Saturday, December 8, 2012

Settling in and planting a small plot

December 7

We’ve moved in. I think we’ll be very happy in our own place despite the lack of many comforts and conveniences – no flush toilet, only an outdoor privy, no electricity, no hot shower unless we heat water on the stove and put it in the plastic camp shower. But we have beauty all around us, darkness and silence at night, good soil and water and plenty of sun and rain. Eventually we’ll probably have solar hot water, electricity and the internet.

My gardening workstation right off the porch. Could also serve as a tiki bar.

The view from our bed.

Brick wood stove with cast iron oven. Haven't baked anything yet but it's big enough for pizza.
Waiting to get electricity gives us the opportunity to explore other ways to meet our energy needs. It would be easy to simply connect to the grid, install the electric shower, get an electric pump to provide water for irrigation. For now we burn a kerosene lamp and a battery charged LED camp light for our nighttime use. I have a wonderful solar flashlight that someone gave me when I was “walking for the climate.”
We have one small solar panel that will charge Guy’s iPod but not much else. We hope to add a couple more panels and some storage batteries as our friend Mark, at Gaia Grove near Gainesville, Florida, showed us. From his years of experience aboard boats he learned many things, including how to use solar energy for light, radio and a fan.

Last weekend we spent the day planting a 200 sq. feet area according to the agroflorest principles that Guy and Sofia learned at the workshop in October. We had the help of one of our closest neighbors, Felipe. We planted mostly small fruit trees and vegetables of all kinds. Hopefully I'll be able to post more photos as the plants  develop but here are a few from last Saturday.

Guy and Felipe begin the work.

Sofia joins them. Straw hut, privy and Peugeot in the background, mango tree to the right,
baba├žu palms center and left.

Work progresses, granddaughter Camila plays alongside. Access bridge to the property in the back.

Sofia adds organic fertilizers to hole for planting a tree.
Rows of vegetables will be covered with straw to hold in moisture and protect from sun.