Peppers, Tomatoes, Cucumbers…….Iguanas?

As a child I grew up admiring my Mom for her passion and love for growing flowers, all kinds. The care and time that went into prepping seedlings, transplanting, watering and fertilizing is an amazing commitment. I never expected that this experience would have influenced me to become a gardener too.

After building my home 7 years ago I went to work on beautification. Enlisting the help of Dennis, my gardener who would visit once a month to help me with big jobs. First I started with planting grass in the front of my home for a lawn. Then I planted some flowering shrubs in front to increase the colour variation. Once the front part of my home was set I got a bug…..the urge to plant vegetables. I sat down one day and imagined how great it would be to grow tomatoes and cucumbers; my favourite vegetables! Here is evidence of my achievement.

What I love most is waking up early when everything is cool and quiet. I prepare my pots, the soil and pop seeds in. The most rewarding feeling is when you see life starting the peep up out of the soil 7 – 14 days later. Living in the tropics there are many grooming aspects to planting, first natural circle of life stuff like catepillars and bugs that feed on new plants. These pests can hinder the growth and strength of the plants. So I learned through experience that hand grooming is best and use of organic treatments like neem oil and natural mushroom compost to  support healthy progress.

Seedlings on my back porch

I started with one garden bed for the cucumbers, tomatoes and then expanded with two more grow beds. One of the three beds is a permanent pepper patch and the other I rotate crops and try new vegetables. There are some really annoying animals that love to eat away at vegetables this disables the plant and they die out. Usually I’m left feeling really upset that I nurtured the plant to certain point and some animal comes along and has lunch!!! not cool man…… I once got into an altercation with an iguana and ran him down with a stick I was so mad! I very quickly learned to respect them after he swatted back at me with his tail 😮

Here’s a photo of the notorious garden pest.

The Green Iguana, they love to eat cucumber and pea leaves!!!

I’ve become a lover of dirt, a tree huger and respectful of all living things. As a busy marketing professional I look forward to free weekends where are an get out in the backyard to do some weeding,  tidying up, plant new vegetables and prune the mature grow beds. I look forward to all seasons here in Cayman we have mangoes, avocados, breadfruit, cherry and ackee trees. Harvesting is the best because I get to prepare a meal with what I pick from my garden. It’s an amazing and fulfilling hobby but I learn more as I go along and win loads of friends when I share my freshly picked produce.

Here are some photos of what I’ve accomplished in the time I’ve tried my hand at vegetable gardening. Vote for the best pic below that means you have to scroll to the end!

Super HOT Scotch Bonnet Pepper - Great in Curry Chicken!

Fresh Caribbean Cherries "A bit tart and sweet"

Breadfruit makes a mean substitute for Potato Salad

Coconut Jelly

One of my largest harvests - chillies, carrots and beets

Bowl of Fresh Veggies

Beefsteak Tomato

Grow Bed #1

Cucumber hanging out on a trellis

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~ by rosaviola on August 26, 2011.

One Response to “Peppers, Tomatoes, Cucumbers…….Iguanas?”

  1. Great start Rosa!

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