Tuesday afternoon he and the guys headed down to the river area to collect a load of "pengwin", Bromelia penguin.
These spiny plants are the standard garden "living fence" in our area, to protect the garden and keep out livestock.
Notice the sharp, curved spines on the edges of the leaves that randomly point up or down.
Therefore handling the plants takes care and a pole.
The garden owner hired young men to do the fencing, the plants are carried up the path, past a small church, to the garden location.
Nitrogen fixing ground covers like perennial peanut (side with soil) and tropical kudzu (ruined side) will be planted first to hold the soil and increase fertility.
Most of the subsoil is a soft rock, like a clay based sandstone. It weathers fast into good textured soil and can be broken up with a digging bar or pick.
|looking up from the road side to a church|
|Looking back at the church, garden on right of new pengwin fence|
The plan for the badly eroded side is to plant a variety of plant that will hold and improve the soil:
- nitrogen fixing trees which are good for charcoal,
- tropical kudzu which is excellent animal feed,
- inca peanut/sacha inche, which grows like kudzu and provides surprisingly good tasting greens to use like spinach and high protein seeds that are toasted and eaten like peanuts.
Most of the trees will have to wait until the hot dry summer is past to plant them at the beginning of the rainy season.