Saturday, 29 August 2015


This is the first of a series of articles about edible plants growing at Curaçao. The information for this articles is provided by Salomon Bomberg (Eco village SOL) and Carlos Leonora (Inge's husband).

Kalalu (organic or wild spinach)

The official name is Amaranthus dubius Mart ex Thell. In English it's 'spleen spinach' or 'Chinese spinach'. At Curaçao they call it kalalu (pronounce kah-lah-loo) and most people consider it a weed. Only a few know it's a high growing plant they can eat like spinach. It grows all over our land.

In the kitchen

In the past at Curaçao this 'weed' was eaten by the poor people. They mixed it with mashed potatoes or with 'funchi' (corn flour, like the Italian 'polenta'). If possible they prepared 'stoba' (stew) with some meat, onions, garlic, hot pepper and kalalu, to serve with the 'funchi'.

As a cure

Kalalu is also a medicinal herb. As a herb tea it helps calming asthma attacks, for both adults and children. The leaves and flowers are cooked in boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Then the tea is sieved through a cloth.
The cloth, wetted in kalalu tea, also can be used. Spots of eczema are treated with it. For some consecutive days these spots are packed in the wet cloth.

Feeding the chickens

Chickens love kalalu, so it was often used as chicken feed in the past. We started feeding it to our chickens and now experience the eggs are of better quality.

I never saw this plant with a disease, it's a strong plant. In spite of all advantages of kalalu, most supermarkets don't sell it.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Permaculture Curaçao: CuraDura project changes

Permaculture Curaçao: project changes 

CuraDura was presented as a starting project at the island of Curaçao. Now we have some reasons to change our direction. Following the principles of permaculture often leads to changes.

Permaculture at Curaçao 

The project (an eco camp site at Curaçao) is still something we look out for. But now it's more like something you see vaguely in the far distance. Before we can reach it, we have to follow the path that's right in front of us. What do we see there? Eco Village SOL! A project already taking shape (read more).

This project needs more attention. It's the first real Eco Village at Curaçao. Salomon and his voluntary helpers are doing their very best to apply permaculture's principles. But they are a very small minority. 

The challenges of Curaçao

Permaculture or organic farming isn't easy at this Caribbean island nowadays. Halfway the twentieth century almost all inhabitants started working for the oil refinery. Farmers left their land, smaller gardens were neglected, the old skills were (almost) forgotten. Then the situation changed again. Less workers were needed at the refinery. Many people left the island (most of them migrated to the Netherlands, easy with their Dutch passport). The politics of Curaçao changed their view to large scale tourism, like other Caribbean islands.

In general people at Curaçao don't know anymore about the rich possibilities of the soil under their feet. The use of certain trees, shrubs and herbs as food, medicine or material … only few people still remember. How to build a house of local materials, how to have a cool house without airco, how to use your own force, without being dependent of factories and stores, subsidies, etc.; this knowledge must still be somewhere, hidden in people's minds.

Discover that hidden treasure! 

This is the new direction of CuraDura: rediscovering that knowledge, finding the people who still remember and who can tell about it. Activating these people so they want to share their knowledge. CuraDura will provide the needed platform. First it's here at the internet. The next goal is to organise real life workshops.

No matter where you are: Curaçao, the Netherlands, or anywhere else. If you can add to the knowledge needed to apply the principles of permaculture at Curaçao … all you have to do is contact CuraDura. Together we'll figure out the best way to go on together.

More news: videos 

Not so long ago Roland contacted us. He is going to Curaçao soon. He and his Curaçaoan friend are very interested in permaculture. They want to support CuraDura. First thing they are going to do there is help Salomon at Eco Village SOL. Roland had a very nice plan: he will make videos! His videos of Eco Village SOL, and other subjects related to permaculture, will become part of this blog. Don't miss it: submit!