Through Jade's Eyes

This blog is about the fictional character, Jade del Cameron (www.suzannearruda.com), and the historical time period in which she lives.

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Location: www.suzannearruda.com, United States

I'm the author of the Jade del Cameron historical mystery series set in 1920's Africa. Lots of action, intrigue, mystery and a dash of romance. Follow me at www.twitter.com/SuzanneArruda *The audio link (view complete profile) is an interview by Baron Ron Herron (9/17/2009, Santa Barbara {CA} News-Press Radio, KZSB, AM 1290

Monday, September 01, 2008

MOROCCO: INTO THE ATLAS –PART 5: THE GARDENS

Any people who chose to live in the Atlas Mountains must not only be hardy and determined, but also clever. The mountain Berbers met all those criteria. As Jade saw in the 1920 adventure, The Serpent’s Daughter, the villages made good use of what limited resources the mountain gave them. Clay and rock fashioned the pise bricks for their houses, the mountain itself gave some windbreak, but most of all, the mountain gave them snow melt for water. And anywhere that the streams cut channels, there was a garden.

By necessity, the gardens then were limited to the land adjacent to these streams and rivers, and the homes were pushed up higher. But even some of the hillier ground found its way into gardens. Terraced land made more growing space for crops: grains, onions and other vegetables, silver olives, and date palms.

Crops were planted in rotation and often two crops were planted together, such as onions planted in the shade of the olive or palm trees.

Irrigation channels cut into the mountain or fashioned of hardened bricks (a cement in some modern villages) carried water from the stream’s upper reaches to the garden plots. The village kaid (a chieftain of sorts) knew which gardens were to be irrigated and when. So everyone’s land received its share of water in turn.

NEXT WEEK: FLOCKS.

Note: Monday Sept 8th blog will go up later in the day Monday as I’ll be spending the morning either flying back from the Kerry Town BookFest in Ann Arbor, MI or driving the three hours from the airport to home. But once I hug the hubby and the kitty, I’ll get on it. Thank you faithful readers for your patience and tell your friends about the blog and the books.

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter (available in paperback October, 2008). The fourth book The Leopard’s Prey, will be available in hardcover January 2009. For more information, visit the website: www.suzannearruda.com

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