Sunday, May 29, 2016

Rain, fun, communication....

Great rain!  We had about 120mm in the second week of May, which is perfect timing for the land, filling up the soil with moisture just before the anticipated summer dry months of June, July and August, during which we can pretty-much rely on as being entirely without rain, with autumn rain usually coming again in mid or late September.  Here is a photo, courtesy of my brother John on his visit, from last week....



Rain means a lot of things. We can see it as a communication between the atmosphere and the land, or as the life-giver, presenting oxygenated water to plants, animals, fungi and bacteria,  To me it is always a joy. .Especially in May.


What are we doing here at Várzea da Gonçala at this time of the year?


The garden is in full action - lots of planting and seeding of spring-summer vegetables.

Pumpkins, squashes, beans, tomatoes (the best, and lots of funky varieties this year), sweet potatoes, peppers, to name a few.  All Chaym's work...


I have also been putting in perennial tree-cabbages, pumpkins, beans, and sunflowers by the irrigation channels of the food-forest.

Chaym has a great diversity of mixed beds, perennials, flood-irrigated beds (from our river-tube) and drip-irrigation.    And trees in the garden too!




Spring cutting is my biggest job - this is to mulch and protect the ground (one day the trees will take care of this,, as well as much of the fire-risk), followed by raking for fire-breaks,

But there are other ways, and this time around I am getting pretty out-of-sorts with the whole spring-cut thing,  We need grazers, and at this stage of the young trees, birds are the only reasonable option. Turkeys, turkeys, turkeys - and geese, and turkeys....

Turkeys are not aggressive like geese, so children-friendly, and very omniverous - there is not much they don't eat, in fact, from keeping down winter and spring vegetation in return for manure and eggs, to parasitic grubs and eggs in fallen fruit. Even acorns.  And turkey meat is very good.  To start things off, I recently got 2 turkeys from the market, Esmerelda and Jojo by name.....

 ...and if plans go to plan, they will be the ancestors of a couple of dozen by the autumn, free-ranging with a secure roost.  Maybe next year fifty or so,  A whole new thing.

I mentioned this to our guest at the moment Danny, and he told me of a documentary "my life as a turkey", of a man who spent 18 months in Florida nature with "his" family of wild turkeys, not encountering another human for the whole time.  It's the best documentary I've ever watched, absolutely brilliant - please give yourself a favour...  documentarystorm.com/my-life-as-a-turkey


Other stuff...    setting up the irrigation for all the new trees, making a new palm-frond roof for the tree-house. And soon I shall start making a nice big solar warm-air dryer.


Our small group here all have our roles, which makes for a happy camaraderie.

Chaym is the garden magician, Petra does seeding, transplanting and animal care, Kris looks after the houses, Jim (picutre, right) is now making great wooden tables, for outside the guest houses,...

Tracy tending around the houses, and I do more the big-picture stuff.

Oh, and we are mums and dads too!




We have also had the pleasure of having Andy volunteering, having attended both spring courses, PDC and Gardening, and stayed on since.  A great motivated easy-going positive presence...




Not to leave out the geese, who had just one gosling hatched, Beaky the dad being a protective force not to be messed with. Here is the new arrival (centre) getting pretty big already...




As always, what makes any system fnction well is the right communication, the everyday interaction of participants. People of course, but also between us and the natural systems we are working with.

Communication.is another one of those words that mean more, the more you go into them.... It's what nature is doing all the time, within you and without you, as John Lennon put it.  All life is in constant communication, though we rarely even imagine it.  Here is a great quote from anthropologist Richard Nelson's study of the Koyukon Indians of Alaska....

"Koyukon people live in a world that watches, in a forest of eyes. A person moving through nature - however wild or remote the place may be - is never truly alone. The surroundings are aware, sensate, personified. They feel. They can be offended. And they must, at every moment, be treated with the proper respect."

Intelligence is everywhere in all nature, we are participants in a totally connected network. and the natural world judges the quality of our participation.  We have, as humans, fantastic unrealised potential, which maybe can start being manifested when, instead of being aloof from the rest of the natural world, we fully respect it's incredible complexity, and it's wisdom.

xxx from Várzea..




1 comment:

  1. Always loving your blogs chris, keep up the sowing and growing, greetings from the northerly valley!
    Rick

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