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In the 22nd episode of City Girl in the Jungle you will learn more about my food.  I show you my staples, which are watermelon, papaya, mangoes, and bananas.  And I also show you some more elaborate types of food I have been trying last week.

The soursap (graviola) shake is one of my favorites.  Try it if you have access to soursap.

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This is merely a short update from the exciting happenings in the jungle.   The top story revolves around the identification of the banana thief.

Also, you get to test you fruit knowledge.  Can you guess the names of these two fruits?

 

 

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Did you know that you are suppressing your immune system, aging more rapidly, increasing your risk of getting all sorts of degenerative diseases (heart disease, cancer, etc) by using regular white light in the evenings?

I didn’t.  But now I do.  And so, I decided to share my “new discovery” with you guys.  Ok, so maybe it isn’t really “my” discovery.  It is just something I recently found out about.   Some people have known about this for decades now.

In this video I tell you about melatonin, and how you can have a few hours more of melatonin flowing through your body each day, boosting your immune system, helping regenerate cells, acting as a potent antioxidant.

And this is probably something you can actually feel.  When I first eliminated all blue lights (including white light which also contains the blue spectrum) in the evening I started to get sleepy earlier and sleep longer.  Nowadays I sleep nine to ten hours each night!  This was inconceivable to me before.  And I also feel much more rested in the mornings.  My body feels more supple and relaxed.  I spontaneously feel a sense of wellbeing in my body.

 

 How do you know if there is blue in your light?

In school you probably learned that if you let light pass through a prism you will be able to see the spectrum.  But, then again, who has a prism laying around the house?

Image from Mark Tiele Westra showing how to make a spectrometer from a CD and a box.

Actually, you may not have a prism, but you most likely have an awesome diffraction grating.  Any CD’s around?  Those are perfect tools for evaluating what type of light you have around you.  All you need is a CD and a box.  You may also need some tape, something to cut with, and possibly some disposable razors (or anything with a good clean edge).

Mark Tiele Westra has created a wonderful site showing you how to make your own spectrometer out of a CD and a cardboard box.

This works really well, if your slit is done with some precision.  And you can easily see if there is any blue light coming from your light sources.  You can also test glasses and see if they let any of the blue lights pass.

 

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In this, the 19th episode of City Girl in the Jungle, you will find out what I am attempting to do about the outdoors mosquito population.

There is a number of things on can do to diminish the number of mosquitos:

-  Get rid of all containers and places that gather water,

-  Trim the vegetation so that you do not have heavy bushes right next to the house,

-  Plant naturally mosquito repelling plants such as lemongrass up wind from the house.

My attempt in this episode focuses on introducing natural enemies.  In this case it is the bat, a highly skilled mosquito hunter.  I have learned that a single bat can eat as many as 600 mosquitoes in one hour.  Imagine what a small bat population could do in one evening.

In the video you will see what my bat house looks like.  I found the plans online.  There are many interesting resources out there that tell you all about the important details of bat houses, how they should be built, where they should be placed depending on the climate etc…

In the video you will also see how Nils is trained to become a skilled indoors insect hunter…

 

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I have come back to my jungle, and decided it was time for an update.  In this episode I show you some of the fruits and plants I grow.  Among them are tomatoes.  In a humid tropical climate there are many fungus related diseases.  Unfortunately, my tomato plants have been affected.  And so I try to save them by using colloidal silver.  In this episode you will also see some other, practical things I grow.

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The time has come to say good-bye for a couple of months.  There are some things outside of the jungle that have been calling me and so I will leave.

Before leaving, however, I will show you some of the updates on the house inside.  There still is a lot of work to be done.  But I believe that you will find some improvements.  Take a look and judge for yourself.

While I will be gone there will be a nice lady staying there and taking care of everything.  Her name is Jairene.  She is a very creative person who makes her own furniture, her own clothes, and all sorts of decorations for the house.  She also rides a motorcycle, as you will see in the video.

