Vol.18  No. 514 Published Monday, May 14, 2018
Real Estate
About Us





Bender’s wife will be on trial for murder a fourth time

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Pérez Zeledón criminal court is about to set a date to start a new trial in the murder of American citizen John Felix Bender. He died Jan. 8 2010, at his mansion in Barú de Pérez Zeledón. The cause of the death was a gunshot to the head.

Last June 26, the Public Ministry confirmed that Anne Patton, Bender's wife and main suspect of the crime will face a new trial. Prosecutors again will try to prove that death of her husband Bender was a homicide and not a suicide. There still are unanswered questions about how his head wound took place.

Prosecutors have said that Patton killed her husband. However, the defense insists the death is a suicide. She was the only witness to his death.

Due to flaws in the investigation, evidence collection and the lack of consistency of witnesses in previous trials, the woman was acquitted two times and convicted once.

Now, the authorities want a fourth opportunity to prove that Bender's death was, in fact, a murder.

The couple arrived at the south of Costa Rica at the beginning of the last decade. Their fortune was around $110 million and they chose Barú de Pérez Zeledón to establish a wildlife refuge.

They built a luxurious house in a mountainous area and started their project.

However, Bender slowly became depressed, according to his wife in an interview provided to 48 Hours, a CBS show aired in 2013.

Several researchers of that program insisted that the foreigners had problems with the locals and that there were serious errors in the handling of the crime scene by the judicial police.

Fabio Oconitrillo, Patton's lawyer, described the matter as a mockery to local media last year.

"She has always faced all judicial processes," he said at the time.

After her last acquittal, Patton returned to the United States. Her lawyers here have been involved in judicial proceedings to obtain a collection of jewels that the couple brought to Costa Rica.

A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo
John Felix Bender and Anne Patton at an unknown date.

Customs officials have claimed the jewels are smuggled goods.

There also is a dispute over million in assets that the wife says a trusted adviser took.

The case has been the subject of international publicity, especially in the United States where multiple trials for the same crime are prohibited.

John Bender's case chronology.

Jan, 8, 2010: John Bender is found dead at home with a bullet in the head.

August 2013: Patton is acquitted for the murder of her husband.

May 2014: The woman is sentenced to 22 years in prison.

February 2015: Court of Appeals revokes the sentence and orders a new trial.

September 2015: In a third trial, the foreigner is again acquitted.

June 2017: Court of Appeals annuls the acquittal and orders a fourth trial.

May 2018: The Prosecutor's Office of Pérez Zeledón reported that it expects to set a date for a fourth trial.

Costa Rican satellite makes contact
with the country for the first time

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The first satellite launched by Costa Rican scientists flew over Costa Rica for the first time at 9:23 a.m. Friday and made contact with students and researchers at the mission control station in the Central Campus of the Technological Institute of Costa Rica in Cartago.

The first satellite from Costa Rica and Central America was released into orbit from the Japanese Kibo module of the International Space Station.

The first thing that the satellite transmitted was a self-diagnosis to let the anxious engineers who developed the project know that the antennas were deployed perfectly and that all systems operated correctly.

"The results were much better than expected since we were able to make contact with the first one and we obtained more transmission time than we expected in the previous calculations", said engineer Esteban Martínez, who is in charge of communications of the mission and a student at the Cartago-based university.

Marco Gómez, project director of the Space Systems Laboratory, said the satellite "will continue to orbit for six months around the Earth and will pass twice a day over Costa Rican territory." He added that in one pass it will compile the information from the remote station in San Carlos and on the second one, it will transmit the data to the mission control center in Cartago.

"We are witnessing a historic moment in Costa Rica: the operation of the first Central American satellite,” said Martínez.

“For the first time, we were able to contact a national satellite that is broadcasting from space. The milestone not only demonstrates the optimal functioning of the satellite, but also the quality of work of national scientists and engineers," he added.

The director explained that in the following days technicians will work on the calibration of the station on Earth so that the satellite will collect data from the sensors in San Carlos.

As of today, the device is only in space, in the same orbit as the Space Station, about 400 kilometers high.

Members of the Space Systems Laboratory of the university’s School of Electronics, students and researchers showed their excitement for what's been achieved.

