Tag Archives: Rambutan

Spring and Easter in Rincón

Posted by Cassie

In Puerto Rico because it is a tropical environment, many people think that there are not seasons. This is not exactly accurate. While it does stay between 75-85 degrees F year round there are still subtle changes. Because we work outside a lot and we live in a cabin in the middle of the jungle we notice these changes perhaps a bit more than some people. For one thing, many of the plants begin to flower in preparation for fruiting in the summer. One of my favorite flowering plants are the robles (Tabebuia rosea). For about one month these trees add a rose colored hue to everything including the ground! It is like living in a pink snow globe especially when you see them softly twirl to the ground.

Cassie with flowers
The trees and I are pink!

Carpet of robles
Roll out the pink carpet!

Turkeys enjoying the changing colors of spring

Rambutan flowers
The rambutan are already flowering! Let’s hope they form fruit!

GrosellasLike this grosella

Papaya markings
The papaya and bananas are constantly producing! I love the way this trunk looks like ancient carving

I think all plants are beautiful in a certain way, but not all of them are friendly! We have been working on clearing around the cabin and replanting with fruiting trees and ornamentals. In doing so we have to clear out some pretty mean and nasty stuff like the Puerto Rican poison ivy they call Carrasco that no matter how careful I am, I always somehow manage to get on me. About 2 days after this happens I swell up really bad and start itching uncontrollably. Then my skin erupts in a pus-y mess and then finally scabs over. It is not fun!

Carrasco berries
Spring for the Carrasco plant too! Here is its flower/berry

Another mean plant are the wild bromeliads. While beautiful they have the most vicious spikes on them. I have many pokes and stings from these bad boys. They are very difficult to eradicate from an area. We just threw them over the fence line. They would make a good living fence because no one would want to walk through these!

Bromeliad Spikes
Wild bromeliad and its thorny weaponry

Side yard
Side of the cabin that we cleared of bromeliads and other brush and have begun to replant

When we’re not enjoying spring in the jungle, we have been out with friends at various events including the Stand Up Paddleboard race, and Spring/Easter parties. The 2017 tourist season was a little slow, but that doesn’t mean the partying was. One thing about living in Rincón (and I think Puerto Rico in general) is that there is never a shortage of parties! It’s a good-time island. We have to consciously choose which events to go to and which not because we’ll never get anything done around the property otherwise!

Villa Cofresi
Villa Cofresí and her famous piratas during the SUP contest

Logan Britton Chris Karen C B Sage
Fun times with friends!

On Easter weekend we went to a friend’s farm in Aguada and set up a campground. We sang songs around the campfire and toasted marshmellows and relaxed. The fireflies came out and danced alongside us. It was truly magical!

Road to Toms jungle
Road through the woods to the campsite

Camp in jungleCampsite by day

And by night (thanks Daisy for this pic)

Easter we had a wonderful time with a variety of friends!

Van Ees
The Van Ees

Slip n slide (2) Easter chicken
So much fun! Slip-sliding away…even with chickens!

Cassie and Britton easter
¡Felices Pascuas!

Beach party
And another party at the beach!

So yes, there is a spring in Puerto Rico even if it isn’t quite as pronounced as up north. Everything is in bloom, the birds and insects start mating more, the rains begin to come more regularly, the temperature and humidity go up a little and the ocean warms up just a bit. In Rincón the northern tourists leave and the local Puerto Rican tourists start arriving. I hope we can continue playing music through this summer, but if not, come check us out at our next show this Saturday at Willie’s Bar and Grill in the marina!

Rincon Continentals poster
Rincón Continentals Live

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Govardhan Gardens

Posted by Cassie

Govardhan Gardens Entrance

Yesterday we visited Govardhan Gardens located between Mayaguez and Maricao. We were interested in this private fruit farm because the owner, Sadhu, has one of the largest exotic plant collections on the island. We have picked up quite a few exotics from a variety of nurseries around the island, but there were still some trees we had difficulty finding. We were excited to learn that Govardhan Gardens has pretty much any tropical fruit tree you can imagine!

Rambutan on the tree at Govardhan Gardens

We made arrangements with our friends Greg and Frances who were also interested in seeing his place. We took a tour of some of the property and visited his goats who were super cute!

Sadhu and goats
Sadhu and his goats

Greg and Frances with a Bilimbe tree -the fruit grows right on the trunk!

In addition to fruit trees, Sadhu also prides himself on an extensive collection of rare and high quality bamboos. We are considering bamboo for a living fence along one edge of our property. But that will be another day.

Golden Bamboo
Rare golden bamboo

We picked up a nice assortment. I would have bought more, but they are quite a bit more expensive than some other nurseries, so we just stuck with the ones we have been interested in for quite some time.  It is amazing how fast our property can just go through plants. To really give it a tropical lush garden feel, it must be packed! Which is fine with me as learning about and finding new, ever-more-exotic/rare plants is one of my favorite pastimes now.

Fruit trees in truck
Truckload of more plants!

Here’s what we came away with on this trip to Govardhan Gardens:

Nutmeg- Used to make the spices nutmeg and mace. I am interested in getting a full spice collection including black pepper, cinnamon varieties, vanilla (we are currently growing), cloves, cardamom, ginger, galangal, etc.
African Breadfruit – Like traditional breadfruit, it can be used as a starch and even ground into a flour to make bread.
Dwarf Acai (2) - We have been looking a long time for acai. I love plants that are both beautiful and useful. Acai is a great looking palm tree and the fruit is one of the highest in antioxidants.
Jaboticaba- Strange tree whose dark purple grape-like fruit grow on the trunk of the tree. It is used extensively in Brazil.
Triangle Palm -This is an ornamental tree that we had been wanting for a while. It grows in the shape of a triangle and is quite striking.
Lipstick Palm- This is also an ornamental palm tree whose shaft is red-colored.
Black Sapote- According to Sadhu, if you pick this fruit at just the right time it will taste like chocolate pudding. If you freeze it and then shave it into a bowl, it tastes just like chocolate ice cream. I am a huge fan of ice cream, so I had to have this one! :-)

I have no doubt that we will be back at Govadhan Gardens again in the future. Sadhu was extremely knowledgeable and helpful and I look forward to learning even more from him as well.

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