Monday, February 11, 2008

The Food Fijians Grow For Themselves

Seen walking through Fijian Plantations

picture photograph image Walking through a Fijian Plantation: Seruvi walks past bananas 2008 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/ This narrow path is the only route across the island of Yaqeta. It meanders through family plantations. Every Fijian man is given a plot of land on which to grow food for his family. There are no fences or borders as one plot just merges into the next. Here are some of the things you might expect to find a Fijian family growing for food:
picture photograph image Walking through a Fijian Plantation: cooking bananas 2008 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/ Some bananas are for coking and some are for eating. These are the cooking variety.
picture photograph image Walking through a Fijian Plantation: coconut drier 2008 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/This is a coconut dryer. It is used to dry coconuts which are then sold to the mainland where it is manufactured to make soap and oils. The remaining shells are then used as firewood. If it is sunny it takes 6 days to dry the coconut in the drier.
picture photograph image Walking through a Fijian Plantation: yams 2008 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/Above is a bed where yams have recently been planted.
picture photograph image Walking through a Fijian Plantation: yams 2008 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/ Soon the foliage will grow to create a canopy over the yam bed.
picture photograph image Walking through a Fijian Plantation: bread fruit 2008 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/ This is a bread fruit. It is a staple food for the locals.
picture photograph image Walking through a Fijian Plantation: taro 2008 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/ This is a taro plant. When cooked, the leaves are something like spinach. Also referred to as palusami or rourou, when cooked with coconut milk it becomes one of my favorite Fijian dishes.
picture photograph image Walking through a Fijian Plantation: cassawa 2008 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/ This is cassawa.
picture photograph image Walking through a Fijian Plantation: cassawa 2008 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/ In the picture above you can see the cassawa at two different stages in its growth cycle.
picture photograph image Walking through a Fijian Plantation: cassawa 2008 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/ It is the root of a cassawa that is eaten. Once the root has been dug up, the branches are cut off and stuck back in the ground where they re-root because the soil is so fertile. Now that's what I call recycling!
picture photograph image Walking through a Fijian Plantation: cattle 2008 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/ It's not all vegetables on a Fijian plantation. On occasion you might stumble across cattle. They might not be as common as some of the plants, but they are still destined for the dinner table.

Other things you might see on a trip through a Fijian plantation include oranges, lemons, mango, pineapples and goats.




QUESTION OF THE DAY graphic copyright sam breach
?Have you ever visited a tropical plantation? How did it compare to a Fijian one?


Archives
2007 | Food Bank Volunteer Day by Bay Area Bloggers
2006 | Albion Cooks
2005 | In memory: Tomoe San Rafael

© 2008 Sam Breach
The Food Fijians Grow For Themselves

7 Comments:

  • At 10/2/08 22:10, Blogger Kitt said…

    Wow,lovely pics, and very informative! What great memories to have.

    I want a yam bed.

     
  • At 11/2/08 00:44, Blogger ChrisB said…

    Sam those photos are beautiful` seeing the bananas and bread fruit reminds me of my trip to the West Indies. How wonderful to be able to re-root so simply. I can see why you enjoy it there.

     
  • At 11/2/08 13:39, Anonymous enidd said…

    lovely, sam. enidd thinks she would like to explore fiji too.

     
  • At 11/2/08 13:48, Blogger Farmgirl Susan said…

    What a cool post, Sam. Especially so so since I'm sitting here with an ice/snow/thunderstorm going on outside. The entire farm is white. Wait, then maybe your post isn't actually that cool. . . ; )
    xo

     
  • At 12/2/08 13:00, Anonymous elarael said…

    This is a great post, showing local industry at the source (I use a lot of coconut oil products!) and where people without FoodLand supermarket's or Whole Foods get their food. I love it!

    I live in Hawaii and agricultural land is knocking heads with greedy developers and the whole issue of island sustainability is on the table. I point to England as great example of an island that has - or seems to have - retained it's balance of agriculture and developed land.

     
  • At 13/2/08 15:17, Blogger Eve Fox said…

    Great pics! I was particularly into the yams (who knew they had so much foliage!)

    I visited a banana plantation in Costa Rica several years ago. It did not stack up very favorably to your Fijian experience. For instance, the tour began by all of us being forced to step in a vat of herbicide/insecticide so that we would not carry in any bad bugs that would destroy the crop. Because it's a monoculture plantation, I guess the trees are very susceptible to that sort of thing. Inside we saw a lot of bananas growing and a lot of poor people harvesting them. The upside is that I've been buying organic fair trade bananas ever since!

     
  • At 25/2/08 09:26, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Just saw your post, it is so lovely, and you give a different perspective to what I see everyday. I didn't appreciate it/see the beauty, until I saw your pics.
    Here in Guyana, South America, we call Cassawa, Cassava.
    Thanx for reminding me to appreciate what I usually see.

     

Post a Comment

<< Home