In order to get the best in the way of fresh fruit and vegetables on Pitcairn, it pays to develop a healthy garden. As I walked around the garden on our first day I was pleased to see fruit in abundance. There are two large mango trees that are over 80 years old. The fruit is so high that we have to wait until it drops to the ground before we can collect it. There are paw paw trees growing and a passion fruit vine. Surrounding the house and school grounds are numerous banana palms and coconut trees.
The soil in the existing vegetable garden looked to be in a poor depleted state and the few plants seemed to be struggling to survive. The only thing that was growing vigorously was the oxalis. A decision was made on the first day to establish a new vegetable garden in a different position. I began the job of digging the heavy hard soil. Carol Warren has the reputation of being an excellent gardener on the island so I went to ask her advice. Many of the islanders have a small garden near to their house but have extensive gardens up at the top of the island where there is better soil and some flat land.
I had a pleasant surprise when a few days later, I saw Steve Christian at the store. He asked if I would like a scoop of top soil from the top of the island delivered to my house for my new garden. It was a thoughtful gesture and I felt really happy. Within the day Dave Brown drove the loader up the hill to our house with a big scoop of nice rich soil. The soil is currently sitting in a pile while I clear the ground of weeds and prepare the foundation of our new garden.