Friday, April 18, 2008

What's Growing On

Here's the Yerba Buena, or Jhibbaweena, depending on how well tuned your ear is. When your husband has warm, rich accent with overtones of Antonio Banderas (or is it Antonio Banderas has an accent with overtones of my husband?), and the new word itself is unfamiliar, the ear can play tricks on you.

"I bought a great new'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'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


ilex said...

HA! Alas, I'm married to the whitest white boy for 5 surrounding Midwestern states, and the most exotic thing food-related thing he does is his annual "Taste of the Midwest" summer hotdog grill-off, highlighting the hotdog styles of various regional baseball ballparks. Sexy, si? Allow me to attempt the application of a Romance accent to this: "Pleeeze tr-r-ry dees delishussh Chicagoh-style haute-dawwg, my dahlr-l-l-ing". Mmm, yeaah.

Brenda Kula said...

Your top photo looks like my mint. Is it from the mint family? They all have that distinctive texture.

Robbyn said...

Lol Ibex...hey a kosher all beef dog sounds gooooooood :) My hubby's accent isnt noticeable except with some words. I LOVE when he says those words, though...I still have a really serious crush on the man (I've had it for years now and plan on it lasting the rest of our lives ) ;-)

Robbyn said...

Brenda, Yerba Buena is a type of mint indigenous to parts of North's very mild and pleasant :)

The Barber Bunch said...

Great Story. I love accents! I wish I could hear him!

It is good to see stuff growing and green!


Rhonda Jean said...

Hi Robbyn and Mr Robbyn, I thought I'd drop by to say hello. That mango seedling looks great. If it survives, it might be worth your while to buy a grafted mango and grow that. It should produce fruit within about three or four years.

We've grown fruit trees from seed here, but they do take a long time to fruit - like ten years. A lot of gardeners say it's not worth the effort, but I reckon that even if they don't fruit, you'll have a nice shade tree. Besides, gardening should be about experimentation to see what you can grow ... and it's fun to prove the naysayers wrong. ;- )

Maria said...

HEHE!! I can totally see you having this conversation with Antonio!

Robbyn said...

Hi Rhonda, we're honored you're stopping by! Thanks for the advice on the mangoes...we'll keep everyone posted if we have any success...we have another mango we bought from a grower that seems to still be going strong it its pot till we're where we can put it into the ground for keeps.

My husband said he is willing to sacrifice his anonymity for the sake of no longer being "Mr. Robbyn"...ha!...and so I'll be introducing him in an upcoming post. But for the sake of comments, World, meet Jack!

There...I'm sure he's feeling better about things already ;-)

Maria, yes, Antonio's a mere shadow of my past...I'm quite quite smitten with my hubby. But the delightfully ironic thing is that Antonio is the middle name his mom gave him...ha!

Twinville said...

I want to see 'Jack' dancing the Jhibbaweena!!!

How awesome that all of those little trees are growing, even some surprises, too! I can't wait to read future updates on their progress.