Kiko, you tourist guide
Kiko plants tomatoes in an orchard in Menorca
Spring is coming and it´s time to plant seeds in the orchards. It has been a while I have wanted to grow some plants. Dita and Troglo say it is not easy because plants need to be looked after well and have to be watered every day. So they decided to help me.
This morning we will go to see how tomatoes are grown. I love tomato salad and have always wanted to make my own with tomatoes from my own garden. I will also plant eggplant, zucchini and peppers. Troglo says he does not run, so we start with a small piece of land to begin with.
We have reached a country house where they have plenty of room to grow vegetables. There is a large lemon tree in the courtyard. It is filled with lemons and Matthew and Rosa, who live there, have taken a few to make lemonade. How good this tasted, sweet and fresh!
Meanwhile, they tell us that every seed must be planted in its right time so it grows in a good climate. We are approaching an area of land that is well cleaned and turned. We put seeds in the furrows of the ground to grow radishes, spinach and carrots. We can make a good salad with of all of this.
Dita tells Matthew that she prefers lettuce. They explain that they have prepared seedbeds. Lettuce, tomatoes and eggplants are planted in very small pots before they are transplanted into the garden. They are not transplanted until they see the first leaves come out.
We have got some tomato seedlings and with our hands, we make a hole in the ground. Rosa has left us some gloves but I like to touch the earth with my hands. Covering the roots well and adding some water to it as well.
Plants are living beings and they need water and minerals from the earth to grow. Dita says she talks to the vegetables. She removes the weeds and sings softly to them so they grow strong and healthy.
Thomas and Mary have just arrived after a day at school in Mahon. They are Matthew and Rosa´s kids. They have a small orchard that they take good care of themselves. Their parents taught them how to work on land. Mary prefers flowers and aromatic plants. Rosemary smells good. She likes oregano which she puts on the pizzas before placing them in the oven and they are absolutely delicious.
Troglo is playing with a red ladybird that has black spots. Matthew explains that these creatures are good for the garden. If plants have viruses plague, such as aphid, they are eaten by them and this helps us to maintain the ecosystem without using insecticides or chemicals.
Close by, there are grazing horses approaching us curiously. The dry walls prevent them from reaching the orchards. If not they would eat everything! I approach one of them and see that they are very large and strong. The horses in Menorca get prepared to participate in the village festivals.
They tell us that when they pluck tomatoes, onions and peppers from the garden, they give them to their mother, who makes a typical Minorcan dish: the Oliagu. In it, It is made with vegetables and in it you can put toasted bread to soak it. Mary likes to pick figs and eat oliagu with figs. We have to try it someday! I will tell Troglo and Dita.
It´s been a while that Dita has not said anything. What is she looking at? Strawberries! There are some strawberry plants hanging in pots. They are very tiny and still green. They are spring strawberries which in Menorca do very well as it is a very good time of the year and the weather is good. Like this they can grow red and juicy.
We have to say goodbye which is a shame, because without realizing, the time has flown by and we still haven’t had time to pick green peppers and parsley and thyme to cook with.
On the way back to Club Kikoland, I tell Troglo and Dita about my plans. On the balcony in my room I will plant strawberries and tomatoes in a pot. Troglo thinks he will plant melons this summer. He loves them and like this he will have them very close to home.
Dita laughs at us but she also has an idea. At the entrance of her house she wants to plant aromatic plants so she always has them whenever she needs them. It will smell of basil, rosemary and mint all the time.
And you, what vegetables or kind of fruit do you prefer? You can also grow flowers or plants on the balcony so you can see them every day and you can sing a short song just like Dita did.