We Asked, You Acted !

From the blog Karen and Dave In Samoa

Posted April 1, 2011

When we first arrived in Samoa we realized that our vegan/vegetarian diets would not be possible in Samoa… immediately. We sent emails, asked for packages, made phone calls, and skype calls, all asking for seeds. We are still receiving seeds to this day, and it is absolutely wonderful.

Spicy Lettuce!

Our host family initially said that they were happy to give us some land to make our palagi garden.  Now they are thrilled and take and active role in its upkeep.

French Breakfast Raddish

Many, if not most of the things we are growing are not commonly found in the supermarkets in Apia, forget the local village stores. Our home garden has raised awareness of other vegetables in the village, prompted curiosity in farming/gardening by people of all ages, and served as an educational area for people to learn about gardening.

Corn… it doesn’t get any fresher than this !

Orange/Yellow Marigold! (Broccoli in the middle)

People have stopped in the road to peek through the trees, some come all the way in and ask questions, and others take a full hands on approach and help in the planting, transplanting, care, and harvesting. Most importantly of all, our daily meals are rich in vegetables and closer to the diet that we followed at home in the states.

Super beans invading out window!

We have had success right next to failure. We are not sure why, but certain areas of our garden are experiencing extremely slow growth and withered looking leaves by creepers. (pumpkin, squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber) Other parts of our garden are doing extremely well regarding these same plants. Perhaps there is something in the ground that we are not aware of.

Can you spot the 3 Roma Tomatoes?

Chives, Sage, Samoan Basil, (2 types) and Mint

However, overall our vegetables, thanks to your kindness, and people like you, are growing very well supplying food to our plates and educating the local society. Among our more uncommon vegetables is radish.

A gourd of sorts… not really sure what Karen planted here.
Sugar snap and Pole beans in the back!

In the states roughly everyone knows the little red bulbs that we find in salads. While ours grow to be a bit larger due to conditions and variety, they still taste roughly the same. When Samoan people see them growing they say “ WOW, I have never seen a red carrot before!” … ( usually in Samoan) Even when we tell them it is called latisi they still have no knowledge of the radish. Fair enough, many people do not like this slightly spicy tuber, but here there is an overall unawareness of it. It turns out that radish goes amazingly well in curry, be it Indian, Japanese, or Samoan. Yet, it is relatively unknown but grows extremely well here. Last week my students did especially well on their homework and tests. After reviewing the grades my pule/ principle said “Wow, thank you God”. I looked at him and said. “No, do not thank God. Thank the students for studying and thank the teachers for doing a good job teaching.” With that said {again} Karen and I are extremely happy and thankful for the seed donations and the food on our plates from friends like you. THANKS!!!


You can follow Karen’s  journey in Samoa through her blog Karen and Dave In Samoa