First Bona Fide group of 2009 and SEEDS!!!!

Greetings Bona Fide friends and supporters,

2009 has started with a BANG!!, well more like a wet thump, the sound of water hyacinth being plopped into a 5 gallon bucket and hauled off to mulch our perennial food gardens, medicinal herb collection OR our beautiful annual garden of delights!! (better known as vegetables). Thanks to Dawson College of Montreal, Quebec for helping out on the farm and going on an extensive tour of the finca and the community Center in this last week. Congrats to Tom on leading his first tour of BF. Nice one.

*The water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes) featured in the group foto of folks wallowing in the agua (with the pond featured and smiling faces) was started from just a few plants 5 months ago, this particular species multiplies itself by orders of magnitude to fill closed bodies of water with nitrogen and protein rich organic material that is fit for mulch, forage, cordage, or as a water filter/clarifier.

Well last week and into this week has found me, (Chris) and Jackie Pitts on a whirlwind tour of Costa Rica reaching out to agricultural institutions, private collectors, and relying on the generosity and acumen of fruit and vegetable vendors throughout Costa Rica. We have gone coast to coast, spent a day in San Jose combing the markets, braved poison dart frogs (see ominous red frog foto) (actual size 1.25cm or 1/2″) as well as actually ominous spiny palms (see foto, OUCH-OUCH, I still have scars, that is Salak palm (Salacca edulis) by the way as is the reptilian brown looking fruit featured in the other fotos) to collect fruit, nut, herb, timber, multi-use, and biopesticide tree seeds for our nursery which serves Bona Fide, the local community, and sells trees to expats to support its work. We have managed to purchase, trade, collect, and otherwise obtain seeds from CR to expand our nursery, visit our friends down here in the ‘Rich Coast’ and make new ones.

Please enjoy also the foto of a nutmeg seed (part you grind up and cook or bake with is inside the brown nut) and Mace( a spice), the brown seed with the red ‘web’ is actually fresh seed of the nutmeg tree with the ‘aril’ or ‘fruit’ of the nut making up the actual spice called Mace. Cool huh??

Thanks to all who shared their knowledge, seeds, and love for plants with us and thanks to Jackie for being a humorous and knowledgeable travel companion.

Best to all,

Chris Shanks
Co-Director, Project Bona Fide

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