Cutting Shady Trees to get more Shade? What?

So I have written before about the less than ideal neighbor situation…..and the saga continues.  A few weeks back the neighbor teen was standing on our fence looking into our yard talking about what he could see from the view…..he also asked for our wifi password.  Then sent a friend to demand it.  Definately not normal.  Since the view from the roof and fence looks straight into our living room window, we decided to put up a shade cloth immediately which would have several benefits.

First, block their view.  Second, provide shade for our vehicles and chickens.  Third, Ana wants to plant coffee under the shaded area.  Fantastic!  Let’s see if it works.

We needed to dramatically trim the neighbors overhanging trees first to reduce the amount of leaf formation on the shade cloth.  One pic is Ana doing her thing with a machete or whatever it’s called and the other below is looking out our living room window.  We will use all the wood for construction, bonfires and leaves for mulch.  And in case you were wondering…..I have changed all the admin passwords to the 2 modems we have for our house and for Mom’s.

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Wow! Tomatoes already….

I started 3 kinds of heirloom tomato seeds the middle of February and today I see little green tomatoes!  Nice….I guess my experiment in watering is doing the trick along with the covering and worm compost.  Exciting….

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Vision Emerges in Slow Motion

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Years ago, many years back….I had a small vision of building a small restaurant/B&B in Oconahua.  I figured with the then recent “discovery” of the Palacio de Ocomo it would become a place for tourists, eventually.  Also, it would give us busy body women something to do with our time and all the yummy organic food we would raise.  Plus it would provide some long term living space for friends and family.  I have many ideas in my vision.

Years have since past, and since everything takes so much longer than anticipated, it is still not complete.  Today, however, we had a great event happen!  The doors we ordered back in December finally arrived and were installed.  Hail the Blacksmith!

 

Ana’s Mom had a Birthday!

You can imagine life in this part of the world would be different than in say, the states.  Just about everything has a slight to extreme difference, which is natural given the differences in culture.  When it comes to birthdays, some rituals are the same.  Friends and family gather together or call to wish a person well.  Cake is usually served (yum!) and some celebrations include gifts and food.  One of the differences here is music.  Live music.  In town, there are a few teenage Mariachi groups and other types of groups are called, “Bandas”.  If a family can hire a group for a birthday celebration, it’s a nice treat.  Ana hired a teenage Mariachi group for her Mom and they met us at her house at 7am to be a surprise.  That is another difference in this culture; a loud music group waking you up early outside your bedroom window is considered a treat and a delight. It was great fun!

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Collecting Seeds From the Garden

It’s easier than you think to collect your own seeds.  I have collected seeds and grown corn, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers….all pretty easy.  Recently our weather turned hotter and my romaine lettuce started to bolt so I let it to see what would emerge.  I read a new blog today that addressed collecting the seed from lettuce and I was delighted to learn ours was ready to harvest!  Here is the blog post if you are curious.

Here are the plants in full “bolt” mode

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And the final result…..seeds.

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Plant Covering, an experiment

Since we are dedicated to raising organic vegetables, we need several ways to keep insects from devouring plants before we get to use them. It’s tough to find ingredients for organic sprays and deterrents so one thing we are trying this season is lightweight row cover cloth to protect our young plants.  My dear friend Judi, brought us some cloth when she visited this Winter, and Ana and I just put it up on the new planting bed.  Let’s see if this works to keep out the critters!  If it works, next year I think I will make additional coverings from some lightweight cotton.

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