ON THE FARM: Squash on the way to Canada

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By Glen Ells

I was joking about the boring weather in Cuba with neighbours as we left home on Jan. 7. So far, there has been sun and no rain every day, but somehow, we can´t consider it boring. It would not be entirely true if I said that we miss the temperature swings of home.

The squash crop on the first field was exceptional. We planned on two containers and the are on the way to Canada now. The crop was a bit more than double and the rest has been sold to a distributor in the central part of Cuba. Tourists at Cayo Coco will be eating squash this year of the “sweet mama” variety. They should enjoy the flavour, which will be very different from the native “calabasa.” Someone told me three days ago that Cubans have acquired a taste for our squash and there will be no problem to dispose of our surplus crop.

On Saturday, we visited a medical school near Baracoa, which has nearly 10,000 students from over 120 countries on the campus. Friends in Kentville had asked me to meet their niece from Tonga there and we were pleased to find her.

We have noticed an increase in the number of small businesses being started here. Many are food-related and there is a wide choice of places to try out. We met one young man of 18 years that left university and has started retailing fruit and vegetables. He has rented a space next to a co-operative store and is doing a fine job from all appearances. His grandfather has a small farm and this grandson told him that he could sell whatever he grows for sale to the population.

Our next shipment of squash will not likely take place until early in February, so Leta and I will have to stay here and endure the sun until then. Somehow, we will manage.

Geographic location: Canada, Cuba, Baracoa Tonga

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