As I said earlier – sometimes it is better to bend with the wind rather than fight against it. If you recall, we had little success trying to grow duckweed and water hyacinth. We had even worse luck when we found out that the tilapia were all male.
Then to cap it all, we had a huge setback. After planting a thousand or so moringa seedlings (the ones that were big enough to handle for transplanting) and tending them carefully, one by one – or should I say one hundred by one hundred – they died, through lack of proper root growth. No matter what we did, we could not save them.
To be quite honest, we were devastated. We went back over everything – the soil, the weather conditions, even the correct time for planting according to the lunar calendar – and the only sensible answer was that the seedlings were just too small, too weak and too stunted in the first place. In the back of my mind was the question re whether we had the proper growing conditions here, bearing in mind that moringa is a tropical/sub tropical plant. The nursery that we got them from was the only place in Spain that I knew, and although they had assured me that the plants would grow in our region, we obviously doubted their expertise with regard to the growing of moringa (their main line of business was stevia, which they are internationally known for). Our stevia was growing well – very well in fact. But the moringa…..
If you recall, in between sourcing moringa, stevia and avocados I also had trialled a small amount of goji berry plants. As you may be aware, goji berries are a really beneficial superfruit. We eat them regularly and they are particularly good when it comes to looking for something to snack on. To my surprise, the plants went berserk in the Spanish climate and I realised that we had quite a bit of spare land which I didn’t want to lay barren, and could use it for goji plants. So we took the plunge and ordered 800 goji berry plants from abroad which arrived surprisingly quickly. We used our time productively, and very soon, we had row upon row of young bushes surging ahead under the Spanish climate, which was warming up nicely. The young avocado trees had settled in well too and were beginning to look promising, until the most horrendous hailstorm the size of golf balls hit the whole plantation. It tore off many of the leaves on the trees, but all in all, everything seemed to survive, even though it all looked a bit battered.
Young avocado trees
So all was not lost, and at least we had some sort of plantation which would produce crops this year and get out trees and plants – minus moringa – well and truly established.
Then, as if someone had waved a magic wand, luck was to play a hand in the development of our eco project, with regard to the plants and fishes.
I will reveal all soon – it gets quite exciting!