Hey everyone!
i’ve had quite a few people write me, recently, asking me why they haven’t been getting updates on Sacred Sueños recently. i’d like to put the blame on just getting carried away with so many other projects the times i make it down from the mountain. i guess i’ve been slacking recently. My apologies. The farm has been going through quite some changes in 2009, so far.
From before the last solstice, to well beyond today Jen has been welcomed as a new resident, and has begun to give the farm a good dose of organization. From enhanced systems of documenting and planning the gardens and garden work, to volunteer orientation days, to procuring a lot of labels and instructions on almost every wall on the farm, the Sacred Sueños project has been tweaked to help a constantly transient group of volunteers form an organized community and an efficient farm team.

The landscape has undergone some amazing changes as well: the orchard was almost entirely planted; the gardens strewn with even more agroforestry trees; and a woodlot was planted to utilize some of our kitchen roof rainwater, growing some native fruits, timber, and lots of alder for shitake growing in some years to come. It seems too good to be true, but a travel agency and Galapagos tour company are paying us to plant the trees! Along with helping to pay for general farm maintenance, we used the first installment to buy materials for a little nursery that we’ve constructed to start garden seedlings, and of course start even more native trees for future planting.

We’ve also had the great luck of being invited to expand the Sacred Sueños project into the property of our good friends and new neighbours. The animals now have much more land to live off (pasture land had been becoming fairly scarce as the farm expanded her gardens, and returning forests. And now there’s plenty of space to begin experimenting with reforestation techniques that focus on the forest rather than just the trees.

At the end of May, i’m planning on making my first trip north since starting this project, on a mission to prepare myself and the farm for even more great changes. Of course i’ll be visiting my family, in august, but most of my nearly four month trip will be spent visiting institutions to promote Sacred Sueños as an opportunity for interns and student practicums. i was also hoping to take some Permaculture courses in order to permit me to certify Andean residents after giving them free Permaculture Design Courses. Due to the economic situation, scholarships for the courses that i wished to take, are no longer available, so my budget might not allow this dream.for now. As I watch this years´ heavy rains bring down the mountainsides around me like never before, bearing witness to the power of water to destroy fields and houses, i think my economic limitations are insignificant woes in comparison.

i know that this may seem like the same statement each time i write one of these updates, but i can’t help but mentioning to everyone how thankful i am for all the help that I’ve received on this project. From sending me seeds and books (and maple syrup), to making the farm a tinder wood oven or taking care of Santi, my beloved goat, this project has received such a great deal of support. i hope it has returned the favor as an inspiration, teacher, and great experience. Perhaps i’ll see some of you this summer. Take care, everyone,