A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo   
 The satellite was launched April 2.

In October 2017, the satellite was assembled in a clean room provided by the company MOOG Medical, in the El Coyol Free Zone, after months of work.

In November the device went to Japan along with Costa Rican engineers to carry out tests to guarantee that device would be able to withstand the extreme conditions of the space. The satellite is exposed at time to temperature changes of 80 degrees C in less than 90 minutes.

The launch was made April 2, aboard the Dragon spacecraft, powered by the Falcon 9 rocket, from the SpaceX corporation. After two days in space, the ship arrived at the space station and the Tico satellite was put on board.

Once the engineers contact the satellite, they instructed the onboard computer to carry out the self-diagnostic task. Afterward, they connected it with the remote station in San Carlos, where melina tree species growth data are being monitored in a special university plantation.

The information would contribute to determining the carbon fixation rate of the trees. The satellite will transmit this information to the communications station in Cartago with which the Irazú Project will verify the usefulness of the space technology to better monitor what happens in the Costa Rican forests.




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Vol.18  No.514 Published Monday,  May 14, 2018 Second news page
Real Estate
About Us

Country releases data of 4.5 million insects and plants

By AM Costa Rica staff

The National Museum of Costa Rica has released an online database so that the public can access taxonomic information and distribution of 4.5 million insects and plants.

The scientific information of the collections of arthropods and the National Herbarium will help the study of taxonomy, ecology and conservation of species and ecosystems in Costa Rica, Central America and part of South America, according to the head of the Natural History Department of the Museum, Cecilia Pineda.

The National Museum said in a statement that trying to standardize two completely different databases, one of insects and another of plants, involved a complex process.

"With this process, we tried to move more than 10.2 million records or data to a single computer program that was freely used, friendly and with enough support for a large amount of information required," said Pineda.

The research process, integrated by the departments of Natural History and Information Technology, said that the Specify platform was the one that allowed the technological hosting and support of the data.

A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo         
The National Museum is in charge of updating and safekeeping the information.

In 2015 the Museum assumed custody of the largest collection of biodiversity in Central America containing samples going back to 1887. Costa Rica, a small country of 4.7 million inhabitants, is home to around 5 percent of the world's biodiversity.

Replicas of the world's oldest
mummies are exhibited in Costa Rica

By AM Costa Rica staff

The Jade Museum of Costa Rica will exhibit until May 31, several replicas of the Chinchorro Mummies,  considered by some as the oldest in the world.

The exhibition "Chinchorro: A unique and exceptional historical testimony," has 20 artistic replicas, including three artificial mummies, two masks and material associated with the fishing activities of the Chinchorro culture.

The mummies are dated around 5,050 B.C. although their places of origin is unknown.  The mummies come from the Chinchorro culture, which developed mainly where the Chilean city of Arica n ow stands.

As explained by the Jade Museum, since 7,000 years ago, the archaeological sites of the Chinchorro cultural tradition are the unique and exceptional testimony of the oldest artificial mummification practice of humanity, in a context of maritime hunter-gatherers that express, of this way, its transcendence before death.

The archaeological sites and the natural landscape of the Chinchorro culture could potentially be part of the World Heritage of the U. N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

The exhibit aims to position the value of the Chinchorro culture in its application process, through exhibitions and conferences.

A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo         
These mummies come from the Arica region in Chile.

According to Costa Rican authorities, sharing experiences with archaeological sites declared world heritage of similar characteristics lets people here learn to value, preserve and protect an exceptional past for future generations.

The exhibition is the result of an alliance of the Jade Museum and the Embassy of Chile in Costa Rica, in order to provide international positioning to the nomination of the Chinchorro culture as a World Heritage Site.

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Vol.18  No.514 Published Monday, May 14, 2018 Third news page
Real Estate
About Us

Texas Tech University inaugurated its Costa Rica campus

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Texas Tech University has inaugurated its first campus outside the United States, and it is located in Escazú.

The university will start its first academic period in August with five majors in the offering.

They are electrical and industrial engineering, computer science, mathematics and restaurant and hotel management.

"We are very pleased to open the first international campus of Texas Tech University. This process has involved the diligence, hard work, and resources of many people in Costa Rica," said Lawrence Schovanec, president of Texas Tech University.

