Saturday, July 05, 2014

Growing nopales

I finally have nopales!  For the longest time nothing happened with the nopal pads that I planted.  I knew they had roots because they were attached to the soil but nothing was growing.  Then in May, new pads started to grow.  I was not sure if I was supposed to cut some or if I needed to let it grow.  I have cut only a couple of pads and I had not cut anything from the plant that is on the ground.  I am extremely happy to have the opportunity to eat a fresh, free nopal from my garden.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Growing Chaya Plants

I started growing chaya in October of 2006. Lisa, a very nice and generous gardener gave me cuttings of two varieties of chaya.  I was excited to plant them in my garden since chaya was widely used in Mexico, the country where I was born.

I planted both cuttings directly on the ground, in what used to be my vegetable garden.  Back then, I had mainly plants with flowers to attract butterflies and hummingbirds and vegetables.

These were the chaya plants after only one year in the ground.


I do not use commercial pesticides in my garden and I use organic fertilizer.  I compost so I am able to use it in my garden.

I am working on my new website where I sell cuttings and chaya plants.  It is

I am going to post instructions with photos on how to grow chaya.

Venta de estacas de chaya en mi nuevo sitio de internet:

Tambien estoy vendiendo te de chaya que he hecho con hojas secas de la chaya.  Mucha gente la busca para tratar de controlar la diabetes.  Yo no la he usado en forma medicinal, solo como alimento pero si la gente desea tratar, pues me da gusto ponerla al alcance de la gente que la busca.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Dried chaya leaves for tea

I have been selling cuttings of Chaya plants and people have been asking me if I also sell chaya powder or dried chaya leaves for tea.  It is time consuming to pick the leaves, wash them, and then dry them so I do not know if I am going to have enough time to do it regularly.  For now, I am selling some on Ebay.

I also have Chaya cuttings and Chaya plants for sale.


Ultimamente, he estado vendiendo plantas de Chaya y la gente me ha preguntado si tambien tengo a la venta hojas de Chaya para te o las hojas en polvo.  Me toma mucho tiempo el escoger las hojas, lavarlas, y despues secarlas pero al fin lo hice.  Por el momento, estoy vendido unas hojas para te en Ebay:

Tambien tengo plantas de Chaya a la venta.

I gallon bag of Chaya leaves for sale. They are dried and could be used for tea or to put on smoothies.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Cotton and chaya

I got some goodies from the garden!  Chaya, of course, pigeon peas and cotton.  I have been saving the cotton from previous years and I think I have enough for one pillow. 
Beautiful Sunshine keeps me company in the garden.

Finger bananas

Pigeon Peas and Chaya

Some of the small chaya plants. The original 2 plants I had did not have little thorns but some of the new plants have little hair on the stems and it hurts if you touch it. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Growing Nopales in the USA

One of my favorite vegetable is Nopal, or cactus pads, like they are known in the USA.  They are very common in Mexico City, where I grew up and I used to eat them every week.  My favorite nopal dish is one where they are cut in pieces, boiled and then used in a salad with tomatoes, onions, cilantro and oil,vinegar and spices.  This salad is sold at the market and it is delicious.

I rarely eat nopales here in Florida because you can only find them at Mexican groceries and there are not many near my home.  Well, the other day I offered to spay a female cat that a family was feeding.  When I returned the cat to them, I asked them if the plant they had in the front was a nopal that you could eat.  The mom said yes so I asked her if I could have some pads to cook.  She gave me a dozen and I happily cooked half of them.  Then I started thinking how great it would be if I could have a plant in my garden and I could just go and cut some whenever I wanted to.  I researched how to grow them and the info on the net said it was easy, just to let them form a dry "scab" on the place where they had been cut from the plant and after a week, put them in some sandy soil.  They said not to overwater them and to place them upright.  I did it and today I saw that they had roots!!!.  I planted two in the garden and I am keeping one in a pot just in case something happen to the other ones.

Usually nopales have a lot of thorns but this variety had only small ones.  I do use gloves when handling this ones because I do not want to end up with little thorns in my hands.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Another reason to plant lots of chaya and other flowering plants.  The bees need lots of flowers to stay healthy and we need bees if we want to continue to eat vegetables.

A wonderful talk by Marla Spivak:

Marla Spivak researches bees’ behavior and biology in an effort to preserve this threatened, but ecologically essential, insect.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Peackocs and other wildlife in the garden

When I started the garden, I made sure to put plants that were hosts to butterflies and that attracted birds. I never imagined that one day I would have all kinds of wildlife visiting us. There are butterflies, birds, the pair of doves that make their nest here year after year, raccoons, opossums, armadillos, cats and now there are 3 peacocks. These peacocks roam the neighborhood and they go from section to section and stay there for a few weeks.  They have been in our block for 3 weeks and they mostly hang around my garden because I have more plants (and weeds) than the rest of the neighbors. Unfortunately, the peacocks ate most of the Monarch caterpillars so we won't have many butterflies this month. We were able to rescue some and we are keeping them indoors until they hatch.