Monthly Archives: January 2012

Chago/Mauka/Mirabilis expansa

Mauka is just one of several root and tuber crops that originate from the Andes – it was enjoyed by the Incas, and is a common ingredient of many dishes that are baked underground using hot stones. It is cultivated … Continue reading

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Ejotes/French beans/Phaseolus vulgaris

After abandoning the idea of an Indian origin, today experts agree on the American origin of beans. Both Virgil and Calumella did mention a Phaseolus, but they apparently meant a different legumen of the genus Dolichos, because beans were never … Continue reading

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Costa Rica: Pre-Columbian Ancient Stone Spheres

The ancient stone spheres of Costa Rica were made world-famous by the opening sequence of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” when a mockup of one of the mysterious relics nearly crushed Indiana Jones. The story of the spheres’ discovery began … Continue reading

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Achachairu/Achacha/Garcinia humilis

Here is another interesting exotic fruit from the Garcinias family. Its name is Garcinia humilis (Achacha) and has been cultivated for centuries in domestic orchards in the tropical Amazon Basin of Bolivia. The other name, Achachairu means a honey kiss … Continue reading

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Charichuelo fruit /Bumpy lemon /Garcinia madruno

Charichuelo, Garcinia madruno (not to be confused with Garcinia intermedia aka monkey fruit) is native to the Golfo Dulce region of Costa Rica, the Atlantic slope of Panama, and northern South America–Colombia and Ecuador through Venezuela to Guyana and Bolivia. … Continue reading

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The Yaguas: Indians of the Red Straw

Of all the indigenous tribes that inhabit the Peruvian Amazon, the Yaguas are perhaps the most characteristic tribe of the region. In fact, it was the Yaguas who gave the Amazon its name. According to legend when the Spaniards first … Continue reading

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Avellano chileno/ Chilean hazel/ Gevuina avellana

Also called Hardy Macadamia, Chile Nut, and in Spanish Avellano, this native of south Chile and Argentina, is extremely little cultivated or known in the northern hemisphere. The Chilean hazel was named in 1782. The name Gevuina (spelled in some … Continue reading

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Martin Luther King Day

Martin Luther King, Jr., (January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968) was born Michael Luther King, Jr., but later had his name changed to Martin. His grandfather began the family’s long tenure as pastors of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, serving … Continue reading

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…?/Chilean Avens/Geum quellyon

“Lady Stratheden” is yellow, “Mrs Bradshaw” is orange-red. Both are tidy border perennials with a long season of bloom. Geum quellyon, commonly called Scarlet avens. Chilean avens, or Grecian rose, is a perennial herb of the Rosaceae family, native to … Continue reading

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Today’s Personality: Jaime Escalante

Jaime Escalante was born in La Paz, Bolivia. While living in Bolivia he taught physics and mathematics for nine years. In 1964 he decided to move to the United States. To prepare, he began studying science and mathematics at University … Continue reading

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