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Setting up a tree nursery

Panama has a lot of native fruit trees but you hardly can buy any fresh fruit in the supermarkets. Recently there was even an article in a local newspaper about the topic. It said that in Panama there was no culture of eating fruits or using them for drinks. What sells best is imported apples and grapes. And those are quite expensive. The article lists a huge number of native fruit trees that could be cultivated. Here is that list:

Naranja, Limon, Marañon, Papaya, Maracuyá, Guanábana, Mango, Aguacate, Tamarindo, Nance, Mamey, Níspero, Mamón, Naranja dulce, Toronja, Jobo, Ciruela, Anón, Caimito, Jobito, Mangotín, Guaba

All those names are in Spanish. I’m sure I will write more about each soon but for now to learn more I have to say “Google is your friend”. ;-)

We had the idea before but with some additional stimulus by the newspaper article we put some of it in motion today. Luis and Celis, our gardener, built a little tree nursery in the backyard of our house.

The green cloth is to break the wind which dries out the top soil during the dry season. They cleaned the floor and made it even so that we have a lot of space for a good number of little tree seedlings in bags.

We won’t buy the seeds but instead get them from our neighbors who have fruit trees. Luis and Celis have been collecting and drying some themselves over the last few weeks.

Over the next few days Luis will install water pipes to extend the existing irrigation system.

While I write this post it is blowing heavily outside. That’s typical for the dry season. Let’s see how that little project looks tomorrow. It is placed in an area with some tall trees around it. Those should break the wind a bit and avoid major damage. We’ll see tomorrow whether it works out.

The seedlings will be planted on the farm once the legal issues have been solved. Trees don’t grow over night and even for their first 30 cm it takes a while. So we have time and once the issues have been solved we can do some fun work to start with. In a year or two we will have our own fruit basket. If it’s three years, that’s fine with me too. One has to look forward and think positive.

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