Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Ridges of Grecia - Our Life in Costa Rica

There are many reasons why we chose to live in this house, but one of the main reasons is... the view.

In the words of many who live on the ridges of Grecia "It is to die for!".

Grecia has 5 ridges that lead to the top of the Poas volcano and they all have spectacular million dollar views of San Jose and the Central Valley.

Someday I will photograph views from all 5 ridges but today's post are the views from our ridge, San Luis. We are at about 4,300ft. Each day we awake to the beauty of Costa Rica. The next ridge over from ours is El Cajon where many expats live. The video today is the view from our patio over to that ridge.

You can see coffee for miles. The plant and animal life is abundant. The owner of our house grows 80 different varieties of roses which we can see if we look down from our patio.

It's a beautiful and peaceful existence. It's a great life and we Love it.

So thought i would share with you.

Have a great weekend everyone!

email subscribers can click the link above for video
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Friday, September 23, 2016

If it's Friday...then this must be the feria! - Our life in Costa Rica

Our weekly shopping for fruits and veggies is done at the feria (farmer's market) in Grecia.

Grecia has a very large open air market. It is open on Friday from noon - 9pm and Sat from 9-12.

In addition to a vast assortment of fruit and produce, the feria also has meat and fish, bread, delicious desserts, fresh juices, sodas (small eating establishments), plants, an aisle where you can buy shoes, clothing, household items and a cotton candy booth (algodón de azúcar) which I have tried a time or 2 (thumbs up).

After living here for 4 months, we have gotten much better at budgeting for food and estimating how much we need to buy. Our refrigerator is usually (over) stuffed with produce and fruit. Our biggest issue is that the fruit and produce doesn't last very long. We have thrown away a lot because we didn't eat it soon enough. 

We've been told that this is because of the different growing methods here in Costa Rica and the reduced use of pesticides. Also because all fruit is grown locally (it's in season) so it is ripe or very close to it when it is picked, unlike the US where it is picked long before it gets ripe and shipped in from other countries. That produce/fruit must be treated to last and also chemicals are applied to make it look pretty for resale.

We accept the trade off and are learning to buy less each week and we have also learned several methods on how to make the food we buy last longer once we get it home.

Growers in North America have responded to decades of pressure to grow bigger, heavier fruits and vegetables that are uniform in appearance. Customers want their produce all-year-round, even if it’s out of season, and they want to pay minimal price.

delicious Costa Rica tomatoes

Take tomatoes for example: Industrial tomatoes have been bred for yield, production, disease resistance. The growers are not paid for flavor — they are paid for yield. So the breeders have given them a lot of fruit but that doesn’t have any flavor.
Most supermarket tomatoes sold in North America share a genetic mutation that makes them all round, smooth, and deep scarlet red when ripe. 

Lavanson & Charles absolutely love this vendor. Sometimes they end up buying out all of her brownies!

There are 2 organic booths

there are about 4 aisles this size - it's huge!!!

We look forward to shopping each Friday. Tasting and learning about different fruits and veggies. You get a lot for your money!

It's also a good place for social gatherings.

We see a lot of expats there each week. Then we meet up @ Isabel's for "happy hour".

Have I told you lately....I LOVE my life!!!
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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Update/Revision - Is there a cure for cancer growing in my backyard? - the healing plants of Costa Rica

***Update for email subscribers***

The link may have been left out for the video - Our 1st Guanabana

please find the video here.

Thank you

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Is there a cure for cancer growing in my backyard? - The healing plants of Costa Rica

This is a post from my blog I'm Just Sayin dated May 7, 2013, on our stop in Antigua. It's interesting to look back because soursop aka guanábana is not allowed in the U.S but is very prevalent in the Caribbean. It grows here in Costa Rica and is available at the local feria. Most Costa Ricans are very aware of its healing powers.

Thought it made sense to re post here

So looking back...Here's the post

Is Soursop a cure for cancer?

Instead of swimming or snorkeling at one of Antigua's 366 beaches, we decided to take a tour that would give us a taste of the culture of the island.

One of the stops on the tour was to Rosemac's Herb Garden, located in the coastal village of Johnson's Point. The garden belongs to Rosalyn Simon. She lead us through her herb garden and shared her wealth of knowledge of each plant. We found her talk to be very informative. We learned about many herbal remedies (both culinary and medicinal) that have been used by the people of Antigua for centuries. From these herbs in her garden she creates her natural products to soothe and heal the body. We also had a chance to sample some of the fruits and teas. One such remedy which was discussed was soursop.

Soursop -- what's soursop? 
Soursop (Annona muricata) is a fruit mainly grown in tropical climates. It has many other names, including guanábana, graviola, anona, and sirsak. As a member of the Annona genus of flowering plants, its most recognizable relative for Americans is the pawpaw.
Soursop is a strange-looking fruit; imagine a Granny Smith apple crossed with a pineapple... on steroids. This should give you a mental image of the spiky fruit, which can weigh up to 15 pounds. Cutting open the green rind reveals a white pulp with a consistency similar to that of cooked fish, and rows of dark seeds.

we sampled the soursop
Soursop has been linked as a possible cure for cancer (and a way to prevent cancer) but it is not acknowledged as such here in the U.S. I won't go in to why I think this is being done, but suffice it to say, if you decide you want to use soursop you will not be able to walk into your local Whole Foods and ask for it. It is very difficult to get, however it grows wild in Antigua.

I am in no way endorsing soursop as a "cure" for cancer. If you are interested in learning more please listen to the video below. Then research and draw your own conclusions.

Rosemac's Herb Garden - Antigua West Indies from Devon on Vimeo.

Fast forward 3 years to 2016. We now live in Costa Rica where guanábana is quite common. As a matter of fact I think there is a tree right in our backyard.

We bought our 1st guanábana last week at the feria (the ones in our yard are not ripe). It was pretty big and cost $8.
The fruit, roots, leaves and bark are all used in natural treatments, however, the active ingredient, Acetogenin, is most concentrated in the leaves of the plant. (As I understand it, the fruit is for prevention and the leaves made into a tea are for treatment.)

Below is our video

Our 1st Guanabana from Devon on Vimeo
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