May 3, 2015
I took the bus to Boquete again to meet another friend vacationing in Panama. I stopped on the way in Bugaba to do what I thought was the final process in getting my truck license plate. But NOOOOOOOOO. I had been told by the gals at the Municipality in Rio Sereno that I needed to go back to Bugaba to get the month sticker that you stick on the lower right corner of your license plate (like in the US). The gal at the Municipality in Bugaba says that I need to go back to Rio Sereno, that that is where I need to get that sticker. Heavy sigh……will this ever end???? Wouldn’t it be crazy if five years from now I am still being bounced from one office to another still in search of my monthly sticker for my Panama truck license plate!
This time I traveled to Boquete to meet my friend Beth Pool. Beth is from Cottage Grove, Oregon and she was vacationing with her two grown daughters and one daughter’s partner. She and her husband Richard (both retired teachers) have a permaculture farm of 4 acres. I have attended some of Beth’s food preservation classes. She is a born teacher. Beth told me about wwoof.net (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). Last growing season Beth was able to find 14 folks who wanted to learn permaculture and were willing to trade their labor for food and accommodation and for learning permaculture skills,. This is a wonderful concept and I am glad that there is such a website dedicated to matching up hosts and students globally. Beth said that she and Richard were able to accomplish so much more than they would have if it had just been the two of them working the land. This is the concept I have for my land. I know that Gary and I are limited by how long it takes us to get everything done that needs to. Beth said that most of the folks that applied to work their farm were actually city folks who had a thirst for knowledge and wanted a different life experience. Beth has worked tirelessly and cheerfully….volunteering in so many groups. She wants to help make Cottage Grove a better place to live and I know she has made a big difference there.
It sure is nice having friends come to town. I am feeling lucky that I have such great folks in my life. Now that I am fairly isolated and remote, it makes me appreciate people from home even more. We both had a lot of catching up to do. Beth treated me to a nice dinner at an upscale seafood restaurant in Boquete. What pleasant evening! Since I don’t have refrigeration on the farm as yet, any seafood I eat generally comes out of a can.
Well Gary is back in the U.S. for three weeks. Paul invited him on a 7 day cruise to Vancouver! This will be Gary’s first cruise. After the cruise, Paul would like Gary to meet folks that he has made connections with to discuss Gary’s unique designs for food driers, aqua culture tanks etc. and the business opportunities that could develop from Gary’s unique vision and Paul’s desire to invest in something that aligns with his need to give back. Both Paul and Gary have wanted make a difference in the world for a long time. This may be their chance to do just that. . It could be a very exciting opportunity to be able to change the dynamics here in our village and maybe even further a field. I will let Gary fill you in with more details when he is able to.
I am maintaining the garden alone until then. It has rained for a couple of hours almost every day and a lot of the seeds are sprouting but so are the weeds! I spent 4 hours pulling the little buggers this morning. It can become a kind of obsession…..just one more…..
I remember the first time I saw a line of leaf-cutter ants here. I thought they were so cute… marching in a line….. each carrying a piece of a green leaf home to their adorable hill forts. Well I noticed this morning that my Mexican tarragon plant had been stripped of most of its leaves. I am ready to murder all of the little S.O.B’s now! It’s kinda like that email about snow that went around a while back. You know…..the one where a guy moves from Florida to Michigan and sees snow for the first time and marvels at its beauty. At the end of the Michigan winter the guy is bitching about the amount of snow he has had to shovel and he is cursing the day he ever set eyes on a snowflake. There is hope for me though ;-). My crops won’t be destroyed by the ants when the manicillo gets more profuse. I have been going down the hill almost daily, where there is a large patch of manicillo. I cut a bag full of the Spanish clover and plant it throughout the garden but mostly on the paths. Manicillo can’t propagate via seed….only through cuttings. Since the rain arrived, I can see where my cuttings are just starting to take hold. It will be the perfect decoy for those nasty little leaf munchers!
Just made some lentils in the pressure cooker. Cooked some for the dogs earlier that I mixed with cornmeal mush and sardines. Lentils have been price controlled here at 56 cents a 1 lb. bag. I stocked up but I should have checked the bags for bugs when I was buying them. Also, if you store the beans for too long the bugs will eventually get in the bags lay eggs and start multiplying. The bags of lentils that are super buggy I will cook for the dogs since they don’t seem to mind the extra protein ;-). Gary, eat your heart out!!! Can’t get this kinda grub on a cruise ship! 😉