Here in Hostotipaquillo, we have been doing a lot of work in the garden. We began planting in early June, since the rainy season usually arrives around that time, or even in late May. Since it was still so dry, we watered heavily, but our efforts were in vain. The rainy season arrived about a month late and almost none of our original planting even sprouted. We suspect that the intense heat killed the seeds before they ever had a chance. This year, parts of Mexico have experienced the worst drought in 70 years. This had put our gardening on hold, but since the nightly thunderstorms that denote the rainy season began a few weeks ago, we have furiously gone back to work.
Now our job has switched from watering desperately thirsty plants, to dealing with excessive runoff, flooding, and the sea of weeds that spring up in the wake of every storm. To combat this we are improving our runoff channels and raised beds, installing gravel pathways that weeds can´t grow in, plus lots of weeding and planting.
It´s a lot of work right now, but we´re excited to finally see the fruits of our labors. Our replanting has gone much better and we have zuchini, beans, tomatoes, corn, lettuce, and sunflowers that are fianlly poking out of the soil and starting to grow.
In addition, we´ve been working with a local organic farmer, Beto, to expand our arsenal of planet friendly gardening materials. He´s showed us how to make an organic pestacide for fungus, and a fertilizer with the freshest caca de vaca that can be found. As you can see from our before and after pictures, our compost, composed mainly of fallen leaves, weeds, and agave pulp, is finally coming to fruition and the garden has transformed (as it is every year) from a dusty dry corral, to a fertile jungle.
A parte de esto, hemos estado aprendiendo de un campesino de Hosto (Beto) quien también tiene mucho conocimiento en la siembra orgánica. El mes pasado nos invito a su rancho y nos enseño a preparar un pesticida natural que controla ciertos parasitos y hongos, también preparamos un fetilizante a base de mierda de vaca que ya casi esta listo para usarse. Como ya pueden ver, las fotografías de antes y después, nuestra ¨montaña¨ de composta ya esta casi lista. Mayormente preparada con hojas secas, hierbas y bagazo de agave. Nuestro jardín se ha transformado de un polvoriento corral a una fértil selva.
And when we aren´t in the garden, you can often find us at the nearby park, playing soccer with the local kids (and fledgling acrobats).
Cuando no estamos en el jardín, nos pueden encontrar en el parque más cercano, jugando futbol con unos niños del vecindario (también haciendo acrobacias)