Chirp-chirp

Flowering Broccoli and other brassicaceaes.

It’s funny how our life cycles are the complete opposite of those of the people we left behind when we moved. I know, we moved to the opposite hemisphere (daaa!!!) but it still makes me smile, how it is almost the exact opposite, almost every single time. We of course keep in touch with many of our friends there and whilst everyone is slowly starting to mention that Autumn is starting to show its signs (after a very scary summer indeed, but that is a completely different subject), we are just starting to enjoy the first signs of spring.

 

 

 

Early spring to me now means i can start my tomato, paprika and aubergine seedlings and uncover my frost sensible plants like Guava (Psidium guajava), Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia), Palo borracho  (Ceiba spesiosa), Avocado, Ceibo, Chirimoya (Anonna cherimoya) and maybe some other that I might forget. They seem to have gotten themselves very well through winter covered in their protective blankets. The place looked like there were different ghosts scattered all around

One of many you “Ghosties” I had 10 of them throughout the winter. Now it’s time to set them free!

Guava (Psidium guajava) just uncovered and full of new growth yearning to stretch out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year I am particularly happy to see that I am doing better with my veg production compared to last year where most of my winter crops had failed. This year I have managed with both broccoli, cabbages and kales. Not so much so with coliflower which apparently does not do so well in mid winter and I had trouble getting the seeds to sprout but I have some plants coming along quite nicely now and a full tray of seedlings to plant out. The pill-bug/potato bug (Armadillidium vulgare) ate many of my seedlings so I did not manage to have a continuous supply of brassicas, but we have been enjoying the first batch and there will be a second one coming after a short break.

Borago officials and fava beans

Otherwise the carrots and beetroots are growing well, though extremely slowly. Same goes for garlic and onions and the peas and fava beans are doing great. Spinach is taking forever. I can clearly see that there is something (if not many things) missing in the soil because everything is extreeeeemely slow here. Either that or we have some contagious “slow disease”… Oh well. The artichokes look really good though so not everything is slow at least. And we have already enjoyed a small harvest of asparagus.

 

 

 

Artichokes

I have also made quite an advance with the food forest thing I keep fantasizing about. I managed to plant two apple trees, one plum, two apricots, one peach, three citruses, one Kaki (Diospyros kaki), four kiwi vines (Magnus set up a very sturdy trellis for them) and one fig tree in addition to the previously planted fruit and ornamental trees. Next will be some palm trees of local varieties and I’ll start making seedlings of the native Guayabo (Acca selowiana) and Arazá (Psidium cattleianum) in order to put more of those in. They have really nice fruits and need no attention whatsoever so I like them more and more for every year that goes by.

 

 

I know you can’t see it clearly, but I see a food forest and kiwi vines in the backgrownd

Imagine the food forest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clearing some scrub veg.

A really nice news is that I am finally going to grow food they way I actually wanted. You see, it was never my idea to get rid of the forest, clear out a huge area and make a desert with rows of vegetables. I don’t like that at all. But I was told to do it that way and I am an obedient person when I think the one telling me to do so knows better. Well, not anymore. It’s ok, I am planting a new forest with a higher variation of species around the veggies now and I am confident it’s going to turn out nice. But, in the meantime, my friend Pocho and I are clearing a small area of bushes and scrub whilst keeping the acacia trees in order to do a test plantation of fruit species within the exisiting vegetation. The Acacias will give shade and support to a few plants and the chips from the plants we cleared will serve as mulch to retain moisture and slowly release nutrients into the soil. We’ll see how it goes.

 

I am afraid my life has become really simple and thus the things I have to talk about. I have kind of said all the important stuff I had in me in the previous post (http://offgridlivinginuruguay.com/?p=725) so this is all I have to share this time. Hopefully some of you out there might find it useful. I have learned a whole lot since we got here and I will keep learning and hope I can help anyone who might need any help. This time no furry animals to draw attention, just plants and a random bird. Hope you enjoy reading these posts and do leave a comment if you feel like. I have no idea who is reading this, its kind of weird. Bye!

 

Garlic, weeds and onions (right to left)

Bird of pray. Not sure of the species sorry, it watches me from afar and never lets me come close enough. Just sits and waits for any food scraps that i might reveal

Very exotic flower around here I guess

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14 Comments

  1. Love reading your post … it is such a wonderful life you are living and I know it is not easy.

    Keep up the good work and enjoy your spring … we feel the autumn chill here in London.

  2. Hello, I have been reading your posts for about a year now. I am from Wales but live in China. It is my plan to move to Uruguay in the next few years to do something similar after I have finished learning a few things about sustainable in S.E. Asia. You guys are a real inspiration and it’s always nice to see updates!

  3. Jag är fortfarande en trogen följare från långt-borta, och det är så roligt att se hur bra det går för er! I mindre skala jobbar jag på med min egen trädgård och hoppas att kunna odla mer och mer mat under den korta norska sommaren. Ta hand om er och fortsatt lycka till!

    • Takk Anna! Du må nok lære meg å dyrke agurker. Der er du mye bedre enn meg. Jeg har ikke lyktes med en eneste nesten. Men jeg gir meg ikke! Har nettop skaffet meg enda en pakke frø og skal meget snart så dem.
      Stor klem til deg og dine.

  4. Så fint å lese om hvordan dere har det! Heia dere, det ser nydelig ut! Hilser til Tristan og Timea fra Sverre (fra barnehagen). Klem fra Oslo

  5. Virginia! You guys continue to be an inspiration (& not just to me it seems;-) …not clear on where to plant my roots still, still a bit more like like a kiwi the trellis.
    BTW, never heard of the Arazá fruit before!

  6. I wanted to mention about your soil possibly missing something… I have rabbits now and learned rabbit poop is the BEST fertilizer, rich in many elements, does not have to be composted but can be put straight on the crops… if you don’t eat meat (I think I remember that) maybe you would like angora rabbits, they can live well in a “colony” which must be protected from predators and you can harvest and sell or use the wool. If you eat meat, then meat rabbits might be a good choice? I love my rabbits!!!

    • Oh thanks Eddy but I am not really so keen on keeping animals. We don’t eat them either no. I am actually working with different ways of enriching the soil. I am working with different kinds of compost using the materials that I can grab in the area around here and in town, like the wheat bran from the local flour mill. I made a really nice compost and soil booster with that. It takes time though, to get there and see the results. You cannot really push processes that much. I knew this already but sometimes I get a bit impatient.

  7. Hi there, I love reading what you’re doing.. we live in Balneario, Maldonado, and are trying do do the same as you are, just on a much smaller scale. Our chickens started to lay eggs, we have 3 mature hens, 1 rooster, and 3 clicks. We lost some to dogs.. Keep on writing, please…

    • Oh this is a late response, sorry! It looks like there are many of us in Uruguay 🙂 We’re thinking about chickens too but are a bit worried about them being taken by dogs or snakes here. I’ll have build them something where they can stay safe 🙂

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