Storm damage – work to do but a small offset from wanted rains

chaya down
YIKES! Open the front door and see the chaya – Mayan spinach tree – fallen over just in front of my gate. An awkward detour, a bunch of chopping and a bit of replanting to do, and lots of cuttings to give away if I can. Fast growing, edible privacy hedge stuff, it is.

LOVE that rainy season, farm damage and all

a photo article by Eric Jackson

Face it. I’m this rustic old hippie, lazy to begin with and in kind of a funk of late. The Panama News and feeding the animals take priority over cleaning up after myself or maintaining the farm. But there are limits, some of them externally imposed.

Were I living in the USA, I’d have an ordinance enforcement officer or lawyers from a homeowers’ association on my case for living like this. But this is Panama, where there is something of a privacy culture, and this is a semi-rural neighborhood in Cocle. Those neighbors who would do battle with me would do so over other issues.

But I do need to sharpen machetes, and clean up this mess.

I can sing the praises of chaya in many ways. It’s more nutritious that spinach per se, but you have to cook it to neutralize toxins that will make you sick before eating it. No problem. Indigenous people were doing that for more than a thousand years before the Spaniards intruded. But one thing about it, the plant puts down shallow roots. As in a big enough soak to a big enough plant and it’s likely to topple over under its own weight. Heavy winds, which we didn’t have this this storm, would just be gravy.

To grow chaya you just take a cutting and stick it in the ground. The elements will grow it without chemical additions or careful tending. Until it falls over and leaves a gap in your edible privacy hedge. Almost perfect for the lazy hippie who’s a writer first and a subsistence farmer to support that.

Dogs don’t mind rainy season, especially when they have an understanding human around who won’t get too upset it they shake of the water on them.
And if the plumbing isn’t functioning as it really should be, rainy season lets you get away with that, too. It’s nature’s way.

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