The Natural World – Edible and Useful Plants – Tenerife – Canary Islands.
September, one of my favorite months, slowly, but surely approaching autumn. The abundant sun becoming milder, but the persistent clouds are hanging around, not producing any rain, so the drought continues… Photos bellow – sunset, sunrise and moonrise.
This month is the month of rock pools :). Here in the north of the island, the rocky coastline is a perfect location for rock pool formations. These natural pools are popular among the locals and can be slightly crowded at the weekends and holidays, but the ones with difficult access, can be surprisingly quiet and empty. Empty of humans, but not of the wildlife, here you can find many fish and sea plant species, also crabs, octopus, shrimps, sea snails, slugs, urchins and more.
The islands are of course surrounded with plenty of sea water, but here in Tenerife we have an abundance of fresh water too, thanks to the mountains and the network of canals and tunnels, that are the veins of Tenerife. This is an important part of the island, that is interesting to explore, the canals are also used as walking paths, but many of the tunnels are now closed, due to the naturally occurring gas.
The trip to the Galería Piedra de Los Cochinos was an exiting pass time and a great example of the water networks. The only way to get there is through the tunnel, one of those few tunnels that are not dangerous to go to. The tunnel is dark, narrow and long, the total width of it is water, although not deep, only to about an ankle. At the end of the tunnel – spectacular views of the ravine and and a stream. The narrow path takes us to the “bath”, filled with crystal clear and cool mountain water, very refreshing :D. The sky is covered with dark green leaves of laurel forest trees, the smooth glossy surface of the leaves acts as a water repellent, perfectly evolved for humid conditions, that are frequent in this location.
Well, September no doubt is a fruit time, busy time collecting, conserving and eating :D. The type of fruits that are in season here are peaches, plums, yellow figs, cantaloupe melons, pepino dulce (Solanum muricatum) and of course the blackberries, so an exiting time for fruit lovers :).
Apart of fruits, the maize harvest is in full swing now, busy time drying and preparing for milling. We mill the maize at home and make gofio (toasted flour), that we use excessively for cooking, as the main ingredient for breakfast meal (cooked with water and/or milk, served with jam or honey and cinnamon) or as flavoring (due to toasting, gofio has strong, nutty flavor) and thickener for soups, stews, mash, also can be used to make deserts.
Now is a good time for Japanese long beans, this year trying out new variety that is not just long, but is red in color! A great addition to the seed collection :). Although this year, compared with last year, did not get a spectacular results, but was enough to eat and make seeds for the next season.
The prettiest visitors of the month – Vanessa butterfly and blue dragonfly.
Another month, another story, to be continued…