Weekly Photo Challenge: New

Weekly Photo Challenge: New

I have something new in the yard. I like to garden, and if you can have something pretty that also produces food, so much the better. Here in Panama many foods are new to me, as are the plants that produce them.

Little by little as time allows I have been cleaning up and arranging the yard. My friends have helped me with advice, suggestions, seeds, and plant starts. Now we have bananas, pineapples, coconuts, plantains, guandu (pigeon peas), baby coffee plants, as well as a number of fruit trees that were here when I arrived.

My latest addition is yuca (or cassava). I saw someone planting it in the neighborhood and asked what he was doing. All you need is a stick or cutting, put it in the ground with part below and part above ground, and wait for leaves to appear. There is yuca growing wild in the woods, so off I went with my cutters to bring some home and give it a try.  In about six months it should be ready for me to dig the tubers, with any luck about 15 pounds of them per plant.


I also learn new things through blogging. I read the Wikipedia link for yuca and learned a lot! Apparently this plant has poisons, so it must be cooked or properly processed to remove the toxins. I’m glad I didn’t take a bite of the raw root just to try it. The leaves can also be eaten but they also must be cooked to get rid of the toxins.

This root is a major food source for over half a billion people in Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and other tropical areas such as Panama. Of all the root vegetables available here, it is one of my favorites. I will be very happy if I can grow yuca in my yard and enjoy the harvest. At the rate I’m going my yard is going to look more like a farm every year. But, here in Panama, this is very normal. It seems like almost everyone is growing food of one sort or another in their yards.

About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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8 Responses to Weekly Photo Challenge: New

  1. smkelly8 says:

    I find your life in Panama fascinating. Best wishes for 2015 and thanks for the pingback!


  2. Swav says:

    Thank you for pingback 🙂 Cheers from the heart of Ireland…


  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kris and Joel. Happy New Year. Can you get seeds for purple tomatoes in Panama?


    • Happy New Year to you too. I have not seen purple tomatoes here, only regular red ones and the Italian plum type. I haven’t looked for seeds because it is too hot for tomatoes in David. You can brings seeds with you though. They would probably do OK if you are going to be at a cooler, higher elevation.


  4. Laureen says:

    One of the reasons I want to explore David is because everything grows in the garden ;-). I did not realize that it could actually be too hot to grow any of the warm weather crops like tomatoes. I can certainly understand cool weather crops like the brassicas and lettuces, but tomatoes? I am dreaming of an avocado tree in the backyard in David… Do you know if anyone grows Goji berries in the area?

    Thanks from Laureen, who is counting the days until April!


    • I think if it is above a certain temperature the tomatoes won’t set fruit. I have heard though that there is a variety that is adapted for the heat here, though I haven’t tried or seen anyone else growing tomatoes here. I guess it’s just too easy to get them from the market. There are many very happy and productive avocado trees here though. I don’t know about Goji berries. I don’t remember seeing anything that looks like that but this doesn’t mean they wouldn’t grow. April? Only three months! It will be here soon


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