Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mulberries, Mandalas, and Batatas

Ah, the Equinox just dipped us into Spring.  We are in full swing of project mode around here, with the internship started and great new people to join us in the adventure.

The roof on the House on the Hill is almost ready to be slip-strawed, with the tongue and groove wood ceiling nearing completion.

Team Roof: Marcelo on the saw down below, and Matias, Jax, Ray, and Kim taking turns up above putting in the Paradise wood. 

 We have also been helping out our extended community, El Naranjo.  To get back and forth between the farms, we tried out a neighbor's horse... which is significantly slower than walking, to put it nicely.  The borrowed horse (named Aceituna) trots to the beat of a very different, slow, and misbehaved drummer.  She apparently likes to stop in the shade, smell the roses, and ponder the existence of such trivialities as saddles.  Needless to say, we go on foot now.
 Third try and the teepee is officially up and being lived in! 
Our community fields were plowed by the neighbor's children and their ox, then planted with such delights as peanuts, mandioca, and squash. 

We have also been taking advantage of mulberry season and making all sorts of delicious creations:  mulberry jam, mulberry cake, mulberry wine, and ...
...of course, mulberry-stained fingers...
The interns are deep into the soil right now, discovering the intriguing life that abounds in the earth.  Mycelium,worms, insects, roots, and more!

 Starting our field work and making new beds, we discovered a secret supply of sweet potatoes!  Needless to say, we are also eating sweet potatoed everything!

 Here, planting the the new bed dedicated to sweet potatoes and squash.  (By the way, you plant sweet potatoes by burying the vines that grow out of them.  The vines send out roots and then sprawl out, making more "batatas" underground as they go.)
 The Herb Spiral: we needed our herbs more handy and close to the kitchen, so we mounded up decomposing wood from our old Tung tree wood, composted saw dust, mature humanure compost, then spiraled up some rocks, and viola! 

 Herb-ready and very sheik!

We have also been experimenting with Hugelkutur beds, medicinal loquat Effective Micro-Organism cultivation, and plenty of gardening in our gorgeous beds.  Much more to come...!!