Saturday, December 15, 2012

Walkabout to a garden

All the villagers gardens are way past the village up in the jungle (and I mean UP)!  (They were super nice and let us put ours right next to where our house will be.)  People work as subsistence farmers here, for the most part, so they go to the garden for most of the day, 5-6 days a week.  We haven't gone out with people much, but have had little introductions to the gardens by people whose gardens are closer to the village than others.  Some people walk HOURS to get to theirs.  Joed, a chief's wife, has one that is the closest to the village, being only a 20-30 minute walk away so we asked if we could take Val to see it.
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Whenever we ask people the specific way to plant things here, sometimes they have technical answers, but usually people just stare at us like we're crazy and say "you stick it in the ground."  And that is SERIOUSLY all you usually have to do.  To get new hibiscus plants to grow you literally only have to chop off a branch of an existing plant, cut it into pieces, and stick each piece in the ground.  How cool is that.  They complain in North Ambrym about how tough their ground is, and especially women who marry in from other islands complain about how you have to dig up the ground to plant.  But they showed us here to use a hoe (or in their case, a machete), and just barely dig up the top inch or two of the (very soft) soil and then stick our seeds/plants in the ground.  Yep, they grew!  Apparently on other islands all you have to do is chuck seeds all around on the dirt and they grow.  Nice. 

4 comments:

James said...

Laura, Why do they put their gardens so far away? Pigs? Rain patterns? Secrecy?

James.

Barbie Getchell said...

Loved the pictures!!

Laura Thulesen said...

Hey thanks for checking out the blog James and Barbie. The gardens are so far away because historically they used to live further up in the jungle and further away from the ocean. So they're going up to where they own ground, meaning they walk a long way to get there!

Theresa Beery said...

It is super amazing what we take for granted here in the states, as people were you are are content with what they have. Reminds me of our trip to Mexico.