For his part, Jorge Sequeira, general director of the Coalition for Development Initiatives, said the organization advised Texas Tech in defining what careers would be taught in the country.

The campus is located on Avenida Escazú, and its authorities note the school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The campus has a capacity for approximately 1,300 students and will have a teaching faculty of professors coming from Lubbock, Texas, as well as national ones.

A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo      
Texas Tech University will combine American
and Costa Rican professors.

In the beginning, 50 students will be accepted per major. More than $10 million has been invested so far.

Garabito municipality asks for a
halt evictions taking place in Herradura

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Garabito mayor has requested the Civil and Agrarian Court in Puntarenas to halt the evictions ordered to take place from May 21 to 25. The mayor cited apparent violations of good faith principles and other legal inconsistencies.

Municipal authorities said that at least seven properties in Herradura are targeted for eviction, which would leave at least 70 families in homelessness. Those affected, in the opinion of the court, are not the property owners.

Last Monday and Tuesday neighbors in Herradura closed the roads with the intention of asking for help from the authorities. So far it is unknown if they will take similar measures in the following days.

The attempt of eviction also took place in 2005, when a group of approximately 250 demonstrators caused riots.

A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo      
Tobías Murillo, Mayor of the Garabito Canton.











Vol.18  No.514 Published Monday,   May 14, 2018 Fourth news page
Real Estate
About Us

Indigenous women seek to preserve their ancestral practices
By A.M. Costa Rica staff

Female leaders from the of Rey Curré community launched a cultural project called Farming our Roots, whose objective is to rescue ancestral practices in danger of extinction.

This project is a local initiative of the Cultural Association Cagrú Rójc Yímba Cájc that has the support of the Culture Directorate of the Ministry of Culture and Youth by providing workshops.

The Farming our Roots project in Rey Curré will offer workshops such as spinning cotton, dyeing yarns and weaving, the workshops will have no cost for those interested.

Other workshops such as learning the ancestral language, knowledge of local gastronomy, hearing oral tradition and the carving of masks will also be delivered in the long term.

The workshops will run throughout the year and each one is assigned to a local tutor, an expert in his or her field.

These courses are taught on Fridays and Saturdays, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., where more than a dozen adults, especially women, participate.

"We are currently learning to weave. They already showed us how cotton is spun, how it is dyed with natural dyes, how to weave the threads. Now we are going to weave, a process that is a bit complicated but very interesting, I feel very excited," said Margarita Rojas, a student.

Working cotton is one of the oldest and most important ancestral practices still preserved in the communities of Rey Curré and Boruca and includes aspects of the knowledge of nature and the alignment of planets and stars.

A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo       
Rey Curré is known for hosting their annual Danza de los Diablitos (Dance of little devils), a tradition depicting the colonization of the tribes by Spaniards.

"In addition to the practice as such, we reinforce other values that are already immersed in the process, such as respect for nature and its resources, always preserving the natural balance, something fundamental in our days," Rojas added.

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Vol.18 No.514 Published Monday,  May 14, 2018 Fifth news page
Real Estate
About Us

Bus crash victim dies during the weekend
and family prepares to sue the involved parties

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

Bryan José Alvarado, 29, one of the two injured in a crash between two buses that took place Thursday in La Uruca, died the next day.

As of now, the family of Alvarado is awaiting the results of the analysis carried out by the Judicial Investigation Organization to file a claim for the death, according to Daniel Vega, one of the family's lawyers handling the case.

The lawyer said he and Alvarado's friends are preparing a strong legal offensive. In addition, the relatives will request a financial compensation for the young man's death, but no amount has been provided.

The accident between the buses left more than 45 people injured.

After the accident, the Prosecutor's Office opened an investigation for the crime of neglect, although homicide could be added to potential charges.

A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo
Speeding is the probable cause of the accident,
according to traffic police.

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Vol.18 No.514
Published Monday,  May 14, 2018
Sixth news page
Real Estate
About Us

Man will face trial for robbery with a toy gun

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

A man will go to trial next week as a suspect of committing at least 10 robberies in commercial premises in Turrialba, in the province of Cartago.

