Wednesday, March 10, 2004

The 2004 Adventure, February 29 to March 11, 2004, Aloe Vera Farm

We took a tour to a Aloe Vera farm. The parents of the current owner do the tours, she talks about Aloe Vera products, and he takes you out to the field. They are both past 80 years old, and to say they are "characters", is truly an understatement.

Acres of aloe vera plants. These are all in bloom. They plant them about 40 inches apart on center (both directions). If there is not enough rain, they water the fields by flooding them with water from the Rio Grande River. Many farmers do that here in the Rio Grande Valley.

Flower can be eaten, AFTER it has opened, not before. Hummingbirds can drink the nectar, but cannot get their little beaks into the flower.

Above are boxes of aloe stems, cut and ready for processing.

NOW, let see what this stuff really is all about, the INSIDE stuff:

Above, fillet of aloe, cutting away all the green outer layer of the plant to get to the middle. Below, they cut a small piece for all of us to feel and rub on our hands. It reminded me of jello, in a way, a slimy gelatin. They say it is loaded with protein, and all kinds of other things that are good for us. They drink it, make it into creams for healing and soothing, and they even make jelly out of it.

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