Wednesday, February 14, 2018

November 2017

One of the oldest houses in Cocalzinho

Time has flown by and the rainy season has arrived once more. We give thanks every time it rains because the sustainability of our area is in question as headsprings collapse due to agricultural practices, and streams shrink and sometimes disappear. While we’re aware of climate change around the world, we’re uncertain of its effects in this part of Brazil, but the trend seems to include less rain each year and a decrease of water in the aquifer that sustains this large biome called the Cerrado. Guy and I are working with a few other local people to found an association - Associação Nascentes do Cerrado – that intends to dedicate its efforts, among other things, to restoring the headsprings of our river- the Rio Corumbá. (We have a Facebook page: Associação Nascentes do Cerrado - Asnace)
A few members of our association took a field trip to look at the headsprings of our river.
Thick woods should surround this area where we found a spring that has mostly dried up.
Lacking a good fence to protect the area, cattle break up and tamp down the soil, and winds and flooding wash sand and soil into the stream bed where they choke it.  This is one of three springs at the very top of the Rio Corumbá system - as it dries up the river's flow decreases.
Our group requested an audience with County Council to present an official request that the council members vote against a developer's request to expand the city's urban limits. We know that this developer intends to clear the land around a lush spring and wetland that currently lies outside the city limits.

On the farm we see the results of our first five years on this land. (Guy points out that five years is longer than a college education.) Trees that we planted have begun to bear fruit: bananas, coffee, pitanga, and oranges. 

We have four varieties bananas growing near our house: prata, nanica, maçã, and marmelo.
These are nanica, and they ripen all at once so we had to give more than half of them away.
We are self-sufficient in eggs year round, and in milk during the time that our goats are producing – that would be in the ten months after they give birth. Polly had her second set of twins early this month, and Nellie is supposed to give birth in January, though I see no evidence  - maybe she’s just fat and sassy.

We’ve lived in our brick and mortar house for these five years and it truly feels like home. We designed the house so that we would experience the elements of nature – the view of the sky in the day and at night, sun, moon, and the feel of wind, rain, lightning – while still having enough protection to stay dry and safe. Those of you who’ve been here during a fierce rainstorm know that we’re truly in the midst of it, but also when the sun shines and the breeze blows gently, or when the moon is full, or the night very silent and dark, we experience it all. We’re not always comfortable – right now my feet are cold because the day is wet and dismal – but I prefer some discomfort rather than feeling cut off from the outdoors.

Buit-in openness - October 2012.

Our first house viewed from the site that now holds the cob house.

In the meantime the last wall of the cob house has been completed!

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