Where have we been?

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WOW, could it really have been so long since my last blog?! Rich and I had our first visitor, MY MUM, and there will be an entire blog or 2 devoted to her 10 day stay. But for now we figured we would get you up to speed on island life.

Unfortunately after thinning my zucchini some more, we decided to scrap the project and start again. We had blossom end rot, and some other deficiencies that probably stemmed from late fertilization, and not enough pest protection. I can’t wait to have the nets and organic pest control I ordered, that stuff is harder to find on the island than I thought it would be, while regular pesticides are seemingly everywhere. I was super sad about the zucchini because I tended to them so carefully, hand picking little caterpillars/worms/ and other pests off of them.

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But I couldn’t be happier than to have enjoyed the male squash blossoms on pizza, in pasta, stuffed and fried, man those were yummy and a beautiful splash of color in our meals.

My tomato plants are in full effect, the 4 original plants are blossoming everywhere and I’ve found a few fruits growing already! Of course I don’t remember which of the 20 or so varieties these 4 plants are but I am excited to find out as the tomatoes mature. We have another 3 tomato plants growing from a method I’ve wanted to try for some time. I put slices of local tomato in the dirt and let them sprout. Of  course we had a lot of sprouts pop up but this time I was selective and took the best 3 and transplanted them. The basil we were growing started to outgrow its container and nature helped us fix the problem. One windy night the basil in it’s glass container fell from the balcony, shattering on the tile below, roots intact and still in the shape of the glass pickle jar. I opened up some space in with the small tomato plants and replanted the basil, hoping the companion planting will yield good flavor results!

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I’ve been picking leaves off the Pak Choi which had reached mammoth proportions! I can’t believe I grew this beauty myself and that it hasn’t bolted! The other pak choi that was stunted from it’s place under the shade of zucchinis is now doing beautifully and growing into a hearty and beautiful plant! We’ve used the pak choi in a few different pasta and rice dishes so far as well as salads and every bite is pure heaven. It is rare to get hearty leafy greens here at the market or grocery store so growing them yourself is worth the wait, and now I can’t wait to get to germinating more now that I have a better feel for what they need. There are several other leafy greens planted in a shallow container, beautiful red leafed lettuce is definitely a stand out because of the color. I’m not quite sure yet what the other’s are since these seeds were a ‘salad mix’ but I should have a better idea once I taste them. The smallest one is looking like arugula, I’m keeping my fingers crossed.All of this makes me think of the term ‘Accidental Gardener’. I had always wanted to grow things, but as I’ve spoken about before, we didn’t have the space or conditions conducive to gardening/farming, and I definitely didn’t have the time or patience I do now. I feel such great pride in watching something change from seed to sprout to edible plant, the feeling of cultivating the thing that sustains you, watching the cycle of life as it consumes your hard work whether through mistakes, happenstance or nature running its course. I love the dedication and ritual involved, and of course I love the outcome, and so does Rich.

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Aside from spending time in our garden, we’ve been diving, I’ve been teaching PADI open water courses, setting up EFR & PADI Rescue Courses for this winter as well as a Divemaster course in January. We’ve also been working on the plans for our house, and my plans for returning to the US in November to attend DEMA and catch up on some work. We are so excited for DEMA because it will be when we get to step out as a new business for the first time as well as make arrangements for delivery of our rental gear, compressor, tanks, safety equipment and other necessities for us to open SALT Dive in early 2017. If you’d be interested in joining us we will be offering packages for multi-day/ multi-diver packages as well as PADI courses like Open Water, Advanced Diver, Rescue Diver. Special deal available for students interested in pursuing Professional dive training starting at any level. I can’t wait to get up and running in full effect, giving my students and divers the best shore diving experiences on the island.

We’ve also been fiddling around with the design of our logos for this website, for SALT and of course for the podcast that we’ve been procrastinating on. It’s terrible really because we have a lineup of guests already, and some recorded material, but there is a learning curve and for Richard it’s a totally new medium. Although I could be the voice of this blog and the podcast I really wanted to get him on the podcast more because he comes with his own views and perspective on what it’s like to live here. He has his own day to day activities, relaxing rituals, cooking tips and tricks which I would love for him to share more of with you all. But I promise we are working on it and hopefully will have something to release in time for the new year as well!

Can you believe how fast 2017 is coming up? Before I get ahead of myself, thank you all for subscribing, checking in, and taking the time to read our/my blog.

Follow us on Instagram & Twitter (we will be tweeting more from @SALTDominica come DEMA) and feel free to leave comments on blogs, photos, even share your tips and stories. We love hearing from you guys.

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And if you live in Dominica please reach out. We love how many people we’ve connected with through social media and this blog that live on the island and we’d love to get together and meet more people! Maybe we will host some kind of meet & greet before the end of the year… keep checking in to find out!Forever Salty,
KaylaPS If you like my bikini looks- click the picture to get the look!

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