Sunday, June 24, 2012

Nuestro Lote

As most of you know, we are farmers at heart.  Whether in containers, in raised beds, in the ground or in string suspended reused plastic soda bottles, we grow food.  My mother, Rebecca has instilled in me the love of growing...she grows flowers and fruit trees....Brad and I grow vegetables, fruit...truly, anything we can grow.

Our Wild Lote

We start the job

So moving to a new country and leaving most of what we had behind, we were dearly missing a garden.  It's taken us 3 months to settle in and yesterday we started work on one of our dreams...our own small organic farm/garden.

Farmer Brad y familia

Ivan Wackin' Away

Our lot sits just 1 block from the lake, and while we wait for paperwork to go through the Mexican bureaucratic process, we've decided to clear the lot and plant food...we envision a community garden of sorts, where friends who want to grow food can come and claim a piece of the land for a season or more.


The magic of the area just flows.  We met Santiago, a farmer from Mezcala, his wife Marisela and their wonderful family, who are helping us prepare and plant our lot.  Santiago has 4 girls and one young boy...and all were out in force, along with Brad and I yesterday clearing our lot.

La familia

We started the day with gusto and enthusiasm.  Clearing a lot that has stood vacant for many years, requires alot of by mid morning we needed a break.  We had almuerzo, a small meal between breakfast and comida....such a wonderful have a break and small meal between two major meals....why not?  We dined on lovely mangos, tacos, organic huevos, under one of our own trees.  The shade was heavenly and the company ideal.

Breaking for almuerzo

Girlz Rule!

Once sated and hydrated, we continued with the task at hand.  Our lot had numerous wild plants, trash, gravel and rocks on it, but it all magically was transformed into a beautiful piece of earth with the help of Santiago and his family.

Fco. weedin'

Family effort


As magic would have it I ran into a couple of new friends on one of my morning lakeside bike rides...Kima and Josh, who were living right on the lake and had planted a beautiful vegetable garden.  They were moving in a few days and needed a place to leave their garden vegetable plants.  I show up with the news that our lot is just a block away and of course, we'd be happy to take the transplants...everything balanced out.

Lote cleared

Time to burn

After clearing the lot it was time to make some humo of our own.  Santiago and Marisela sent me for some fuel to start our fires to burn the plants we had just cleared...this is a local custom and a way to return nutrients into the soil before planting.  Both inexperienced Brad and I were concerned with this phase of our project...but Santiago and Marisela just took it in stride and it all burned beautifully and quickly.  Soon we were kicking around ash and planning where to plant trees, vegetables, etc.

The girls waiting for the burn to extinguish itself

Our work day done,  Brad and I invited the family to comida at one of our favorite haunts...the grilled chicken place on the carretera.  It may not be the swankiest place in town, but they do have the best grilled attested to by half of the town showing up during our meal to buy chicken take away.  We were introduced to several of Marisela and Santiago's friends during our lunch, had a wonderful meal with the family and watched as Ivan, the youngest family member showed us how photography, via the eyes of a child, was done.

Comida at the pollo place on the carretera by Ivan

A great meal needs to be topped off with a great we bought paletas from the paleta lady and enjoyed jamaica, tamarindo, mango, guayaba, lime and grape die for!

Yum!  Uva!

Paleta humor

Smiles all around

Self portrait by Fco.

Self portrait by Ivan

The Farmers by Ivan

We bid a warm farewell to Santiago and his family, thanking them for all their splendid work and headed home for a much needed siesta.

Caballo by Ivan

El Sr. Del Huaje

Es un árbol grueso y frondoso llamado huaje, de donde surgen la imagen del Sr. del Dulce nombre o conocido hoy en nuestros días como Sr. del Huaje y la venerada imagen del Sr. del Monte, por el año de 1718, cuyo tronco y ramas figuraban muy bien la imagen de un crucifijo gigantesco. cortaron una de sus ramas e hicieron que un escultor moldeara la figura imagen de Jesús crucificado en la actitud de agonía, de tamaño agigantado, tal cual se veía modelado en el Huaje.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Arriving at the goat farm

Our friend Kim invited us to a goat farm off the Libramiento, to sample a local drink called Pajarete.  I wasn't sure what exactly Pajarete entailed, but I told her I was we headed out to the hills north of the lake.  Pajarete contains fresh goat's milk, ChocMil, coffee, stevia y sugar cane alcohol.

A bunch of chivos/goats

Goat Farm View

Kim didn't tell us that the goat farm was situated on a piece of land with an amazing view of the lake and surrounding areas...we were pleasantly surprised with the location.

Kim and her friend

Kim and Howard are regular visitors to the goat farm, buying milk for their weekly needs.  There is one particular brown haired goat that has befriended Kim...and this goat followed Kim around throughout our visit.

Sampling Pajarete in situ

Feeding Time

We also met a brown puppy that had joined the goat family and was being nurtured and fed by a mother goat.  Dogs, goats, cats, chickens and roosters, turkeys and chicks all live together harmoniously on the farm....a good example of how life should be.

Chivo Guys

The guys at the farm tend to and live in the area.  As can be witnessed in this photo, they too drink goat's milk daily.

Baby Pen

De Mille Close Up

Our beautiful hills post rain

Watching chivos

Chivos are like puppies, wanting petting and stroking and loving.  They are wonderful to watch.  The adolescent young'uns play at bucking each other, while the babies just want to be petted and stroked.

Pajarete Sign

Brad with goat milk in hand

Pet me,  pet me,  pet me!

Puppy lake view

Who me?