Friday, January 16, 2009

A Trip to the Butcher Shop

Oriel's butcher shop is nothing more than a make-shift shack. We've been told that Ariel used to have a shop in Plymouth. He's made due with a piece of land that has a perfect view of the volcano. The land is surrounded by fences and pens that house chickens, and goats and pigs of all sizes. The goats are moved from area to area allowing them to clear the field while they fertilize it.

Oriel moves his gardens with each season managing to get the best of the soil while confusing the bug population. It seems to work. Today I am in search of vegetables, whatever he might have available. He ponders what might be hidden among the fields and apologizes for the lack of lettuce. Last week's ashing took a toll on some of his plants.

He is proud of the new young sprouts he planted to replace what he recently lost and is hopeful that the volcano's lack of activity will give the land a reprieve.

He manages to scrape together two small heads of lettuce for the price of one. He finds two cucumbers, and to my surprise, asks if we could use cauliflower. Cauliflower! This was a first; I had never seen cauliflower grown on island before. And with a proud smile he manages to find me two heads for the taking. What a treat!

"Do you have any eggplant?" I ask. His mind starts thinking as he scans the old plots from the last crop. He disappears into the weeds that have taken the land back and within a few minutes, reappears with a bag of small young eggplant. Cooking is so much easier when there is variety of vegetables to choose from.

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