You can grow your own food. And we can help!

Don't you just love free stuff?

Aug 17, 2011

 I had been bemoaning the fact that the grocery stores had a very limited choice of dried beans, and then walked into the expensive local health food store and saw their variety!   Wow!  Black beans, azuki beans - I was in heaven, but at 5.00 for  a little bag I didn't think buying those beans would be something I would be doing very often.  Then I started thinking about the climate that black beans grew in - well, if they can grow in Mexico - why not here? After making a batch of my yummy black bean and corn soup  into the garden went a handful of my health food store beans, and they have all come up!

 Now I am not sure if they are growing in the right season, but they sure do look healthy, I am so glad that I saved some seeds back.  How exciting - I might be able to grow my own black beans here!  then I tried with some azuki beans - same thing, yeah!

Then I started doing a bit of research on chia seeds.  Amazingly these little seeds have more omega 3 than salmon.   Well I can't grow salmon in my garden (sure wish I could!)  but..... maybe I can try some chia?  So once again I ventured into the very expensive health food store and picked up an 8.00 bag of chia seeds and a handful have now been broadcast into the area vacated by the radishes. Look at them ... no, I cant see any coming up yet either!  Oh well I suppose you win some and you lose some.:)

Update ; Actually a few days later I can now see the little spots of green and so maybe I can actually grow chia here too....

 we had some small trees cut down around the place, and they left us the mulch, there was a bit of green mixed in and I thought it would act as an accelerator, but it seems to have formed a mold which I don't think is a good sign.   I wet it down - put the hose right into the middle of the pile so that it got good and wet, and stirred it up a bit.  I want to get some coffee grounds to mix in - I would like some seaweed, but there is no seaweed on the beaches at the moment.

 Since everything already has a layer of hay mulch I have distributed some over the gardens.  I hope that layer of hay is enough to stop the nitrogen draw down that could occur if the mulch was placed directly onto the soil.

 This middle bed has very poor soil and I hope that once the rains come it will perk up.  We might have to invest in some chook poo or something to give it a boost.   I think everyone will complain about the smell.

 My poor pawpaw trees keep getting what I have been told is a fungus, so I went ahead and sprayed with milky water to see if that will do any good.  The pawpaws are just sitting there big and swollen and green, waiting for it to warm up.....  yummy I am looking forward to some nice ripe pawpaw.

I have planted loofah, pigeon pea and jicama from the seeds that I saved,  yakon tubers and rosella seeds were procured from  friends.   The sweet potato that I left in the ground have started to shoot up again, and there is plenty of ginger just waiting to shoot up again as soon as the rains start. 

What a wonderful feeling to know that I have completed my wet season planting without buying a single packet of seeds.


You have the best photos. I love your black bean story, the ones I planted were bush. I would like some pigeon peas, but most will not bare in 200days of heat that I have here, so I will wait till my new green house is finshed & heated. Your pawpaws are Carica papaya or papaya, another great plant I can not grow here! We have a paw paw, that is Asimina triloba. Triloba is a temperate tree native to eastern North America. Their is a South America papaya, also. I have met a man who is helping me find wild paw paw-Triloba for seeds. I fear they will not be as good as the ones you pick ripe off the vine. If your paw paw tree were not so big I would keep one in doors in the winter(wet season)& have them every spring , like I do pineapples.
I truly agree with Joel about the beautiful photographs you post, but then I don't remember ever not agreeing with him. Stay natural, David
thanks David for agreeing with Joel and I think I agree!
thank you Joel, something must have changed because now I can add more photos - yeah :) Normally we have papwpaw throughout the year - this dry season was colder than normal. I find they grow up as weeds throughout the garden, but yes this kind does need the warmth of the tropics. I have a little pineapple starting on my plant too. we do have a pineapple farm and a banana farm down the road if ours dont supply enough!
... thinking & doing & telling us about your results! Thanks for the new info on more Omega 3s in Chia seed! I have been intrigued that the Tarahumara Indians are reported to use Chia seed as energy food for marathon journeys - a little bulk powering a long ways ...
Hi Jessica, I am really enjoying the chia seeds they pack a powerful punch in a small package. My seeds have come up and so it remains to be seen if I can harvest my own. You can eat the leaves, but I dont think they have as many befefits as the seeds do. You can even stir them into water and they make a gel and use that to replace oil in baking. I made some muffins that way!
I want to get on that wave length! but you are probaby even more congenial! :-) I sometimes get the impression that Australians are particularly adventurous thinker/doers. Chia-gel muffins! What I read of the Tarahumara Indians said they drank the seeds after steeping them in water, gel & all, making the seeds go even farther. I tried it & the texture reminded me of fish roe without aromas & was perfectly palatable. Aside, I've noticed that Basil seed also makes a surrounding gel if you soak it for presprouting. Please let us know how any future Chia-seed harvest goes & the seed-to-harvest time in your climate. An adventurous alternative school here has their campus on a former nursery, with a big greenhouse in production, so Chia might be possible in these zone 4 mountains. I am told I must bike over & see their tomatoes.

Add comment

Log in or register to post comments



Join our e-list to stay in touch




Praise for KGI:

"A group that can get
things done"

-Mother Nature Network

"One of the web's best sources of gardening info"
-Washington Post 

"The meeting place of the world's gardeners"
-WorldWatch Institute

more here



About us:

KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.  

Join our mailing list:


Connect with us:

Contact us:

Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA
(207) 956-0606