The trial will start today at the Criminal Court of that canton. The allegation is that the suspect could have taken good with a value of up top $8,000

The man was arrested in July 2017very close to his home, thanks to a police operation after a small store was robbed.

The robber moved on a motorcycle and wore a black helmet. Once in the shops, he threatened the workers with a firearm, which was determined later to be a toy.

According to police, between June 2 and July 21, 2017, the same man committed 10 robberies mostly in supermarkets, stores and bakeries.

Apparently, most of the affected businesses are located in the center of Turrialba and areas such as Santa Rosa and Torre Luna.

At the time of the arrest, evidence that linked the current suspect to the judicial investigations was seized.

A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo          
A toy gun was enough to intimidate the victim's
of the robberies.

House - Apartments For Rent
(paid category)

Beautiful Fully Furnished Apartment for Rent

San Jose Central 2-1/2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment on the 4th floor, fully furnished American-style apartments with elevator in a secure building in Downtown San Jose, Costa Rico in Barrio Amon. Large balcony. Adult Bldg. Free Cable Tica cable with three flat screen televisions in the living room and both bedrooms. The 32” flat screen in the master bedrooms is a “smart” television which includes at no charge the thousands of movies of NETFLIX in English or Spanish of your choice, U-tube, Facebook, etc.. The apartment has very high speed internet and Wi-Fi with your own sub router in the living room, fully equipped large kitchen with microwave, toaster oven, coffee maker, lots of utensils. Water included. Free laundry rooms on all floors. Convenient to Parque Morazon, 100 mts. North of downtown Holiday Inn, other hotels, restaurants, casinos, city government, National Registry. For a single individual it is $650 per month plus electric only. 1/2 mo. security deposit No lease is necessary.

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Our web page palmarescostarica.us

Code 9374-061118

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Real Estate For Sale
(paid category)


Beautiful Balinese Style House
Price $299,000


Beautiful villa of 120m2 with pool overlooking the sea and the valley of 5400m2. Magnificent house with charm in wood and refined marquetry, furnished, very beautiful Balinese style. With its two very spacious bedrooms and bathrooms, plus a mezzanine also very spacious that can accommodate another room and / or an office. A living-dining room with its American kitchen and its large wooden terrace of 70 m2, overlooking the pool and the green and tropical valley of 180 degrees, which ends with a view of the sea. To these is added a beautiful garden of 5400 m2 of tropical trees and decorated with Indonesian imported stone elements. Ideally located in terms of calm and serenity of the place. Finally, being in this heavenly environment, the property is less than 15 minutes from beaches and shops.

More information here

Contact Us:
Email: mariogendron93@yahoo.ca
CR cellphone: (506) 8360-6620

Visit Our Contact Page http://www.palmaspacifica.com/


Colinas Del Sol


Fenced Gated Parcels for Sale
* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project in a quiet area. * There are 88 clear titled parcels. * Mountain areas with great views.
* Gently sloping level areas ideal for hobby farms, gardening, fruit trees. * Quiet place to get away from the busy city and beach crowds. * All lots have gravel roads to them, water and electricity at each. * Parcels are 5,000 sq. meters or larger, starting at only $50,000 USD * Located in Libertad, Guanacaste, northwest Pacific area of Costa Rica. * 20 minutes to the Liberia International Airport * 15 minutes to the Pacific Beaches * 10 minutes to Medical Facilities * 25 minutes to the Liberia Hospital * 5 minutes to Vista Ridge Golf Club

In Costa Rica, Jeffrey Sandi Murray: jsandimurray@colinasdelsolcr.com
In the USA and Canada contact Jim Day: jimday50@aol.com or call +517-484-3675
For more information: www.colinasdelsolcr.com
Code: 9342-090318

NALU Eco Development


14 titled lots from $21,999, lot/house combos from $68,720 Walk to the beach (800 meters), Gated with onsite caretaker. Communal Organic Gardens. No time limit to build. 2 hours from San Jose, halfway between Jaco and Manuel Antonio at Playa Palma. All services and new hospital just 5 minutes away. Absentee owner friendly. Great vacation rental potential, we can manage for you! Owner Financing Available !

