Thursday, May 31, 2012

Jamaican Mint Tree - Updated...

I originally posted this on May 28...
but, after doing a little more research on this tree, have decided to update this post
and bring it forward to this day of May 31...
in order to share the information I have learned concerning this interesting plant
the updated part is between the asterisks further down the post

Recently, research finally gave me my answer as to what this tree is


when we first saw it at the nursery...


it was so pretty to me with it's tiny leaves and big peppermint fragrance...


it had to go home with me


the nursery person told me it was a mint but, didn't know the exact name of this tree


since bringing it home...
it has been flowering tiny white blossoms that last a good long time

after a few months, it is still flowering and packing a strong, heady fragrance


in doing the lookup at these sites...
or
this is what is said on this delightful tree

it is called the Jamaican Mint Tree, aka Costa Rican Mint, aka Kama Sutra Menta

it is believed to have originated in southern Europe and brought to the Caribbean from Austria

it carries a pure, intense peppermint fragrance

it can grow between 6 to 10 feet in height with a woody, upright stem

blooms repeatedly...
mine has not stopped blooming

****
this tree also goes by the name of Jamaican Peppermint 
and you can click on the name to find out the culinary, nutritional and medicinal purposes
by the way...
it is noted in this website that if the leaves of the Jamaican Peppermint are heated...
any toxicity is neutralized 

there have been some studies done on this plant and it gives the conclusion that the Jamaican Mint Tree
does indeed have medicinal properties

it is important to note that plants in general tend to have medicinal properties

some plants have much stronger properties than others and need to be taken in moderation...
some in small quantities 
and it is wise to research such plants before using them... 
especially if you are on pharmaceutical drugs, due to possible negative interactions

I believe that God blessed mankind and beast with all the different plants He created...
in order that we could have natural and healthy food and medicine sources

they do work, if we learn how to properly use what He has given us...
unlike most of the dangerous, synthetic drugs that are made today 

when the Lord created the earth, He said,
Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed,
which is upon the face of all the earth,
and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed;
to you it shall be for meat.
Genesis 1:29

He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle,
and herb for the service of man:
that he may bring forth food out of the earth....
Psalm 104:14

****


May your day, or night be blessed in God's grace.

But, I have trusted in Thy mercy;
my heart shall rejoice in Thy salvation.
I will sing unto the Lord,
because He hath dealt bountifully with me.
Psalm 13:5,6


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Growing Through the Rain...

High up in banana tree...
Mr. and Mrs. Mockingbird are now the proud parents of...


one little wee one


these bird photos can only be taken through a screened window...
hence the poor picture quality


with papa and mama carefully attending to their offspring...
baby is fast growing up


but boy! when I watch this tiny one lurch up to stretch it's wee wings...
my heart lurches with it...
and I hope every time this happens...
it stays put in the nest until those feathers are all in...


and while the wee one is waiting for it's next meal...

our newest pomegranate plant is hardly big enough to notice...
but, it's eagerly putting out some blooms


and while the new pomegranate plant is blooming...

the two Crepe Ginger my husband dug out from in the forest by the river...


have now grown quite wonderfully by the rock garden...


and putting out their blooms...


soon, we will see the white crepe paper-like petals jewel the garden with their breath-taking beauty


and while the Crepe Ginger blooms are slowly making their way out into the world...

our watermelon patch is creating much excitement for us...
because, watermelon fruit are growing beautifully...
after a few unsuccessful attempts on our part


and while the watermelons are growing...

our guava trees are giving us a harvest of guavas and still coming out with plenty more to come


while the guavas are growing...

the cherry trees are blooming and producing once again


while the cherries are growing...

the sugar apples are coming out in force...
with the promise of tasty, sweet, juicy pulp


and while the sugar apples are growing...

the pumpkins are ready to harvest...
with still more coming up in the pumpkin patch


and what do Murdle and Kittie have to say to all of this?

cluck, cluck


May your day, or night grow sweeter in the grace of the Lord.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Unmoveable...

