Our land where our house is built was an old family plot used to grow corn. Stories from Ana and her aunt confirm that this land, and much of the surrounding land was owned by her Grandfather, then sold off or divided among family members. This plot, roughly 4500 square meters (a little over an acre), was given to Ana’s aunt, and then to Ana. It is a great honor to live on this land that has been in her family for generations.
The soil is not in the greatest shape though and we are slowly composting, using worm castings, bringing in other soil if needed and letting some of it go fallow in the hopes that wildness and decay will add to the quality of the soil. Time will tell.
In the meantime; we want to grow vegetables, fruit and flowers. Having chickens roam about certainly helps as they not only fertilize the soil, they irrigate by digging, eat harmful insects and look cute while strutting about.
I have been researching fermented fertilizer recipes as I read when added to the soil, they can help break up compacted clay soil. Exactly what we need!
The challenge has been many recipes call for ingredients that are just impossible for us to find as either local stores in our area don’t carry them or we are still unfamiliar with the surrounding towns for availability. Seriously. A hunt for something as “simple” as molasses just got silly as people met me with a blank stare. Finally found out that molasses is considered a waste product from local sugar cane producers and used by pig farmers as feed. Frustrating. (We finally found it at a health store in Guadalajara). Plus, since local farmers are not yet into organic practices, we are always told to just go get some chemicals. Blech.
A few weeks ago, I finally found a recipe that has all the ingredients. Today I was able to use some of the finished product for some new plants. Success! It’s a very simple formula….just rinse water from rice, water, milk and a bit of molasses. Bokashi rocks. Plus, the chickens LOVED the leftover curds….ate them up quickly. I think we need to get some barrels to make large batches of this stuff.