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Yesterday I came in from enjoying a really nice evening walk with Mike to find all these beans in my kitchen!
I’m frequently asked by our social media followers if I garden in the tribe. The answer is, “Not well.” My memories go back to the time my entire peanut garden was uprooted by pigs; my beans that were pecked to death by chickens; and the 45-minute trail I hiked to weed my spinach. None of those memories bring up warm, fuzzy feelings. So even though I have attempted several times to grow things, I wouldn’t say they ended successfully.
However, I am always humbled by my tribal friends who depend on their gardens for everything they eat. It is hard manual labor. They have to carve out a clear space in the jungle, root up all the underbrush, and prepare the soil. They also have to plant, weed, and fight against jungle critters who are hungry too! They don’t have tractors, plows, or hoes—they just have their axes, machetes, and wooden digging sticks.
All our family’s fresh produce is bought in town and flown in to the tribe. Some items last a long time in the refrigerator, and some things I have to freeze. But our tribal friends have always shared generously with us from their gardens. Sweet potatoes, greens, green beans, bananas, oranges, Japanese plums, peanuts, squash, and pineapples are a few of the things that I can think of right off the top of my head that we have been given since we have been back.
One squash we received last weekend was so big that I cut off a small section, diced it, made vegetable pasta with it, and then ran the rest of it through the food processor. I used six cups to make into fritters and then froze 16 cups more! That was one big squash! Conservatively, it was probably about eight pounds, and my friend had to carry it on her back, no doubt with many more pounds of produce, from her garden all the way home.
The beautiful mixed beans also represent so much work, not only in growing, harvesting, and drying, but then shelling them all!
The kindness and generosity of our tribal friends are amazing!
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