Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Day

                                                  Be sure to check the update on our cob house in a new post this weekend.

Thanksgiving Day 2014

View from our house - November 2014
We're thankful today for the privilege of living on this peaceful and abundant land, and the opportunity to work on projects that are meaningful to us and will hopefully add a few drops to the bucket of inspired efforts around the planet to build a more sustainable world. The Cerrado (Central Brazil) is indeed a special and beautiful place, threatened by big agribusiness including cattle, and soy, corn, and other monocultures. Our project is to develop a small (one acre) piece of farmland into a permaculture homestead. If this is the first time you're reading this blog I invite you to go back and at least skim the entries since August 2012.

We’ve been living on this little parcel of land for over two years now – the builders completed our house and we moved in at the end of October 2012.

Our house with a jaboticaba tree in the foreground and a large mango tree to the left side.

When we arrived here there were already five mature mango trees, as well as two jaboticabeiras and a lemon tree that I’ve pruned back to health after years of abuse by the cattle that pastured here. We’ve planted about fifteen fruit trees that have established themselves successfully, and another ten or so that are coming along fairly well. We also have a grape vine, a passion fruit vine, two neem trees, two bougainvilleas and a bamboo plant that are doing well. Two little coffee trees will produce their first small harvest this year.

One of two coffee trees we panted last year.
They're producing their first coffee beans.


Our pets

Lolita joined us this September and had become best friends with Fofo. Both Guy and I enjoy our furry friends who give us affection and hours of entertainment. They each have a job to perform: Fofo keeps the place free of mice and rats, and Lolita warns us when anything strange makes an appearance. She’s still figuring things out – she barks at rain and shadows, and beetles and moths. And she’ll bark loudly when a person or animal approaches while at the same time she scampers to safety on the porch.
We’re hoping to put in some chickens soon but we have to figure out how to keep them safe as well as protecting our young vegetables from them. 

Lolita, who came to us as a puppy in September.

Fofo, who showed up on our doorstep in March.

Our biggest job this year has been the new cob construction we undertook as of May. The last two posts (June and August) show the planning phase, the clay model, the trial bench, and the beginning of the foundation. In a day or two I'll post an update of the cob house, but today I want to express our gratitude for those who helped us make cob and build the walls: Sofia, Kimberly, Lisa and Hale. Also, Victor who helped collect rocks, and both Enriques - son and father - who helped with the design.

Thanks for your visit. Please leave a comment if you have one, and tell others about this blog.