Published Friday, September 18, 2020

Ferias are open!

By Victoria Torley

On Wednesday was feria day in Aguacate so I picked up a friend who has no car and off we went.

There are a lot of reasons to love ferias and fresh vegetables are one of the best. Today it was Portobello mushrooms and iceberg lettuce. Yes, I know there are very few vitamins in that wonderfully crunchy lettuce and I don’t care, darn it. I was raised on the lightly flavored crunchy stuff and from time to time I just have to have it. That with cherry tomatoes and cucumber from my garden, yum! I know who always brings it to the feria and he is my first stop because there are other people after that crunchy lettuce too.

Next stop? Flowers of course. Now that I realize I have the perfect spot for succulents I need to buy new succulents. Notice the word “need.” When you set out to make a garden spot, you will “need” new plants. Happily, Ginger agreed. Her “need” ran to a lovely purple peace flower and it will be beautiful anywhere she decides to plant it.

The truth is – and don’t tell Metric Man – I really don’t need any more plants. Except, of course, the succulents. Other than that, I am more in the “don’t buy that, I can give you plenty” stage of gardening.

Case in point. After the feria, Ginger and I stopped at a roadside vivero. It was the kind where, to garner a little more income, an older woman or couple decided to dig up some spare plants, harvest some seeds or some root cuttings and sell plants out of the front yard. I have to admit that this kind of initiative warms my heart. I love to stop and browse, and yes, I almost always buy something. Quite often, these little impromptu viveros have things that are unique to the local environment, which can be a real plus for the garden. Today, though, it was Ginger’s turn and she got some good ones. The Mexican hats will look terrific along the driveway.

Me? I lingered over a tall plant with bright orange flowers, but it was well-rooted, not potted, and not for sale. The seller was willing to have me take some seeds but I could see they weren’t ready yet. No matter, she lives nearby and promised to plant some of the seeds. Since I go by her yard at least once a week, I will be sure to stop in.

Just remember – not a word to Metric Man.

Plant for the Week

I really don’t have the perfect spot for herbs, but my friend Berta, at Las Delicias Restaurant in Nuevo Arenal absolutely does. Her family has worked discarded vegetable matter into the soil for years and it will grow anything. She also knows how to use her herbs to best advantage – nothing overwhelms the flavor of her means. Case in point, her thyme, it is sun-kissed and perfectly happy. Stop in sometime and sample just about anything. You’ll be back!

Editor's note: More information on this article or about gardening, Ms. Victoria Torley, gardener columnist, can be reached at