BLog update a long time coming…

Greetings Bona Fide friends and supporters,

We are a bit behind on the blog these days due to high winds. High winds and waving trees contribute to spotty internet connections and loss of connections equals inability to update the blog. Nevertheless we will persist. Much is happening here on the farm, late February saw the first visit of my mother, Candace Shanks who has been a contributor to BF’s work via supporting fundraising efforts, awareness, organizing, and not the least hauling dozens of bilingual children’s books to the Balgue’s library at the community center, YEAH MOM!!!

This week’s features are Sapotaceae family DIVERSITY. The three exotic looking fruits in the posted fotos are 3 botanically distinct pecies. Trick is that only 2 of them seem to be known to general science and fruit species diversity. Seems that we may have a distinct sub species of Pouteria zapota or perhaps a different species occurring in the Masatepe region of Nicaragua not far from the colonial town of Granada. Go DIVERSITY!!!

We are all TIED UP here, that is in the ‘love shack’ that is to say that volunteers and interns have been working diligently on the new staff housing facility lovingly dubbed the ‘Love Shack’ as it is being built by our resident English couple, Tom and Eira. This building is built with bamboo from the farm, all the wood is from the farm and the thatch that will make up the roof was locally obtained. It is going to be a beautiful building. Congrats to all who helped with this effort of harvesting, drying, splitting, and cutting up a lot of bamboo PLUS tying all these bamboo members together with thousands of feet of tarred twine. NICE WORK. Pictured in the ‘Da shack’ is Shane and Jonah and pictured sawing is Sally, our new community support intern.

The last two fotos illustrate BF agricultural research and food systems development efforts. The curiously looking tomato like fruit is related to tomato but is actually a botanically distinct species. In efforts to grow tomatoes organically in a challenging climate and soil that seems especially hostile to the nightshade family save hot peppers (they are native here!!) we have been conducting trials of 8 varieties of tropically adapted tomatoes as well as 3 botanically distinct species. So far so good, we think we will have made some selections in the next month. Last but not least is the featured foto of one of our dozens of cinnamon trees that flower this time of year. Flowers bring seeds and seeds bring sharing of this valuable spice for both food and medicine.

Cheers to all.

Best to all,

Chris Shanks

Co-Director Project Bona Fide

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