There was at least one person who noticed that i skipped my regular equinox update, so i apologize for the few of you who may have been disappointed to not hear from me in a while. But here i am, just ahead of the solstice, and i promise to be more diligent on my 3 month blah blah responsibility….
The year began very well for the farm, with a steady and supply of cool volunteers in large numbers. Good people and good times. Through the first couple of months, we began turning the new greenhouse into a little tropical paradise. After years with an oven that never baked (and no firewood even if it did work well), we finally but the mallet to it, and turned the real estate into another little garden shed and animal gear storage. A lovely laundry station was completed beside it, and a welcoming jasmin, melisa, and nasturtium planter put up in the corner post of the kitchen. The most exciting thing for the farm, i believe, was when i brought up Santi, the permanent goat, and her two sweet kids, sabroso and tierno (unfortunately both boys). We’re making some great cheeses now, and gearing up for a goat barbeque whenever i get the balls to kill one of the little sweeties… Most exciting for me, at the time, was that i met a wonderful Englishwoman, Amy, who kept me happier than i’d been for quite a while, at least during the 3 months she tolerated me… The two of us took off at the end of February on a trip to BaÃ±os in search of another goat (which we didn’t find), and a hitch hike through a little of ecuadors’ jungle. It was a good vacation, one which might be a long time to take again, because not long after i returned, my long time farm partner and good friend, Trini, left. Trini was an amazing asset on the farm, someone i could work with, laugh with, and share the responsibilities at sacred sueÃ±os, and i really appreciate the few years that she helped the project. But she decided it was time to be nearer to her aging parents, and left for spain to begin a new chapter of her life beginning in March. Lucky for me, there were some great people here to fill in the void that Trini left. Passionate gardeners planting everywhere, turning the chicken tractor into a productive system, filling in all those spaces within the keyhole beds, and probably teaching me so much more than i could teach them. April got quieter as the gardeners left (though a few good people did pop by to keep up the gardens and help out). Amy was still with me, putting together an index of all the plants growing on the farm, and we got carried away with a plan to improve the herb spiral and ended up building an entire new greenhouse meant to simulate the dry mediterreanean conditions suitable to the herbs. Amy left in the beginning of May, and for the next 6 weeks, things were pretty down. There hadn’t been so few volunteers since before the dormitory was built, and i was finding myself pathetically lonely, as well as overwhelmed by all the daily chores maintaining what everyone had started. i guess even farmlife can have a manic-depressive personality, eh. i moved the herb spiral into the new greenhouse, tried to fix a lot of stuff that was wearing down over time, and ran through the gardens trying to not lose all those plants as the dry season started. My idea to water keyhole gardens through slow flooding didn’t work, but i’ve found these cheap misters that i now rotate from bed to bed. It’s working well, though this isn’t the best summer to prove the technology. This morning i awoke with the clouds playing in the valley, and a lovely drizzle… at the end of June!? Nobody has seen that before, not even the old timers… Anyways, things are better at eh farm now that we’ve got a good crew again, some mouths to share the greens and juices growing in the gardens, hands to help with the progress of the project, and especially minds and hearts to keep me smilin. If all goes well, there’ll be a good run of volunteers for the rest of the summer. i don’t know what they’ll be interested indoing, but i’m thinking we might actually start work on that library attachment to the dorm, developing a rotating pasture for the four leggeds (once i actually get an electric fence charger that works!), and bordering the farm with a firebreak planting of succulents. More interesting news is that a friend an i are starting a non profit based in the US, which will raise funds to acquire some more degraded mountainsides, and plant them in a community forest of diverse useful multistory species. Sounds like fun, as long as i can balance it with insuring the goals of sacred sueÃ±os as well.
Ok, that wasn’t too long for 6 months, eh? Well, i wish everyone all the best with whatever they’re doing now, wherever they may be. As always, i’d love to hear from you all. i’ve made so many friends over the past 4 years since i started this project, and i know that makes me a bit of an ass, not responding to emails with frequency, and being even worse with standard mail, but please know that i appreciate the time i shared with all of you, and really enjoy knowing what the alumni are up to. Big hug and all the best!