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Animal husbandry
Back to nature


Back to nature from the gec-ko

Paradise isn’t just for you and me. Nature abounds and shows up in the least expected places. Geckos and lizards not only sun on stones and scurry away on paths and trails but become houseguests hiding between shower curtains and spending evenings watching silently from the rafters. You really need to learn to be a good sharer.

In the garden I’ve had to deal with fire ants, white flies, aphids and cabbageworms as pesky as little insurgents and I’ve become my own little “Chemical Ali” following Franklyn’s natural remedies. (see page…) I’ll share, but enough is enough.

Then there is the nightly ritual of mosquito repelling with spray, lemon basil or vitamins. Anti-ant warfare is achieved with ground cinnamon. You’ll also have to learn to keep many of your dry goods in the freezer. Flour, pasta, biscuits and cookies become weevil fodder.

New Yorkers know about roaches, but one night early in my tenure I was freaked out by the size of the one that showed up in my living room. I caught it in a paper towel and told my horror story to one of the guys at work, he said, “ That’s just a water bug.” Although I’ve seen them very rarely since, I now just shoo the mout the door. They don’t travel in packs like the Manhattan variety.

Being from the Indiana outback I grew up accustomed to the sounds of the night and I love having them back in my life. Dogs barking, cats mating, roosters crowing and crickets fiddling throughout the night are welcome evening music that now just sings me to sleep. That's much better than the subway rattling below my 42nd street apartment or the all night sirens screaming up 10th avenue.

Birds attack my papayas and get to the guavas before I do, but the white egrets also do their long legged dance in my backyard and little finches eat sugar from a bowl on my terrace. I’ll take the tradeoffs any day.

Fruit rats and bats can be pests if you have an orchard going, but pick your fruit before it is fully ripe, move it inside, and you won’t be bothered much.

Once you’ve accepted that nature was here before you and appreciate that it is we who are definitely getting the better end of the deal, you’ll allow yourself to calm down and get with her rhythms. Let go of your control issues and learn to go with the flow. Mother Nature is the one you want to be behind in this Eco Friendly Caribbean Congo line.





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