Potentially Toxic GAS, "Giant African Snail"
- Oct 9, 2014 - 6:32:08 PM
What is GAS? And why should we be worried?
Well, truth be told, we are not talking about a poisonous substance
that's breathable, but a creepy crawler that's made the news last month
in Grand Bahama, the "Giant African Snail" or "G.A.S." for short. GAS is
by far one of the most damaging snails on record simply because it can
consume up to 500 different types of plants indiscriminately. Those who
think it's just a farmer’s problem are wrong because GAS can also cause
considerable damage to plaster and stucco structures, an issue that
affects most of us, considering that almost all of our homes are made of
one or both of those materials.
of the reasons attention is being brought to this snail is because of
its ability to reproduce quickly, The USDA states that 1 snail can
produce upwards to 1200 eggs in a single year, making it a nightmare for
The Calabash Tree
- Feb 21, 2014 - 2:31:31 AM
This, I am writing for
people that have forgotten a piece of their history; but I have taken
special care in writing this for the Urban Renewal Center in Lewis Yard,
a settlement in Grand Bahama Island where I live.
spoke with the ladies there and told them of the treasure that they have
on the property, and how they should cherish it. I know it doesn't seem
like much right now but in the coming years this tree will be worth a
lot and because the next generation is far more creative than we can
imagine. I am speaking of the "Calabash Tree" and their gourds which
might very well become a pivotal role in our economy. These gourds were
used in ancient times to carry water: and from what I have gathered
they are like a mini refrigerator.
Far from your average Grower!
- Jan 10, 2014 - 3:01:35 AM
Have you ever walked into someone's garden
and there were so many beautiful crops, so much so, you wondered how
someone could maintain such a garden? And became ever so curious when
you see that same person eats only salads or the occasional soup? You
may have wondered, what’s the use? Well don’t worry I encounter that
daily and I am in fact trying to change people's mindset on the
conventional use of a garden.
I believe if a grower plants a
tomato seed and gets a tomato vine and only thinks of it as 'just
tomatoes' then he will only eat tomatoes. Frankly I couldn’t eat
something that the Divine Mother has created, and not add a piece of
myself to complement something so spectacular. Gardening to me is on
so many levels especially when you’re growing food for your personal
In 2014 I will mix it up a bit. I plan to talk about it from many angles.
The Natal Plum: Enjoy with Caution
- Dec 30, 2013 - 6:19:17 PM
is the Natal Plum one of my favorite exotic fruits, found on the
island, grown on the Carrissa Shrub. People tend to use the Carrissa as a
shrub for many reasons
as it is a beautiful plant, a great defense against thieves, and has rich dark
leaves; but let's talk about the fruit. Although beautiful it does come
with a few minor elements you should know about....
The Green fruit
is quite poisonous so try not to consume this fruit unless it has
It is bright red in color when ripened so you'll know when
it is edible.
Let's Grow Bahamas October Almanac
- Oct 18, 2013 - 6:49:36 AM
October is usually celebrated at the end of
the month with costumes and parties to bring out the scary side of our
imagination. But you can start your celebrating a bit early if you know
what to plant for the month of October.
The Grand Bahama
Backyard Farmers Community is pleased to release, with much
anticipation, the new growing list for this month of October so that you
can start your burial early and get some young healthy crops in this
October is ideal for potatoes, parsley, radishes,
turnips, cabbages, lettuce, leeks, carrots, beets, tomatoes, onions,
beans, cauliflower and the really...
The Fungi and its connection to my Garden
- Sep 27, 2013 - 1:12:53 AM
Simplicity of a garden
is sometimes easy to grasp when you’re looking at the garden from the
top layers, but often the bottom layers are the key to what’s going on
with life in the garden as a whole.
A few weeks ago I went to
offer a helping hand to a beginner to the backyard farming lifestyle to
give some input on what I thought he should do to help improve the soil.
We talked about improving what little soil he had and when he made
mention of his use of pesticides I almost cringed, because the very
thing that we as gardeners should be protecting is our soil, and the
Let's Grow Bahamas Almanac
- Sep 13, 2013 - 12:58:30 AM
The fall season is finally upon us, which symbolizes the
hibernation of most of our fruit trees. Trees use their
leaves for photosynthesis, a process by which carbon dioxide and water
are absorbed through various microscopic apertures ("stomata")
in the leaves to produce carbohydrates and equally importantly oxygen, a gas
necessary for life on Earth.
