When I received my first carton of seeds from Mel Hansen last year I thought to myself that it was certainly a boon, however I lived in La Paz, La Paz in the Comayagua Valley whose name the invading Spaniards had first given it was Valle de Piedras (Valley of Rocks) for a reason. My first planting was plagued not only with the numerous rocks I had to dig out of the soil but with donated chickens that ran wild and ate all the canteloupes and watermelons (three watermelons miraculously survived and were duly consumed). We also harvested corn and beans. After we penned up the chickens someone this year donated a couple of rabbits. I planted anew but the cute, furry bunnies ate all the nascent squash plants except the one that you can see above in the rocky soil: I had to resort to fencing the poor thing in until we finally got rid of the rabbits. Our only other crop that has survived were the radishes that the nun planted in a washtub elevated on a 50-gallon drum above critters and kids. Kids; our most enduring obstacle. This is after all their home and one can’t be yelling at 2, 3 and 4-year-old kids for playing in the dirt amongst the plantings. As can be seen above I have cleared three new areas after considerable labor and have planted sun flowers, green beans, more radishes, carrots, onions and jalapeno peppers! Another large area not seen has a crop of corn planted. I continue to clear garden spots: Thank you Mel Hansen and the Stockton, California Rotary Club for the donated seeds!! Mel’s group donates seeds to Peace Corps Volunteers all over the world whose goal is to help native folk plant gardens and raise crops for healthy nutritious meals and better health. A worthy endeavor indeed. Happy Thanksgiving, Mel!!!