Monday, February 11, 2019

+++++++++++++Putting Your House (Vivero) In Order++++++++++

When we arrived at La Esperanza Vivero this Sat. I noticed that across the street a pile of old tires and broken plastic items was sitting...not a normal sight in San Juan Tecomatlan, 
known for its cleanliness of town.

The Brigadistas had been there during the previous week cleaning up the arroyo
that runs along our Vivero property.

It was an ugly job, but someone had to do it.

 Clean Arroyo

  Gracias Brigadistas!

Plant Donations

We had several plant donations this week, the most impressive being the vanload of plants Brad and I collected at our friend Joan Ward's home in La Salvias.

The potting Brigade was fierce!

They went to town separating, amending, planting.

Beautiful plants for our grand opening sale.

While one group worked on potting, the other worked on clearing our plot.

More buried concrete was found....

The Brigadistas carried on...

And won!

We'd like to thank our friend Joan Ward for her generous plant donations,
our constant volunteers, friends and supporters.

Watch Us Grow!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

+++++++++++++++++++Girls and Power Tools+++++++++++++++++

(Photos courtesy of Douglas Miller's phone)

So we continue preparing our planting area at the Vivero La Esperanza.  It is hot, dry, dusty work.

It isn't a surprise that we get tired quickly and look for shade and distraction.

(BTW I'm looking for a horse and plow to help the process)

Our volunteer, Douglas Miller, continues to gift wonderful instruction to the youth.

I gave a pre-soil session on why soil health is so important to our vivero.

My 3 students were very attentive and soaked in the info.  We amended the soil with worm tea, germination soil and compost.

Earth Box being planted.

 Our germination table


The name "lasagnaing" refers. to the method of building the garden, which is, essentially, adding layers of organic materials that will “cook down” over time, resulting in rich, fluffy soil that will help your plants thrive.

Also known as “sheet composting,” lasagna gardening is great for the environment because you're using your yard and kitchen waste and essentially composting it in place to make a new garden.

No-dig, No-till

Girls With Drills

Our vivero sign was yelling to be hung, so Douglas brought his power tools.

Teaching the concepts of measurement, resourcefulness and safety, we set to work.

Seems everyone was interested.

Not to be ignored, our young ladies took the to the drill quite naturally.

The youth all seemed comfortable with the process.

The girls found wire and and clippers and soon the newly drilled sign was ready for hanging.

A humble start, with a lot of heart!

We'd like to thank Paula Wittingham of Vista Del Lago for her generous donations throughout, especially our new white tabes and chairs.

And Gracias to all the volunteers, youth and people of San Juan Tecomatlan
who allowed us to set up shop in their community.

Watch Us Grow!

Monday, January 28, 2019

+++++Optimal Moments Of Learning - Vivero La Esperanza+++++

On Saturday at 11 a.m. we gathered to continue work on the new nursery.  When we arrived in San Juan Tecomatlan, the Brigadistas had already started on a sign for the vivero/nursery.  Little did they know that we, Poco A Poco, had also done work towards this end.

Soon we'll have a working sign and logo for our nursery.

In the meantime, Douglas Miller set to work on preparing the planting bed.

This afternoon, the Brigadistas seemed distracted.

I realized that we were setting them off on a task and then pulling them away from said task when we had announcements or wanted to give a lesson on a specific topic.

Instead I focused on learning moments as we went through our work afternoon, taking advantage of something the Brigadistas saw or did to spring board into a lesson.

Also, our dedicated Mom volunteer, Donia Catalina continued sewing our shade cloth ceiling into 

Last week Doug and Alonza discussed Bonzai.  Alonzo has a special interest in this topic and Doug brought him books to borrow.  I have a feeling we'll be creating and offering Bonzai at our nursery.

Alonzo reading up on his favorite topic....Bonzai!

Every project needs a mascote.  We have two!  Mother and daughter team, Perica and Abeja.

Daughter Abeja (left) and Mother Perica (right)

Anita also had gifts for the Brigadistas that day.  The Mayor had donated blankets to the youth and their families.  This being a cold winter, the blankets were well received.  One for each Brigadista and one for their mothers.

 Boyz With Blankets

Grateful Group

After many distractions, the Brigadistas got down to work.  Our planting bed continues.

And our identity and pride in our project and our community grows.

Thank you to all those who help make our projects possible.  And a special Gracias to Brad Mowers for his consul on our permacultural design and very sage sustainable garden suggestions.

Our Wish List:

If you have any of the following you would like to get rid of we'll gladly collect these items,
needed at the nursery/vivero:

Cardboard/Newspaper - maybe old Guad. Reporters?

 Shipping paper?

Banana leaves (4 composting)

Water can 

Plastic sheets or tarp


5 gal. buckets 

Bins or tubs

Water jugs - so we can bring water from the presa to water the plants.

Here’s one for you …a metal door to fit a 28” W x 79” H opening, so we can lock the tools
up instead of hauling them back and forth.

 A thermos type water bottle so they can have water while they work and not use so many plastic cups.  Maybe you have one or two that you don’t use anymore?  Preferably not plastic that might crack.

And any other gardening tools you aren’t using or construction tools (hammer, wire cutter,
screwdriver etc)

The kids are growing vegetables from seed, but any cuttings of anything, would also be appreciated. 

Or pretty pots we could plant and sell to raise money.

We meet on Saturday at 11 AM if you are curious and want to stop by.

Thanks so much for your consideration!

 Feel free to pass our wish list on to anyone that might be able to help.

Alonzo y Eduardo

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Problem Solving in San Juan Tecomatlan - Vivero La Esperanza

Today's workday in the vivero involved lots of problem solving.

We tackled clearing the lot of left over concrete pieces, some rather large and heavy.

Luckily our friend Douglas Miller, Permacultural Designer joined us this day 
to lend a hand and his expertease.

Our ever tireless friend Barb Reinhart also showed up to assist.  In addition Barb brought much needed donations of measuring tape, coconut fiber and compost, a Queen's Tear bromeliad, saw, shovels, metal tub, shade cloth and seeds for the garden.

Girl Power!

With garden plan in hand we worked together meeting challenges head on.

Some plants needed to be moved as well as the large concrete pieces.

Needing a break we all met under the large guamuchil tree.  The tree lovingly provided us with 
refreshing shade.  Doug Miller presented his knowledge of composting and sprout germination,  We sampled amaranth and mung bean sprouts.  Some of the Brigadistas had never tasted sprouts and were a bit hesitant at first, but soon everyone was tasting and agreeing that sprouts were delicious and nutritious and easy to grow.

Our lead Brigadista in San Juan Tecomatlan is Alonza.  He explained our germination process to the new Brigadistas In Training and to Donia Catalina, one of the local women of the town who helps us weekly.

San Juan Teco Garden Crew

We'd like to thank the following for their generous donations of time, energy and garden items:

Barb Reinhart of Tlachichilco
Douglas Miller
Rocio Meillon of Huerto Cafe (who donated an Earth Box)
The Brigadistas of San Juan Teco
The local people, especial the women of San Juan Teco

If you would like to join our efforts, we will be at the Vivero La Esperanza
in San Juan Tecomatlan every Saturday at 11 a.m.

Watch Us Grow!