More information click here
USA Toll Free 1 866 833 4005
CR Cell 011(506) 8718-9891


Vista Verde Del Mar
(Green View of the Sea)

* 4.4 hectares / 10.91 acres.
* All roads on property are complete on solid, original ground...
no "fill" areas.
* Four private 2+ acre parcels available within a ten acre property.
* 12 minutes to the Quepos airport or Quepos Hospital.
* 17 minutes to the new Marina Pez Vela in Quepos.
* Unsurpassed 360 degree vistas of ocean and mountains.
* All legal work to convey clean / clear / legal title is complete.
* NO PRE-SALE glitches, ready to build on !
* Price to sell $299,000 Brokers Protected.

Mike Michael email: mikemichael@bellsouth.net
U.S.A. phone: 770-310-1351
More information Click Here
Code: 9350-050419


Brand new Casa Palmera
Reduced from $389,000 to $349,000

This exquisite home is located within the EXCLUSIVE gated community. Casa Palmeras has 3 bedrooms with 3 bathrooms, large BBQ area and a spectacular pool over 12m long. The gated community offers the perfect location for home buyers who are seeking true relaxation and peace, also offers 2 tennis courts, miles of hiking trails through primary and secondary rain forest, serenity and privacy! Casa Palmeras is a 5-minute drive from the town of Quepos and the new Marina and just short drive to Manuel Antonio Park and beach. More information here http://palmaspacifica.com/home-for-sale/by-owner-casa-pacifica-3br-2ba/

7 Apartments for Sale
Price reduced to $289,000 USD

7 Apt Building For Sale By Owner- * 2000 m2 of property with room for additional apartment construction in the future. * GREAT INCOME POTENTIAL $25K- 540K yearly income potential with live in caretaker! *7 furnished studio apartments with sunny and bright open sliding window doors. Minutes from Quepos and the new Marina and a short drive from Manuel Antonio National Park and beach. More information here http://palmaspacifica.com/home-for-sale/7-apt-building-for-sale-by-owner-299000

Casa Palmera II
Price $299,000

Located within the EXCLUSIVE community , it has 3 bedrooms with 2 bathrooms, situated on a 50,000 sq ft lot with large BBQ area, private pool and a huge backyard, ideal for pet owners. It is a 5- minute drive from the town of Quepos and the Marina and a short drive to Manuel Antonio Park and beach.The community offers 2 tennis courts , miles of hiking trails through primary and secondary rain-forest, serenity and privacy!
More information here

Contact Us:
Local Office Phone (506) 2777-3339
Phone Rentals: 1-800-381 3770
Real Estate: 1-800-346 9724
Email: richard@manuelantonioestates.com
Visit Our Contact Page http://www.palmaspacifica.com/


Casa Bella Vista


Looking for a special property with amazing views? This is it! 2 Houses (main and guest), in ground pool, 3 acres (almost 100% usable) with Panoramic Ocean Views. 7 minutes off the coastal highway. 10 minutes from the beach (Playa Bejuco & Esterillos) 2 hours from San Jose. Furnished and turnkey. Must see to appreciate the view. Brokers Welcome $399,000 More information click here http://www.richcoastrealty.com/958-ocean-view

USA Toll Free 1 866 833 4005
CR Cell 011-506-8718-9891

Business For Sale
(paid category)

For Sale Versatile 2 Floors Building
in La Sabana


Completely remodeled building. 14 areas for residence and/or offices, call center, upscale storage. Transportation within 50 meters, commuter train, buses and taxis. In La Sabana, San Jose. School, park, gymnasium, tennis club and National soccer stadium walking distance. 24-hour security, many restaurants, clubs and social facilities nearby. Approximately 323 meter construction. Asking $295,000.
Contact Jim Holley
E-Mail: jimmy6902001@yahoo.com
Local CR phone: (506) 8912-5651

44 Lots For Sale In Gated Community Playa Avellana, Tamarindo, Guanacaste


Condominio Monte Donato II, is an unpretentious gated community, offering 44 lots at very accessible prices starting at only $19.995 and a monthly HOA fee of $28.

