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Thursday, December 12, 2013
Almost nearing the end of getting the big seedlings orders for FAO & ADRA ready, it appears to calm down a bit. Therefore I have been able to take the time to attend a couple different presentations this month; 

Early this month Edwin Tamasese was invited by Pacific contemporary artist Vanya Taule'alo to give a talk in her garden about the SHP products and how to make the Samoan fruit & veggie garden perform at its best.

Talks like this are given on a regular basis as part of the handouts from the FAO, Adra & Red Cross orders for the local farmers and growers but these are mostly in Samoan, still a bit too hard for me to fully participate . This mainly English version was very interesting especially the sharing of tips, tools and seeds & plants from the other participants.

Mid October I enjoyed 2 days with nice food and watching & meeting people at the 2 day Upolu Agricultural Show (there is a separate AG show for Savaii). You could compare this to the New Zealand local A & P shows. Several organisations and businesses related to agriculture and fisheries had a stand here, including Soil Health Pacific showcasing their products & services on offer.


For most visitors the highlight of this show appeared to be able to see close up a live female & male turkey. I was told that they only know them here from the supermarkets frozen section.

And as with the New Zealand A & P shows there were competitions for the best performing/looking/ tasting animal and fruit & vegetables. The location for this Ag show was next to the rock wall & ocean therefore ideal for the fishing competitions & demonstrations.

Last week I went for a visit to what they call here’ the Chinese gardens’. I know that the Chinese have for a long time been part of the Samoan culture, but didn’t know what to expect from this visit; would it be a Chinese botanical garden, or a garden with Chinese vegetables or something else. It turned out to be a very interesting walk & talk to a market garden run by people from China with a variation of (mostly recognizable) vegetables mainly to do trails and feed their 20 pigs, using the pigs effluent gasses for cooking. And again lots of sharing ideas on what and how to grow & cook vegetables in Samoa. 

This last weekend of October it was Palolo is the edible portion of a worm that lives in shallow coral reefs throughout the south central Pacific. Once or twice a year (in October or November) about 7 days after the full moon, palolo swarm to the surface of the sea in great numbers. Samoans eagerly await this night and scoop up large amounts of this delicacy along the shoreline with hand nets.

This gift from the sea was traditionally greeted with necklaces made from the fragrant moso'oi flower and the night of the palolo remains a happy time of celebration. The rich taste of palolo is enjoyed raw or fried with butter, onions or eggs, or spread on toast.

And with October being over I assume in New Zealand you are starting up your gardens again. Here we are getting closer to arrival of the wet season and we start preparing for possible cyclones; cleaning up and tidying up gardens and other stuff that might become a hazard. And with only 2 more months’s left on my visa to stay in Samoa I slowly start to sort out my life again; deciding on what comes with me on the next journey. Unfortunately not this beautiful fruit basket like I saw at the Ag Show as I most likely have to share/leave it with the staff at customs.

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