27 November 2012

Coconuts everywhere

   On my first several visits to False Bluff not a single coconut tree had a coconut.   Despite the fact that until I had the creek opened, the only ways to get to or from my property (or any of the properties along this section of coast) were either a half-mile slog through the swamp or a multi-mile walk along the beach, people came out and harvested coconuts - mostly to sell in Bluefields or El Bluff.
  Coconuts, stolen by the hundred, were hacked open and piles of the outer husks abandoned at the base of nearly every tree.  Coconut husks are very slow to decompose; and so the piles grew over the years and were a huge issue to deal with during the initial clearing and clean-up phase. 
   Now we've got coconuts everywhere.  You might think they'd only be in the trees, but that's not quite how it works.   On average a dozen a day fall and can bounce and roll an incredible distance from the tree where they started.   
   The ones that fall we mostly set aside to sprout, which is giving us a steady supply of young trees to plant. We've planted several hundred coconut palms so far and with the supply now available from our own trees we're no longer having to buy 'seedlings' to plant.  
   Now, with my staff's constant presence on site and some fencing, the coconut trees are loaded, providing food and drink for them, for visitors, and for part-time workers like the guys who dug the well and opened the creek.   The coconuts even feed the chickens.   
   The stick lying on the ground in front of the palm tree pictured below is used to knock coconuts off the tree.  When you want a really fresh drink fast, that's the way to get it.

   Shown below are coconuts in two phases of development. The trees seem to produce year round.