"I bought a great new herb...it's like a mint! It tastes great and we can make some tea from it."
"Really, what is it?"
"Jhibbaweena? Are you sure that's what it's called?"
"Yes, two words. Jhyieer-bah. Buen-ah. Jhibbaweena." Or at least that how it sounded to my Romance-language-deficient ear. You have to hear this said with a sultry accent...it's just not the same otherwise. It may be Yerba Buena to some, but to me now, it'll always be Jhibbaweena...
It sounds like a type of dance.
It turns out Yerba Buena is a mint indigeneous to North America, and is mild and refreshing. Here is a pic of our Jhibbaweena plant.
Remember the little dead-looking sticks we ordered...the Western Soapberry tree starts, which are also indigenous to North American, and whose fruits we one day hope to use for soap, much like the fruits of the Soap-nut tree/Ritha? The stick are alive! Here's how they're leafing out...
And another of our exotic-to-us tree experiments, the one we got from Top Tropicals after researching trees with multiple uses. Our Moringa is quite tall (about four feet now, and has branch clusters (I'm sure there's a botanical name for it that I don't know yet) up and down the slim little trunk. It's doing quite nicely! Here's the bottom-most cluster...
And this is a surprise to us...we saved some mango seeds from store-bought mangoes and had stuck them down into some potting soil just to see if they might sprout. The nurseryman we spoke with was dubious about mango seeds sprouting...he'd never had success. Looks like ours liked the soil and warmth enough to sprout! We don't know whether they'll ever bear fruit, since they most likely were from hybrid trees. I don't know enough about that area of botany yet, but we'll hold on to these to see if there's a chance they might fruit someday. If they do, undoubtedly mangoes fresh from the tree will have an entirely different taste appeal than those in the stores picked prematurely for long-distance transport. Here are the three little seedlings, hidden under the wire. Wild animals sometimes like to experiment with the moist soil in those pots outside, and we've had a few things dislodged when a raccoon or other animal gets to digging for treasure. We've had better success in plant survival since J secures wire cages over the tops of the smaller plants long enough for them to get some size. In theory, we're hoping it might deter any curious deer from expanding their salad repertoire by nicking the new growth, too.
And here is Antonio dancing the Jhibbaweena.
Photo from http://www.pleasedancewithme.com/ClipArtLeadBanderasDimitrieMelamed.gif