Located near Playa Avellanas and Hacienda Pinilla, at 3 miles from the beach. The project is located in a very quiet rural area. You will only hear sounds of birds and monkeys. Playa Avellanas is one of the most beautiful beaches of Costa Rica and a Surfer’s paradise.

Common areas: Swimming pool, Rancho, shower, restroom, soccer field, play ground. Water: The project has its own well and a 13,200 Gallon storage tank. Security: Guard lives on the premises. Perimeter enclosure. Construction: No zoning plan. You can build when you want, what you want! Lot Sizes around 250m2 / 2700 sq. ft. For detailed information www.montedonato2.com/index

Cell: (506) 8479-2384 - US Toll-Free: 1-888-263-2631

-English spoken
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- On parle français
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Three Cabins For Sale


In La Fortuna San Carlos. Price $145,000 USD
Three cabins for sale fully furnished with AC, hot water, micro waves, refrigerators, flat screen TV. three years old.Lot is 22 meters by 49 meters. fenced and gated with private drive.Fish and shrimp pond on property with several tropical plants as well as several fruit trees.Room for more new construction house or cabins. This property is in the country but close to Fortuna central.Cabins advertised on AirBnB. Good income property.
Call Harry +(506) 8682-9219


Sport Fishing Boat, Tours and Real Estate Business For Sale


Sport Fishing boat and charters, Tours and a Real Estate Business for sale. Retiring from 15+ yr old businesses in the Flamingo / Potrero area in Guanacaste. I will make it a great opportunity to the right party. Las Brisas Fishing Charters and Capt. Tom's Tours are on Tripadvisor. Also check www.casitaoasis.com. $75k
Call Capt. Tom USA phone: 1 800 360-9084
CR phone: (506) 2654-7070
Email: capttom@casitaoasis.com
Code: 9328-04/15/18

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Vol.18 No.514 Published Monday, May 14, 2018 Seventh news page
Real Estate
About Us

Almost there.....


Well, the greenhouse is done (okay, all except for windows which are going in this week) and my plants are extremely happy. In fact, the orchids are so happy that the Cattleya that I purchased from the orchid show is budding! Now, however, I am hearing cautionary tales from just about every gardener I meet.

From my friend Mike: Be careful! My greenhouse is in the sun all day long and I thought I had enough windows up high to let the heat out. I had to take off one of the four sides and it still gets too hot in there! My plants are fried!

From vivero owner Luz: Be careful! Make sure you have shade cloth on the top or it will get too hot. Be sure that it is humid.

Okay, okay, I am taking you seriously. Today I put up shade cloth strips so that the plants get alternating sun/shade during the day and I have a roll-down shade cloth curtain over the windows that face the sun. For extra humidity when the day is going to be really hot, I spray down the pebble floor and let the water evaporate slowly. Oh, and I spray for bugs and fungus at least once every week. I think I am covered. Well, I hope I am covered.

First, my greenhouse is not in full sun all day. The greenhouse is attached to the north side of the house and, although it gets a full dose of morning sun, it is shaded from about noon on. My biggest concern is not overheating the area but keeping the heat high enough at night so that the orchids like the Cattleya will be happy. I had Phalaenopsis orchids and they all let me know that they weren’t warm enough…. I gave them to a friend who has an enclosed deck about 6 months ago and they all bloomed for her. Now I need to find some more and see if they will appreciate the work that I did for them. Let’s hope so.

Naturally, since the greenhouse isn’t full of orchids yet, I am starting other things in there. Okra for example. No I don’t like okra but I have friends who do and they are waiting patiently for the little plants to grow. Tomatoes are another start and our friend Jim is hoping we can start some “Big Boy” tomatoes for him once he gets the seeds. Brussel sprouts, broccoli, kale, I am willing to start just about anything for my friends if they have the seeds.

What kind of seeds do you want me to start?

Plant for the Week

Victoria Torley photo      

The Cattleya dowiana is a lovely orchid and the reason I built a greenhouse (Metric Man calls it a “green mansion” due to its size). Cattleya orchids are actually easy to grow if you have the right space. They like temperatures above 70 and are not crazy about a lot of rain although I have seen them grown outside near Dominical.

Editor's note:
Victoria Torley, gardener columnist,
can be reached at victoriatorley1@gmail.com