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It always takes me a little longer than anticipated to catch up after being off-island – what with the lack of sleep, plants that are begging for water, pruning, re-potting, or mulching, house to clean, eggs to use up…

A couple of weeks ago I asked people to submit photos of edible plants that they are growing for a community-based post. Sadly, I did not receive many photos, but perhaps you’re all too busy growing things to have time to photograph them. Below are the photos that I did receive (many thanks to those who participated), and now I will explain my motives. I’m hoping to, late this summer – in time for winter season planting – gather people on St Croix together for a seed/seedling/plant swap, of strictly edible or domestically useful (e.g. cotton, dyes, soapberry, etc) plants. I hope that this may be a way to broaden our planting horizons and discover new edibles that we are less familiar with, or that we hadn’t tried growing here before – without having to purchase lots of expensive seed from off island. My proposition is that each person would bring a handful of seeds, seedlings, and/or plants that they have spare, and could expect to leave the gathering with an equal number of different species. For example, I might have amaranth seeds, moringa and marigold seedlings, and some ground cherry plants, and I’d hope to trade out for some species that I’ve never tried before (or maybe I just forgot to start any of this year). Bio-diversification is a great tool that we can all use in our growing practices, helping to reduce pest damage, increase habitat for native fauna, aid in soil structure and water retention, and to diversify our diets. This seems like a good way to start, doesn’t it? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or would like to help make this gathering happen, please reach out to me by commenting at the bottom of this post or by emailing me through the “contact” page.

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Angelia, St Croix, says “Growing cotton for spinning and indigo for dye”. She’s also trying to grow Kiwi vines – time will tell whether they can bear in our warm climate.

Angelia Hanne, St Croix, Growing cotton for spinning and indigo for dye

Lea Ann Robson, Pineapples! For home use, for the challenge, for the beauty, because they are not resource hogs, & when they are a bumper crop, to share. In St George

Lea Ann, St Croix, says “Pineapples! For home use, for the challenge, for the beauty, because they are not resource hogs, & when they are a bumper crop, to share.”

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Mandy (lives on St Croix, runs Good Samaritan Of Haiti Foundation), says “In the corner of the school lot in Haiti, a sugar apple tree overtaken by a type of climbing pumpkin – nothing goes to waste! On the ground, sweet potato, manioc and the odd corn plant, where last year it was the kitchen trash and builders’ waste (not compost, nasty piles of plastic for burning)!”

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Cynthia, Cruzan Gardens, St Croix – two varieties of mango.

If you’d still like to submit a photo, please do and I’ll add it into this post!

Meanwhile, Nidulari is again baking for and co-hosting a Coffee Morning with giant cinnamon rolls to benefit Good Samaritan Foundation of Haiti, inc, to be held on Sunday, June 28th 10am-noon. Tickets are $10, and we are located 1.3 miles from F’sted on Mahogany Road. Please turn out for this fun event and bring your family or friends. Additional baked goods will be available for purchase, along with Nidulari preserves, Queen Caribee preserves, soaps, and more, Haitian crafts, and a booth of antique china, dolls, and other collectibles starting at only $10. Facebook event Here, or GSH’s facebook page Here to find out what they’re all about.

For this Wednesday’s baking, we will once again have a special of a braided sweet bread loaf for $10 to go with your standard white, mixed grain, and caraway rye loaves. Remember to order ahead if you’d like to pick up your order at Cruzan Gardens rather than coming out to the Nidulari farmstand.

Hope to see you all on Wednesday or Sunday, cheers!

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