Sorry once again that the update is late. Very late, since it’s been about 5 months since we last wrote…the year started with a lovely crew that made us feel like a family, working, playing, and laughing together.
Every morning, we shared recollections of our dreams, then went to work in the gardens, fencing the new pastures, and taking care of all the little things that need to get done. It’s always great to get a taste of the community vibe when it comes through. Thanks guys!
But just as quickly as community came, it left. From March to May, Jen returned to Canada, to balance, visit family and planned to work but instead volunteered on a farm on the coast of British Columbia. It was good to see all her friends and family but the visit reassured her that North America was no longer home for her. Coming back to the farm, she fell in love all over again.
Meanwhile, Yves found himself alone, or with just one volunteer (luckily another a good one!), so it was a lot of work just to maintain the place. That being said, some garden beds were renewed, and a couple hundred trees planted, so some progress was made. Nonetheless, it was a troubled few months. To begin with, Pacito, the logistics team captain, and one of Yves’ best friends, died of unknown causes. Yves would like to give a few words here:
That day, i lost one of my best friends. He brought up the roof for the kitchen, and continued to carry materials for every other structure, almost every propane tank, and an enormous quantity of fruits and veggies to nourish us. His poop help make our very first compost, and will continue to feed our garden for a while to come. But most important to me, he was there for me during some tough times, very often the only one i could talk to and hug. Many a tear has been soaked up by Pacito’s soft neck, and it is for his calm condolences that i will forever be grateful to him. I’ll miss him dearly. Sugar cane and bananas will be planted on his grave.
The rainy season was also troubling due to a significant lack of rain. By the end of May, when the creeks should be raging, their flows resembled if it should be nearing the end of the dry season. We’re afraid of what, if any, flow will remain after the dry season really passes. Drought could be a very real scare for us. Thankfully our neighbor above us, with access to a very large creek, promises to share his water with us. Thank you Don Francisco!
So, drought notwithstanding, we are continuing, with Jen’s leadership, to make compost and develop the gardens. Some of the things that have fruited in the garden are bell and hot peppers, tomatoes, blueberries, tomate d’arbole, squashes and zucchinis, grapes, blueberries, peaches, apples, lots of raspberries, granadillas, achogchas, naranjilla, uvillas and taxo (passion fruits). There is a papaya fruit although not ready for eating yet. We are producing lots of lettuce in the chicken tractor, eating some carrots, lots of kale, enough beans for a once a week feast, taro, sweet potato white carrot. strawberry jicima, lemon cucumber, turnip Kohlrabi, rutabaga chard aloe, cauliflower wonderful thyme, rosemary, basil oregano and parsley. The ginger is taking over the greenhouse along with the rose and very viscous blackberries that hurt you when you go after their fruit. We have enjoyed chaya, stevia, cedron, cranberry hibiscus. Every time something succeeds its a true gift. We are attempting but not succeeding on many other things but the list of foods may be boring to some, when the plants succeed we will let you know..
Yves ventured into the bee hives to add additional levels and by mistake got us some wonderful honey, it makes all the bee stings worth it. With the honey he experimented with honey mead and Kampuchea, both were a hit and now are in demand both on the farm and in town. Yves cheese has also become a great demand in town as well. At the moment he has a cheese club that meets once a week when they all share five cheeses, then he sells a few extra on the side. He is selling enough to feed himself with a little extra. We gained and are losing next week an additional goat, Franchesca. She was rescued from a malnourished lifestyle and found her way up to Sacred Suenos. With her going back to her owners, Yves is looking into getting another new goat to keep up with the goat cheese demand.
Beyond the initial Sacred Suenos site, a lot of energy is now going to the neighboring land, especially the pasture where the donkeys and horse get their R&R. We have put up more fencing to protect some fruit trees, and to plant a silvopastoral area (40 trees down, a few hundred to go!). Of course the animals found any weak points to let us know where we had to fix it. Thanks guys. We’re also focusing on keeping the pastures clean so the animals have no need to test the fence. It’s tough keeping grass when nature wants to become a forest!
Jen and Yves have plans to develop the pasture area even more. Right now, Yves leading the construction of a water tank, and hopefully soon will be renovating the old sugar cane factory into a place to call home. The plan will be to commute the twenty minutes everyday to Sacred Suenos, but have their own projects (gardens, reforestation, Yves’ goats, Jen’s medicinals, and maybe a juice bar for passing tourists) ongoing at the new land.
On the animal front we successful got rumbi to reproduce with Marthas sweetheart, Lady. They made our new addition named Bootsie, named from him knocking over the boots so he can sleep on them. He is fun to have on the farm, but puppies can be testing, especially when they eat your expensive sacred smart wool socks. Rumbi was a little jealous, and started to hide out in the back round, but with lots of love and attention his umph is coming back. The puppy is learning to fetch, while rumbis fetch is deteriorating, I guess a puppy jumping and biting at you while you run makes it hard to keep track of the pit. Nezzie and Meshu are also not so fond of the new addition, Bootsie likes to chase and bark the cats up trees, but as time goes by they are gaining confidence to hang near the kitchen again.
We also bought 10 new chicks…yes that means all the rest have died. After the chicken revolution where the white chickens kicked La Flaca out of the tractor, one by one they became either soup, fajitas, or poutine..They were delicious. So now ten new ones.
Bonnie continued to look pregnant for months and months, and a visiting vet told us that something was obviously wrong with her. We expected to wake up one day and find her dead, but instead one day her huge belly just disappeared and she looked as good as new!? We are hopinghat she is ok: She is gonna start back to work this month, to help out Nuki, who’s been attempting to fill Pacitos shoes. He may be small but he is built like a tank. Now we just gotta train him and he’ll be a fine logistics team leader. We are looking to maybe buy another donkey. Joe is still old Joe. Yves works him weekly to keep him from going wild. He plays hard to get when its time to catch him at the pasture, but he usually comes around.
Thanks again to everyones love and support, we can’t wait to hear how life on your end is going, Lots of love to you from the Sacred Suenos Family.