But at least It’s back in business now after a bit of an intense series of illnesses that got kicked off by Timeas’ pneumonia in mid June. After that we had 5 days were all family members were healthy at the same time in the lapse of three months. Even two of three dogs got sick! It was not so much the colds and coughing that put me off, rather my sudden elbow tendinitis. That was scary. You know when you start to wonder whether you are actually going to be able to pull off your third and hopefully last life project? It’s no secret that I have been searching for a while, studying, working a bit here and there and then finally deciding to go for farming in the rolling Uruguayan hills, only now my elbows were hurting so much that I could not work. This did not seem very promising since I have really no other thing I would like to do now and I actually love working the land and growing food and flowers. I stopped yoga, weeding, mowing everything and went on doctor prescribed antiinflamatory meds. Three weeks in and no real improvement. That was when I got really, really stressed about the weeds covering everything and me not managing to plant all the onions I had agreed on planting for my group and last but not least “what on earth am I going to do with my life if I cannot do this?!”. It took me two months to get to a point where I dared to start working again and had it not been for Magnus who stepped in and cleared the last area for the last onions, I would have been devastated. I am still taking it easy because I don’t want it to become too painful again and for someone who takes pride in being strong and working hard I am really being set to the test with a low punch.
So my future as an eco-farmer looks brighter now. Thanks to my super hero husband all the onions are in the soil and I filled my “quota” for the group. Other than that it has been raining quite regularly (at least my timing was good) so it was also hard to get stuff done due to that since it usually started raining again just when the soil was getting dry enough to get things done. But I did manage to get a tractor here to move the soil in the leftover space past the veg growing area one last time and I sowed loads of alfalfa straight after that. The alfalfa is happily sprouted and will hopefully suppress the very much feared Cyperus globulosus which the tractor also efficiently chopped and dispersed during its last visit. Then I will slowly but surely start planting fruit trees, bushes, perennials and annuals for the food forest. Two of them are already in and now I need some rain for both htem and the alfalfa (yeah, farmers, always complaining about the weather). Ideally a food forest would be planted in the form of guilds but I guess it is going to take me a while before I figure out what works best and also given that I am not the most consistent person in the world I will probably do more of a random thing. And also, the soil is very bad so I need to figure out the best way of getting things to survive and install in the alfalfa desert. Either way I can’t wait to continue to plant it and to watch things grow. Do you guys know that watching a tree or seed that you personally have planted or sown grow is one of the most satisfying things on earth? I do now.
The tomatoes are coming along this year too and as soon as they are ready for transplant to their final destination I will clear their spot from all the Fava beans that are being regularly devoured lately. We have lots of lettuces, trees and bushes are starting to flower, we are still harvesting very nice potaoes and the leeks, chard and onions are starting to get big so don’t feel too sorry for us.
The commercial part of it all:
I had to give up 50% of the originally planned area due to lack of time to attend to it all and covered it up with heavy duty silo plastic. Previous to this the weeds had gotten so big that Magnus had to mow them! Half of the other 50% is planted with garlic and onions that are doing very well except for fungi attack that I keep at stake with copper spray. The rest is slowly being cleared for weeds and replanted or covered. Part of it still has potatoes in it since that is where they keep the best. I might only go for beans, carrots and arugula and herbs there. I want easy stuff only because weeding takes too much time (even though I am a heavy mulcher) and that means I do not have that much time left to attend to plants that need support structures or are very prone to illnesses and pest attacks.
I was supposed to have broccoli, coliflower and cabbage for spring but none of it worked. The plants were slow to get started and somehow never really got growing and in addition to that they were stepped on by cattle on the run, devoured by larvae and finally what little was left or had managed to grow was cleared by the ants so I did not even get compost material out of that :(. This is part of what is covered with plastic now.
Also we (the eco-agro group people and me) are soon going to launch our produce for sale at the local supermarket. It is a big step and it is taking a lot of my time since we have many meetings and need to get lots of things sorted but it is quite exiting and very unexpected indeed. I never thought it would happen so fast. Hopefully people in town will embrace the possibility to eat healthy stuff free of pesticides and herbicides and the whole operation will turn out to be a huge success!!!! Well, personally I have the equivalent of one Swede’s onion and garlic consumption for half a year so I guess it will not go to waste anyways.
Sorry for the pics, some are really bad, but if I get picky about that then posts will never see the light of cyberspace. Finally a bit of kids and dogs living the life.