by the DTOP of all people! Surely, they know what is what. Right?

So…after asking 3 people (all who said the co-op was next to “the old cigar factory”) and about 30 minutes making wrong turns we finally found it. Clearly marked at the entrance, yay!

There are several vendors at this co-op, which frankly, was a bonus because no one ever mentioned it. I was under the impression this was solely shared farm land and not an outdoor market as well. It was a pleasant surprise to say the least, they even had adorable puppies for an adoption fee.

We were given permission to check out the grounds on foot after we collected several bags of compost. The huge tree you see houses a metal hive for bees in the area, they were incredibly active so this is as close as I was willing to get. Acres upon acres of banana trees, pepper plants, all the staples of Puerto Rican agriculture.

Most of the vendors had packed up by the time our walk was done so we hurried over to the cigar factory before the gates were locked.

The cigar factory mostly houses several hundred (if not thousands) of bats now but you can evidently see this must have been one beauty in its heyday. Steve, always fascinated by architecture, wished for a few million dollars to restore it to its former glory. I had my doubts that decades of bat guano could ever really be adequately removed.