THE TROPICAL ORGANIC GARDEN
It is not easy to nurture a garden in an area with two monsoons. For almost five months, the soil is flooded and agricultural activities are limited. The compost that we prepare and use to feed the soil is washed away during the rainy season, so the soil needs to be prepared very frequently.
Our initial idea was to be self-sufficient on one acre of land. However, due to the climate, vegetables that require some cold weather do not grow well or do not grow at all, so we still need to buy from the local market. For our kitchen we grow ladies fingers, pumpkin, cherry tomatoes, chilies, capsicum, Malabar spinach, different types of beans ( from the 30 cms to the one yard length ), clove beans, ginger, turmeric, elephant yam, colocasia, bitter gourd, and weather permitting, some lettuces. We also have some cooking herbs, basil, mint lemon grass, morning glory and spring onions. All in very small quantities.
We like fruit a lot and we are lucky to be able to grow mangoes, grapefruit, passion fruit, papayas, bananas, coconuts, mangusteen, tropical pear, jackfruit, breadfruit, chico zapota, custard apple and pineapples. Noni and coffee, nutmeg, spices like pepper, vanilla and cinnamon, also grow well in our garden. Our production is for domestic use mainly and for friends and visitors. Excess fruit is used for making jam, cordials, syrup. Drying fruit and freezing pulp can be used throughout the year. We also make our own bread, soya milk and some hens provide us with exquisite eggs. With our exotic flowers we make creative arrangements for one of the local hotels.
We follow organic rules, we make our own compost with leaves and cow and goat manures. We try to respect the environment as much as possible keeping plastic at bay which is not easy in an area where waste is not collected. Some creative techniques help us to dispose of batteries, plastic covers and others.
Our aim is to live a creative life respecting the environment, learning to be frugal without ignoring the advances of modern technologies.
We are open to new ideas;
please get in touch with us if you wish to visit our garden.
Paradise on Earth exists. It’s in La Arcadia.
A walk through the lush garden of La Arcadia reveals the tropics at every step. Nature that refuses to be bent, which forces us to fight every day to keep it from overflowing: dazzling flowers such as heliconias, anthuriums or torch flowers, together with the delicate plants of ilang-ilang, highly valued in perfumery and aromatherapy. Mahogany trees, palm trees of various types, a cacao tree, different plants that produce spices such as pepper, vanilla, various types of ginger and turmeric. The space dedicated to growing herbs, such as basil is organized in structures made of gutters, a meter above the ground to avoid monsoon flood, In the garden we also grow okra, spinach, chili pepper, beans, even some avocado trees. Next to the orchard, three chickens lay eggs.
Rafa Maldonado, from Málaga, Spain.