This little rose fell off it's stem...
and I suspect my husband picked it up and laid it on the stairway gate


I couldn't let it go to waste


unlike this tiny rose, I cannot be moved

whatever else shakes this earth...

He only is my rock and my salvation:
He is my defence;
I shall not be moved.
In God is my salvation and my glory:
the rock of my strength,
and my refuge, is in God.
Psalm 62:6,7

May you find grace this day, or night in the Lord.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Wings like a Dove...

And I said,
Oh that I had wings like a dove!
for then would I fly away,
and be at rest.


I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.

As for me,
I will call upon God;
and the Lord shall save me.


Evening, and morning, and at noon,
will I pray,
and cry aloud:
and He shall hear my voice.

He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me...

Psalm 55

May your day, or night find peace in God's grace.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Getting to the Root...

of tannia...
aka malanga


this edible plant has large leaves that can grow to a few feet in size...
and it's young leaves can be eaten the same way as spinach


beautiful flowers that start out as pods...


bloom, then die quickly


but, down in the root section...


is what we dig


my husband with the stronger muscles has that job


and he does it very admirably


those roots we like so much are actually...


the rhizomes


the way ginger root are actually rhizomes rather than the actual plant root


it takes someone willing to dig into the soft, wet dirt with bare hands...


to bring up that yummy food


with a brown, rough, shaggy skin...
and starchy, crisp flesh that can be creamy white, pink, yellow or purplish...


these are one of my favorite root veggies...
cooked any way one likes; boiled, mashed, fried, cut up into soups and stews


a ground provision with a nutty, earthy, flavor whose flesh turns soft when cooked

the tannia/malanga starch is easily digested...
contains calcium, fiber, iron, protein, potassium, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin C...
and safe for diabetics

it is sometimes used to make a gluten-free flour for those with celiac disease 

if you live in the Caribbean or other tropical locations, it is more easily available
if you live in the US, you may be able to come across it in markets that carry Caribbean or Hispanic foods
I recommend this good tasting rhizome
just make sure it is not cracked or soft or have a rotten smell...
it should be firm to handle


May you have a good day, or night in God's grace.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Going Penguin...

This is what a normal looking chick (aka peeper) on Pilgrim's Farm looks like


this is what chick looks like when it rains


May your day, or night be filled with the sunshine of God's grace.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Why We Came to the Island...

It isn't a long story...
and there are days when I do wonder...
how did we come to be here on this Caribbean island?

(our seaside cottage)

my husband, Don, is an island boy...
born and raised on this particular island far south in the caribbean sea

(our cottage seaside view)

and although I was born American...
I was raised in South America by my missionary parents...
little knowing that not so far away...
my island boy was growing up

we met in America, married, had two children
we visited my husband's home a few times...
and after the children left home to go out on their own...
we talked of going back to the island on a permanent basis

(an island of mountains and valleys)

we had grown tired of the rat race and the noisiness of "civilization"...
the gated communities, the materialism...
the complicated system of regulations and laws that dictate...
even the very color of one's own front door...
what you can have in your yard and how one can use their land...
the taxes that seem to get higher with every year...
requirements by law that keep a person bogged down living from paycheck to paycheck
and the laws against healthy foods, such as raw milk

(a view from my husband's boyhood home)

it took a few years to get to that point...
and in February 2008, we made the big move...
living in a seaside home before moving to the farm where the location...
is more conducive to having animals and growing crops that otherwise...
didn't do well by the salty air

this island is low on taxes (no income tax, in fact)
has very few laws and regulations that strangle farmers and homesteaders...
instead, encouraging people to eat healthy from their gardens and own animals
does not require us to live by laws that sap our monies
we have freedoms here that Americans have lost long ago

(lovely beaches)

in saying that...
Don and I know that truly the Lord brought us here...
for whatever reason we had...
God has His own for bringing us to this island

we do not know if we are here till He takes us home to Him...
or if perhaps, He may take us elsewhere
it doesn't matter

I know that the Lord does all things well...
and His will is perfectly suited to His children's welfare
we wait on Him to guide

May your day, or night be blessed in the grace of God.
jean