Thursday, July 25, 2013

Back in Brazil - ready to go

Guy and I have returned to Brazil after two great months in the States, in Bethlehem (PA), Needham (MA) and Hague (NY). We saw family and friends and enjoyed the lush green landscapes of Eastern USA, which are quite a contrast to our more stark beauty here in the highlands of Central Brazil.

We're spending most of our first month back in Brasilia, watching over the care of our grandson, Giovanni, while his parents and sister take their turn traveling to the States. We were able to make an overnight visit our place on the farm - I took some photos to share:

Mangoes flowering

It seems that the scarce flowers have come too early, perhaps because of unseasonal but heavy rains in June. I'm hoping the trees will flower more heavily a little later in the season. Last year we had few mangoes on several of the trees and the expectation is that they fruit more heavily every other year.

The loofahs will be ready to harvest in a month or so.

This is the plant that I thought was watermelon - it's the same broad family as gourds and squashes. When it dries out only the fibers are left as I'll show you when I harvest them.

The healthiest of five coffee trees, all of which 
survived our absence.

Our own lemons, ready for salad dressings, lemonade and caipirinhas.

The jaboticaba tree has survived my radical pruning job. Hopefully it will fruit well in October or November.

The gravevine didn't do so well - a small black beetle attacked it - but it's still alive.

I sprayed all the ailing plants, including the grape vine, with a tobacco infusion. Cutter ants had denuded our pepper, eggplant and jil√≥ plants, but they seem to be on the mend. Maybe we'll be able to harvest some vegetable when we return to the farm in mid-August.

Grass is growing tall around the house - time to get out the scythe and the sickle.
Hay mounds, quaresma flowering tree, and the riparian woods just east of our acre.

Plans for the coming months:
       Dig a pond 
       Use the earth to make structures, starting with a 
             cob stove and a 
             small shed, for practice
       Start building a guest room or two
             cotton - just a few plants
             more fruit trees
      Chickens! Build a coop and fence in a space for their      

There's a lot more to do but everything in its time - we choose to move slowly, enjoy the beauty around us, listen to the wisdom of neighbors and to birdsong, participate in our communities, and nurture our spirits.