- Food and Cooking»
- Farms & Farming
Staying pure in a world filled with filthiness.
Traditionally our people on this island, called Dominica or Waitukubuli as it was first called by the Kalinago or Carib Indians who first discovered the island, have been living in abundance from the free gits of nature. Fresh clean water, beautiful scenaries and a terrain that allows for much physical stamina. Dominica allowed for its people to live stress free lives with healthy foods and adequate exercise, based on their everyday lifestyle. Today many people cherish the value of living like our ancestors,with cherished icons like Ma Pampo who lived to be 127 yrs old.
Dominica is volcanic and is of very mountainous terrain. This allows for our very fertile soil and very lush green vegetation. With three hundred and sixty five rivers (some of which are small streams) create the environment for our people to live rich lives, not necessarily through material riches. The island measures 29X16 miles in area, with a national trail which extends to the north to south, so that hikers can traverse this trail in one to two weeks based on fitness. Our original people, the Kalinago lived by fishing, hunting and small scale farming. The scenaries around here are breathtaking and one would to have to see to understand the great lives that these people lived, bathing in the sea and river, fishing, hunting wild meat, climbing mountains planting and eating fresh food and just enjoying nature to the fullest. Some of the most beautiful nights here are the moonlight nights on clear day in a location where there no other lights to interfere with the richness from that of the moon, except of course a few fireflies. Today the island remains one of the most unspoilt islands in the Caribbean. It looks very much like it was in 1493 when Christopher Columbus made it known to the New World (Europe at that time) .
Our people enjoy a great life in Dominica, the Nature Island of the Caribbean. Dominica has an agriculture based society and more and more it is shared with tourist who wish to have a nature island experience. Purity of mind , body and soul can come about with prayer and meditation eating healthy foods and exercise . Many of our small farmers to this day practise organic farming. Organic being at the top of the chain for healthy foods. Much of our farm products include fresh fruits, vegetables and meat that has been developed from the animals that have fed on fresh plants. The air we breathe, ,especially in the mountain side; our tallest mountain is 4747ft and at about 2,000 feet in elevation is always so beautiful,crisp and clean. To be able breathe clean natural air, to be able the enjoy peace and quietness and to reach out with warmth and kindness is a truly blessed experience. The importance of agriculture will be emphazied this week from October 09, 2011 when CARICOM meet here for continues guidance for a way foward with this ever so important industry for us.
Many people have animals on their small farms that allow them to cycle the weeds to compost. The weeds and excess food, meaning fruits ,vegetables, and provision are fed the the animals which in turn pass it out through feaces, this is piled in a heap and left to decompose over a period of time, for at least 6 months .The heat that this method of cpmposting generates will easily kill most of the harmful germs. Keeping in mind the generally our animals are healthy animals. Most people keep very few animals for food and in the process composting. when the animal is mature enough it is slaughtered and replaced. Now do not turn up your noses cause in many large cities, most likely including the one that you live in, human waste is used to make fertilizer through composting.
A day in the mountains can be very beatiful , when its rainning you do what you have to in the garden feed the animals , get wet in the rain, then dry up and have a hot cup of black locally grown and roasted coffee to keep warm. When it has rainned and the sun is out and the soil is ideal to work with when it is just damp not wet. O Lord, what blessings, weeds come out easily and the rich dark brown soil just shines with richness, if in doubt just look at the healthy bouncy earthworm that rise to the surface as their tunnels are being disturbed.
These earthworms are very sensitive and the use of chemicals will kill them, thus an indication as to wheather you have healthy soil or not. At this times we become connected to nature through the soil in which life begins and end as we know it. It can be hard work but you dont feel it, by the sweat of thy brow man shall eat bread. The rewards come through the peace of mind and a good sound rest at nights. Its nice to hear the sounds of the different birds like the ........flying from tree o tree. Most times it it so quiet that one can hear the bussing of the insect wings as they fly past. Now and then there is a rushing sound through the bushes that can be scary if one is not familiar with the agoutie, which belong to the rodent family and lives of fruits vegatables and provision. Many at times there is a competion betweem the agoutie and the farmer for the fresh food that has mature but we all survice. Agouties are vegetarians and they too make a good stew.
It is emensely gratifying when the plants that one has sweated and toil to plants begin to grow and even more so when its harvest time that one can sell to earn an income or just share with a friend and of course prepared fresh organically grown food for the family. And with the flowering plants oh la la, I personal can go wild when I an unexpected flower opens up.
This whole environment creates the scenario whereby our minds can be clear allowing for us the feel the pleasure from nature and give a little love by doing what we to not destroy it but cause it to multiply giving us more and more.
In words this is one of the places that I experience haven on earth. Some farms ar ealresy established with fruit producing tree and a little water hole that collects water from drainage through the soil. Thank God it is still very pure and clean up there and the water can drank.
Many people set up a temporary house for tools and a change room, this is also used to cook, this generally takes the format of one pot hold all cooking on three stones,adding pure coconut milk, right from the nut. Of course the nut has to be grated and the milk squeezed out of it . In local palance this is called a creme to include your favorite meat or beans.
Many a smart one will plant according to the increasing and decrasing moon. They can tell you exactly when it will rain and the best times to pull up weeds and plants crops below and underground. It been said that the moon also affects the mood of the people but that I wont get into except to say that the people of Dominica are known for our frendliness and hospitality.