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A young coconut palm just off the third floor of my extended family’s hotel

I just got back from a hot sunny vacation in the Philippines. It was wonderful to say the least but I am also thrilled to be back in the land of fresh salads! Self perpetuating greens are coming up all over my yard and the timing couldn’t be better for this salad deprived traveler. My sister in-law a native “Pinoy” was relaying a story of her first visit to Canada, perhaps comparable to my first visit to the Philippines…she thought we were all crazy for eating plates of uncooked vegetables aka green salads, just as crazy as I thought it was going to a super market without a vegetable section. It’s uncommon for local Philippino people to eat raw vegetables and it’s also nearly impossible to find salad quality produce outside of the overpriced tourist places, come to think of it in my other international travels I don’t recall seeing many “local” raw vegetable dishes on the menu? Are salad eaters a Western cultural phenomenon? I did get my fair share of the most amazing fresh champagne mangos though, the Philippine national fruit to be accurate. Palm trees seem to grow like weeds all over the Philippine country sides and city scapes; in people’s yards, on vacant lots, along the side of the high way all laden with fruits, sort of like invasive black berry around here and just like home where the neighbours ignore their beautiful English walnut tree while it drops its pods every fall, to be snatched by squirrels or raked into the green bin, so too are the Philippine dates left on the palms as bird food. Cultural similarities and differences aside, it is good to be back home and just in time to head into the main growing season, I can’t wait to start filling my kitchen window sill with this years seedlings.

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