The Journey to Casa Madera – A pineapple! We finally have a pineapple!

February 24, 2013 – It is a muggy day today at Casa Madera Bed and Breakfast.  Warming up but a little cloudy which keeps the humidity up.  Normally by this time of day the sun has burned off any cloud cover and the day is bright, sunny and warm.  Its warm, now all we need is sun!  Being Vallarta, it will be here soon.

As I mentioned in the last post I seem to have writers block occasionally trying to come up with things to write.  I start to wonder if what is interesting to me is interesting to those who read my dissertations.  I have been assured by our friend Elaine that it is all interesting and unique so if that is the case here goes!

We have been trying to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables over the 4 years we have been in the house.  Most have been a total disaster.

The tomatoes we planted came up, bore two fruit and died.   The corn came up, grew to 2 and a half feet, sprung an ear the size of pea pod and died.  The list is longer but frankly it is depressing so I cannot remember all of the total failures.

However there was one item that grew like wildfire.  Watermelon.  We did not plant it.  It was planted by Oswaldo when he was working here.  The plant went crazy once it started to grow.  It spread out like it should and flowered like it should.  We know the flowers had insect traffic but the fruit never set.  It was then we found out that most of the watermelons you buy are hybrids and won’t actually finish fruit.  So as they too died we took them out and were once again fruitless.

And then there were pineapples.  We had been told that when you cut the top off of your pineapple just plant the top and it will grow.   So Heather did that with a few of the pineapples we bought.

The first one she planted took to ground well and started to grow almost immediately.  She diligently watered it and watched it grow wider and taller.  This inspired her to plant more.  However they were not as successful.  Some died or rotted in the ground.  Others grew but were not happy about it.

The original one was still growing and doing well but it was kind of lost in the front garden with the other plants that were overgrown and blocking its light and our view of it.  I had even forgotten it was there.

We have noted that others that we have planted in our yard are not as happy as the one in the front flower bed.  We are guessing it is getting the right amount of sun and shade whereas some of the others get maybe too much sun.

After all of the frustration of things we have planted today was a special day.  Today in our garden an actual pineapple has sprouted on top of our plant.  We knew they took two years to produce fruit and I am pretty sure that one has been in there for 3 years or more but my bet is that the plant is now happy that Ramon comes once a week and trims the plants, fertilizes and takes care of the garden.  Somehow I think that the fruit on our pineapple plant showing up 6 months after Ramon started here is not a coincidence.

Either way, it does not matter.  I am looking forward to putting a few slices of this on my plate one morning.  Not sure how long they take to mature but hopefully it won’t take too long because it will be hard to wait.

The good thing is they are so easy to start that we have 7 more plants growing across the street.

Our first little pineapple
Our first little pineapple

For more garden photos check out our photo albums on our facebook page.



The Journey to Casa Madera – The garden is a mess!

August 22, 2012  – It is the middle of rainy season here at Casa Madera Bed & Breakfast in Nuevo Vallarta.  It is sunny, hot and humid.  It is a typical summer’s day in the Bay of Banderas.

We may get rain tonight, we may not.  You really never know.  The potential is always there but it does not always arrive.

We like the rain.  It cools the air and makes everything green.  The plants grow with the rain, and I mean grow.  Some plants will put on a foot in a day or two just because of the water and the sun.  I have never seen plants grow like this, it is incredible.

The front of house before Ramon got here today

This does cause a bit of an issue for us as we have some green space.  At this time of year it is really green space.  Grass grows where none has been planted.  7 foot weeds shoot up while you are hanging laundry.  We cannot keep up with it.  So today we hired a gardener.

Yes, a gardener.  He came over yesterday to have a look and see what needed to be done.  Personally I think he wanted to cry but he said he would be here today at 8:00 AM.

At 8:00 AM Ramon was at the gate.  By 8:30 the hedge had been trimmed and plants that were growing in it were gone.  He cut, trimmed and cleaned until 2:00 PM.  The garden area looks amazing.  For the first time since we planted the pineapples a year ago we were able to see that they were actually growing.

Today after Ramon left

On Saturday he is coming to fertilize and apply weed killer to the areas where we would like to have grass.  Now I know what you are saying out there.  “Kevin, why are you not doing this yourself?” Quite frankly, I don’t have the time nor the energy to spend for the amount of time required to keep this garden looking good.

The front garden

The other problem is we have no idea as to what some of this stuff is that grows in our yard or how to care for it.  Is this a full sun plant, partial sun or shade?  Will it bear fruit?  What bug likes to eat it?  What is that black stuff growing on the palm tree?

The questions go on and on.  We try to ask at the Vivero’s (plant centers) but in a lot of cases we have not asked correctly or we have misunderstood the answers.  We are hopeful that this will clear all of this up for us.

A Gardener, I never thought we would have a gardener.