Monday, November 24, 2008

a days work

I got up at 5 this morning and started the day. I usually like to get up a little before the sun so I can relax, gather my thoughts and slowly work myself into the day. The first job is to let the dogs out. As soon as the sun rises it's time to let the dogs in to be fed and time to feed and let the chickens out. They can get quite impatient if I'm late. After the chickens eat I come back for a nutritious breakfast and then off to work. Today I hooked up 2 more timers for the watering systems. It's going to be a great time and water saver. Last year we used sprinklers and they wasted a lot of water plus we had to turn them on and off manually which took up a lot of time and meant we sometime had to get up in the night to turn them on and off. When I'm finished all of the gardens will be on timers. We're planting as we get the systems set up.
In one of the lower gardens we have around 50 pineapple plants. We save the tops from the pineapples we buy and plant them. It takes a couple years for them to produce more pineapples. True recycling. In the same garden we have a huge papaya tree, a breadfruit tree, as well as some bush sized basil plants from last year. There are also 6 berry plants that grow in the tropics. I'll ask Lorenzo what they are called and mark them. I'm going to make an effort to label everything this year. I seeded okra in the same garden this morning.
We have a lot of packets of flower seeds left over from a couple of years ago. I don't know if they're any good but I hate to just throw them away. I'm going to plant all the old seeds without marking them. It'll be fun surprise to see what pops up.
I also started some ginger root that we bought in Tepic. Amaranth loves ginger and uses it to make many delicious things. I had a screen with a frame around it that fit nicely over the wheelbarrow. I use it to strain out the bigger chunks of sand and dirt. The old one lasted me 10 years before it disintegrated. I planned on getting a new one made at the welding shop but hated to leave the farm so I used some material I had on hand. I came up with a beautiful one that is much sturdier than the old one. I'll be writing you in 20 years about making the replacement. I finished the job by painting it a bright yellow. Easier to locate. I'm in the process of painting all of our tools a bright color. Someone will lay them in the grass and we won't find them for a year sometimes. Amaranth has a Japanese hoe that is her favorite tool. It's been lost 2 or three times. This year it's getting a florescent orange paint job. We'll be able to find it at night.
Lunch is always a gourmet meal made mostly of things we've grown here. After lunch it's siesta time and we nap and read a book. We're both working on Barbara Kingsolver's latest "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle". It's a good read with lots of interesting facts mixed in. It's about her family's decision to change their food sources from international to local. A good one to add to your library.
I spent the afternoon watering the odd tree and cleaning up some of the palm trees. At five I started the first timer. It'll go on for an hour every 12 hours. The next timer starts at 6 and repeats again in 12 hours etc. By having them go on in the early morning and evening it frees up the water to use on other things during the day.
Well, that's about it for now. Amaranth has just finished baking some pesto fan rolls for tomorrow. Time to shut things down and retire for the evening. Wally

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