This beautiful process must occur
during the fall before the
trees shut down for the season. As a matter of fact, because
of the lack of sunlight during the fall, most trees drop their leaves because they can’t get enough water for what they would lose
through the leaves.
If the leaves did not fall, the plant could not seal
those small apertures where the leaves are grown and it would mean
certain death for big trees...
The Cassava (Yuca)
- Apr 25, 2013 - 1:39:40 AM
This is a Cassava!
The Cassava or Yuca is one in the same and is said to have originated in
Brazil or Paraguay, but you can find them almost everywhere in the
world today. The Cassava is a crop that most believe when planted will
deprive the soil of all its nutrients. Others believe because of its
high starch content that it is detrimental to the human body which is
Cassavas are one of the “ole folks” favorite food in the Caribbean. In
fact it was a major crop of the Amerindians, and although we seldom see
it on our plates, it came as a great shock to me when I found this
cassava stump in Grand Bahama’s very own Bikini Gardener’s yard while
helping her with one of her projects...
Golden Girls - Golden Knights - The Golden Dorsett
- Apr 10, 2013 - 10:59:03 PM
In 2000 four Bahamian
women rose to the height of capturing Olympic Gold and today they are
respectively known as “The Golden Girls”. Thirteen years later, the
national pride was once again boosted when four Bahamian men captured
Olympic Gold in an astonishing fashion and today they are respectively
known as “The Golden Knights”. Both of these parties are forever
instilled in Bahamian history.
You may wonder why am I discussing
this matter The Golden Girls, The Golden Knights since this is a column
pertaining to gardening? Don’t worry there is a connection... well sort
As you know my column is mainly orientated to gardening and I like to focus...
Purslane: One of the Most Nutritionist Weeds
- Mar 7, 2013 - 11:37:46 PM
Weeding for me is an
enjoyable experience for one it means that I will be cleaning the garden
and listening to great music or lecture series. But aside from that
I actually spend most of my time eating weeds. I know you are probably
thinking I’m crazy. Go ahead, I have heard it all before. What’s really
crazy is that we don’t always know the connection we have with plants
we have been pulling out of the garden or our
lush lawns, and what their consumption can mean for us.
I have spent countless
hours informing my friends of plants and how important everything in
nature really is and thankfully a lot of them actually pay attention.
So let’s talk about
one of the many weeds you will encounter on your property...
Why our soil might be the most precious commodity we have!
- Feb 22, 2013 - 6:10:41 PM
“Take only what you need and leave the land as you found it”
the next generational shift takes place, people today are becoming more
and more disconnected from the soil. Steven Covey said once, “Awareness
has its own momentum.”
One hundred years ago people were very
connected to the soil, so therefore they understood what was before
them. In this day and age not many people give a second thought of the
importance of soil, but the fact remains, people in the position to
recognize soil and its importance are the very people wreaking havoc on
It's Harvest Time, Baby!
- Dec 23, 2012 - 11:07:00 AM
It is finally the end of the year and I can say without any doubt
that “2012” has truly been a learning experience for me. I have shared quite a
few things, explained their purposes and suggested some interesting fruit trees
you should add to your garden for various purposes.
This year we had to combat with the devastating effects of
Hurricane Sandy and it made me realize that we do live in
a really weat
her-active area during the summer which makes farming a little more difficult,
but not impossible.
I have written about herbs and bush medicine the majority of this
Bush Medicine: Match Me if You Can (Jacob's Coat)
- Dec 1, 2012 - 5:38:10 PM
one of the fortunate ones to have a hobby like mine that entails me
working in the environment I love and also to teach and learn an
incredible amount of information on bush medicine. It has become so big
a hobby in my life that I have dedicated a portion of myself to the
study of plants and their medicinal values and for that I have turned to
oral and our ancestral studies. The beauty of this hobby of mine is
even though I am still a beginner. I can walk in almost anyone’s
backyard and tell a story about a plant and today I am in a friend’s
yard to tell you about this one and its medicinal values.
This encounter is none other than “Match me if you can” “Acalypha
wilkesina” or “Jacobs Coat”. This plant is used more as an ornamental
plant nowadays than...
