Gary’s Blog: Getting the farm booted up

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February 12, 2015

From: Gary

Afternoon,

It’s been a few weeks.  We have been busy, and didn’t go to town, and didn’t have internet yet on Tami’s farmette…

But yesterday, we loaded the dogs in the truck, and drove the ten miles or so to town, and got a phone chip modem, and a couple of months of  ‘Latin Lightning’ speed internet….

It’s quite an adventure getting out to the road, low range 6 wheel drive, and keep your thumbs out of the steering wheel unless you want them broken….  The trip to the black top is about four miles, to get to a spot maybe less than two miles away as the Toucan flies…  And that’s perhaps a thousand feet higher…

From there, it’s perhaps six more miles of hilly mountain road to town, that’s curvy and lots of ups and downs… It would be a good road race run, but Whistler ain’t no sports car…

The town is small, but has plenty of stores, probably half run by Chinese folks, which makes them fun to visit…  interesting stuff, very business savvy people, and it’s entertaining to hear Spanish with a Chinese accent…

We bought oil for the truck, so I will be changing it soon. We also got 10 gauge wire so I could get the solar panels hooked up today, and enough food hopefully for a month…. We have been carving terraces in the garden with pick hoes in the cool mornings for a couple hours, and maybe have one sixth of the garden area done already…

The neighbor commented that I was a human bull dozer…  Not doing bad for a guy a little over a year from 60, a couple hours with a pick hoe every morning loosens you up pretty good, and the results are rather stunning… Its not like in a gym.  The membership is free, and having a garden is nicer than a gym bag…

Yesterday I got the little Harbor Freight shredder going, and today we mulched a pile after the pick hoe warm up this morning, I had to remove the bottom screen to get it to work with wet material, it did a good job, and we got several wheel barrel loads of compost, to use to fertilize with…

 I plan to use brush as fertilizer, and plant Manicillo (a type of legume like clover) in its place, so we will be digging up the brush clumps and using the mulch, and eventually have Manicillo so Tami can get a few sheep…

Tami is learning how to do agricultural terracing, for dry land crops, We will be planting things both on top of the terraces and their sloped sides..

I am hoping that at angle of incidence on the slope, that we can grow tomatoes and cucumbers without having to tie them up like the locals do, I think it’s a fungus issue, and by increasing the angle of the soil it should be drier..

 We had our first real rain since moving onto the land, it was very pleasant,raining at about 75 degrees…

I connected the solar panels this morning, we now have a couple hundred watts of solar, and four batteries, with a 2000 watt inverter, so basically we have minimal but free power, enough that Tami can run her sewing machines and kitchen equipment. We bought hard corn in town, and today we ground corn meal, and Tami is munching the last hunk of cornbread as I write… while looking in her bird book for the latest visitor to the kitchen window.

I also made corn meal mush for the dogs, with some cheap grated sardines paste in it for flavor and protein.  They seemed to like it….

Anyway, I am working towards my best garden ever, and I know probably the most important.  If I can get better results than the chemical people, I can start others switching to organic…

So its got to be a bit of a show garden…Which I think the terraces are a good start on… I think it will take about a year to come up to speed…

 

G

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