Saturday, May 2, 2009

Getting Dirty in Organics

I regret not having enough time or a lot of knowledge in agriculture to have gotten involved with an organized group of farmers that are trying out new horticulture products in the area. Some farmers who are beneficiaries of a big irrigation project that was finishing up when I arrived are branching out from growing corn and beans and trying things like green beans, tomatoes, and green peppers. So far, only a few tomato harvests have been lost to some plagues and diseases. Other than that most out here are learning fast and it’s nice that I don’t have to go into town for ALL my veggies now. (Tomatoes never really did survive the bus well).

An institution sent a guy out here to teach the farmers how to make organic compost. I had a few recipes for some Bocashi and was invited to come along to help out and learn as well. Truthfully, besides the compost I am trying to make in my house with my leftover fruit and veggie peels, I don’t know anything about compost. So I skimmed a book about the subject before heading to the workshop which was at my host mom’s house. The workshop was informative, long, messy, but most importantly, fun! And sometimes I forget how much I enjoy these community activities and how much it means to them that I am just around.

The layers of the compost

Coffee shell is added to make it richer

Francisco (my host dad, remember?) adding the active microorganisms

Atanacio and Maria Santos sifting dirt

Camilo putting down a layer of dirt

Me using a "bomba" to irrigate the compost


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