Bananas: The Super Fruit that is an Absolute Must for Your Garden
- Nov 22, 2012 - 10:12:03 PM
The banana is one of
many favorite plants which I have in my backyard, and believe me when I
tell you that I have spent quite a few dollars acquiring those banana
Aside from being a favorite in food stores, bananas have
quite a few medicinal values as well. Bahamian folk have used banana
leaves mixed with other ingredients to treat blisters, diarrhea and
fever. Bananas are also great as organic matter for the garden.
grow year round in The Bahamas, and you really can't go wrong with
bananas. Regardless of where you are located in the world, you can find...
Guava, the "poor man's fruit"
- Nov 15, 2012 - 11:33:17 PM
I recently spoke to a friend of mine and
he mentioned that he was in need of vitamin C to combat a flu he was
coming down with. I handed him a guava and he seemed almost bewildered
by my gesture which made me think to write this.
There is a long
list of fruits that help a healthy balanced diet that our bodies need
and can help fight against viruses our bodies may encounter. People like
myself are shouting out in the wind and are being unheard when we say
“EAT LOCALLY” or eat in “SEASON.”
sometimes I get the question, what can we eat? There is a fruit you can
eat locally, and its Guava. Whether its included in Duff or slapped...
Fever Grass: Not Your Usual “Cup of Tea”
- Oct 13, 2012 - 3:44:43 PM
Quite a few people
have asked why the sudden interest in Herbs and bush medicine? My answer
is “why not!”There are many things when it comes to farming that one
can learn and knowing the essential plants are just as important. I
think educating people on plants to grow is just as important as telling
them how to grow. My articles are about the starting process, not
everyone is going to instantly plant today but giving them advice about
an herb here and there will give them a push in the right direction. On
that note, here is an herb that has some great properties and is grown
locally here in the Bahamas...
Bush Medicine: In Nature, Everything Has a Purpose!
- Sep 27, 2012 - 9:00:24 PM
Did you know that most
of the weeds in our backyards are medicine? I’m quite serious! If you
get a chance, take a walk around our mini tropical jungle here in Grand
Bahama (as I do about once a week since I got hit with the bush medicine
fever) and you will be very surprised at the number of herbs you will
find. Here is a really cool, yet slightly annoying, one I can’t seem to
get rid of: “Chanca Piedra.” However, because of its incredible ability
to withstand my abuse I will share why I am about to keep it around.
for this herb was not easy because it goes by so many names. “Chanca
Piedra”, which means "stone breaker" in Portuguese, “seeds under leaf”
and “Phyllanthus Amarus” are the most common names...
The Farmer's Almanac for The Bahamas: Growing from August through October
- Sep 7, 2012 - 7:45:13 AM
Even though we enjoy
fruits and vegetables during the summer we are now into September which
welcomes a new season of crop rotations. It’s good to know we're located
in one of thee most beautiful regions on earth which has a beautiful
climate year-round. Unfortunately we still have to follow rules set by
The Farmer’s Almanac was design for all of us
around the world to know when we can grow certain crops, and is set for
pacific areas. For instance, things that can be grown here in The
Bahamas cannot grow in other hemispheres around the world because of the
drastic climate change that will affect crops rotation and growing
Fruit Tree of the Month: Jack Fruit
- Aug 22, 2012 - 7:30:55 PM
There are many fruit trees in The
Bahamas and in the months to come, Let’s Grow Bahamas will be selecting
the “must have” trees for your yard.
Our first pick for the month of August will be the Jack Fruit Tree.
The fruit obtained from this tree is a delicacy that has been enjoyed
through the generations in many different countries.
At first glance you will wonder if it’s edible because of its size
and shape. Most household cannot possibility consume one fruit, let
alone the amount of fruits that this tree bears. The size of the fruit
measures from 15- 20 inches long and weighs as much as 30- 70 pounds.
So when we talk about size...
My Visit to the Small Farm Conference in Orlando
- Aug 17, 2012 - 10:55:05 AM
There are many farming expos that take place around the world at any
given week. Recently I was fortunate enough to visit “The Florida Small
Farms and Alternative Enterprise Conference" in Orlando. The hosts of
this event were two land grant universities, the University of Florida and
Florida A & M University. This is the 4th year of this event under
the theme “Educating Entrepreneurs to Strengthen Local Food Systems. “
over 800 persons in attendance, there was much excitement among both
the participants and audience alike. The buzz in the room felt
electric, as if a rock star was about to perform and I must say they did
not let us down...