The beginning of May is the time when cacao starts to mature here at the Cacao Coast, which is where I live.  And so I decided to show you what cacao flowers look like, how they become small cacao fruit, and what mature cacao fruit looks like.   My cacao is original cacao, and so its fruits are yellow when they mature.  But there are new hybrids that are resistant to certain diseases.  These can be red or purple.

You will also see how it is harvested and which parts of the cacao fruit you can eat.  I really love cacao fruit.  In Brazil you will also often find cacao fruit juice.  The beans are then fermented, dried and often roasted.  Just a few kilometers from my place there is a cacao roasting plant.  And so, when the wind blows just right my jungle becomes filled with a wonderful sweet chocolate smell.

Many well wishes.

 

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One upon a time there was a small, small building that housed thousands of beings.  They had established a whole ecosystem and were happily living side by side.  There were large termites that had build their houses out of earth.  There were tree termites that had constructed round abodes by the ceiling.  There were cockroaches, spiders, flies, mosquitoes, and many other unidentifiable creatures.  Along came frogs, and toads, and lizards, and bats.  And so they lived happily for years, until the human came.

The human, me, decided to take over the house and evict all of them.  They protested, and tried to come back, but in the end they found other places to live.

In the video I show you some of the transformation the house has undertaken over the last couple of months.

Also, I show you the first papaya from my little jungle.  It is more orange colored than most, and tastes wonderfully sweet and flowery.

In the end I challenge you to find something peculiar about the instructions to change fuses.

 

 

 

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I was recently made aware that one can employ some of our gut flora to work in the garden, improving the soil.  And so, in order to be able to grow some regular vegetables and leafy greens I have decided to try it out.

To start with, I got some lactobacillus from a health food store, and decided to see if I can grow it in coconut water.

I got some help from my friend Fabio.  Very swiftly, he climbed up a coconut tree and got me some fresh, young coconuts.  I then took out the coconut water and used it as the basis for my lactobacillus culture.

In the future I will report back to you, letting you know how the bacteria affect the soil and the plants.

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A couple of weeks ago I showed you how my friend Tyler did exercises for his eyes in order to improve his vision.   This got me thinking that vision training might be the only alternative for many who have very limited incomes.   A neighbor of mine, Ninha, a tiny but very cheerful lady of 65 with long black hair and a skip in her step,  had very poor vision and no financial resources to go to an eye doctor or buy glasses.  And so she decided to start doing the vision exercises.  Within a few weeks her vision improved dramatically.  She was so happy about it that she managed to save up enough money to take the bus into town and buy me a present.  She was so happy that she could give it to me.  I show it to you in the video.

At this time some of my favorite fruits are coming into season.  One of them is mangosteen, the queen of fruits.  I have planted a couple of mangosteen trees and should have some fruit within a couple of years.

Some day I hope to be able to grow the king of fruits as well, durian.  But it is not popular here and so it is difficult to find seeds.  Also, it takes many years before it starts bearing fruit.  But I suppose that would be worth the wait.

Another fruit that is in season now is custard apple.  The type I like the best is “fruta do conde”.  It is very sweet when ripe.

A third fruit that is in season is “Ingá”.

 

 

 

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In this episode I introduce you to some of the new baby fruit trees I have planted.  These include trees that give fruits like acerola, pitanga, star fruit, lychee, mangosteen, fig, avocado, and chocolate pudding fruit (brown sapote).

I even planted coca-cola trees!  These are trees that give the cola nuts that one can make cola beverages from.  I planted 20 of the cola trees, but the leaf cutting ants had a feast one night and left me with only two.

And so, now I am planting my trees with some plastic wrapped around the trunc, with grease on the plastic.  All to discourage the leaf-cutting ants to cut down my trees.  So far, one week into the expriment it seems to be working.  No new trees have been attacked.  We shall see how it will continue.

While working on all of this, I have run across a number of interesting and rather eccentric insects and other creatures.  All of these have been carefully documented for you.