Saturday, June 20, 2009

Beans, Aloe, and A Salamander

Holy beans! We planted a handful of these gorgeous red beans (seeds given to us by a local farmer at last year's seed exchange fair here in Misiones) and waited and waited and waited. The vines grew green and lush and strong... but no flowers, no beans, no nothing for months. Then, lo and behold, after a long hot, dry season, the beans beaned! And boy did they bean! We have been harvesting and eating and saving up for next season's planting and the upcoming seed exchange fair.
The winter garden is coming along lovey too-- carrots, beets, arugula, lettuce, peas, and other such delights. The double-dug bio-intensive beds (plus all that soil love we gave) are really working well.

We also have been planting oats and spelt in our big field that was formerly overgrown with pesky elephant grass (not so pesky to Paloma, of course, but we have plenty more for her elsewhere). The plans are to keep working out the elephant grass in this field, replacing it with food crops and grains.
Now we have an Aloe Vera garden too, thanks to someone tossing tons of aloe plants out into the road in town, which we happily scooped up and took home. The start of a medicine plant bed?

Other pictures of the quincho (community kitchen):
The leftover floor boards from our cabin became little tables for our cross-legged dining experience-- inspiration from or friends inThailand.
And of course there are lots of delicious things coming out of our kitchen, like crepes and empanadas, all homemeade of course!
Update on the animals: Lulu and Amanita are happy and in love with Rambo, who is perking up after his summer depression, and even wags his stub of a tail in the early morning. Paloma is still giving us plenty of milk, and Suki the calf is big and strong and showing little nubby horns. The chickens, well they give us an egg or two every so often (even though we gave them that luxury coop not too long ago-- stingy little critters.)
Just for the curious: this is how we are keeping ourselves warm in our cabin this winter. Here, this stove is called a salamander, which blends perfectly into our rustic little house.

And this is Kim's new favorite item... an old pedal sewing machine that works like a charm to make curtains (out of recycled fabric.)

Flor de Mayo... the beautiful blooming May flower was given to us by a lovely little old lady with an inspiring garden and orchard, in which she produces all of her own food and then some on a 1 hectare plot of land. And she even has room for flowers!

(This blog entry was written with assistance from Gigi, an 8 year old American card shark passing through Misiones with her family.)