I'm hard pressed to come up with anything more fun than gathering sustenance from on the ground, under the ground, in trees, in bushes, and the sky above. Our garden is plodding slowly along, but that hasn't stopped us from reaping a rich harvest of mulberries, plums (tiny sour ones really good for pickling), coconuts, loquats, veggies (carrots, cabbage, sweet potatoes, etc. from neighbors. Ours our growing too slowly), passion fruit (well, about five), and custard apple. This plot of rented land came replete with fruit trees. We are waiting for the mangoes, jack fruit, guavas and avocados. It is only a matter of time when we declare war on the monkeys.
The plums came from our neighbors' orchard which they are no longer tending. We all went one morning and picked as many as we could. We rubbed them in salt, soaked them in sugar water, and put them in the refrigerator. A perfect snack.
We are surrounded by custard apple orchards, so every now and then, someone gives us some.
We have one avocado tree, whose little thumb sized fruits I just encased in bags today. We hope to have more avocados from the same neighbors (let me just say kind, good friends) who let us pick their plums. They let us help bag their trees these few days. They said if all goes well (no big typhoons or anything), there will be more than enough avocados for both families.
Today, I took a short walk up the road. There are coconut trees everywhere. We already ate all of our mature coconuts, and none have dropped recently. So when I saw a whole row of dry, brown coconuts, I couldn't resist. I took one in each arm and headed back home. We hacked one open with an ax, chopped out the flesh (ate some), sterilized it in hot water, put it in the blender with warm water, squeezed the liquid from the pulp with a cheese cloth, and admired the creamy off white milk.
We have the gathering part down; now we just need to work on the hunting.
I love Taidong