Tuesday, February 27, 2018

************ Garden Project Update - Mezcala ****************

Volunteer Rita

As life would have it positive efforts spring up everywhere....case in point,
our Volunteer Rita who asked the folk of La Peña if they wanted to learn English.  Next thing you know a class was taking place on the sidewalk.  Go Rita!

Street alphabet

We had returned to La Peña for our weekly knitting and music & movement classes, and also to check in on the progress of Jorge's family's garden.

We were greeted by the family burro.  The burro had to give up his usual pen space for the new garden.  He didn't seem to mind too much.  Gracias burro.

The new garden is located on the west end of the family's property, running alongside the family home, at a slight elevation.


The faster growing crops like cilantro had taken off.  The newer plantlings, which had been started from seed at the Brigadista's nursery, were now in the ground, making grand efforts to catch up with the cilantro.

 Swiss Chard Starters

 Carrot Starters

Doña Olivia

Anita had asked me to bring flower seeds to put into Jorge's garden.  Doña Olivia and her son were thrilled with the selections.  Aside from providing much needed food and nutrition for the family, their garden will also be adorned by colorful flowers.

 Garden Crew Portrait

 New Nursery Location

We were also happy to hear that the family planned to clear a pig pen for future use as a plant nursery.  They will start plants from seed and have an inventory to transplant into their garden, perhaps also producing an abundance that can be sold at market or on the plaza.

Doña Olivia and her family were very eager to show us their lower plot, where they were already growing cilantro and radishes.

Were were generously given gifts to take home.

Happiness held is the seed; 
Happiness shared is the flower. 

---John Harrigan

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

La Zapotera & San Pedro Itzican Community Projects

Seeds selected for the food garden at La Zapotera

A morning that starts with sorting seeds, early errands with Dr. Todd Stong and visits to 
La Zapotera and San Pedro Itzican is a precursor to a wonderful day. 

Dr. Stong and Gerardo discuss quantities.

Our first stop was the Comex paint store to purchase paint for the renovation of the La Zapotera Community Center.  The interior walls have been repaired and primed.

A bright green paint was selected for the front doors and windows.

Our primary helpers, and the first ones on site, were Bryan and Don Ramon.

Out of chaos comes order.

The guys start distributing the paint and off we go!

The top portion of the interior walls will be white, with the lower section a bright, sunny yellow.

With the help of the community things are progressing quickly.

Tune in next week for further developments.

Our friend Gerardo has opted to stay in La Zapotera during the week to oversee the renovation work on the Community Center building.  On night 3, while sleeping on the floor of the building, he was stung on his upper left shoulder in the middle of the night at 2 a.m.  This was the culprit, apparently looking for a little body heat. It was a good thing that Gerardo caught the scorpion.  At times identification helps in pinpointing the most effective cure.

 La Zapotera Farmacia

The women of the town were able to help Gerardo with his scorpion bite by using their plant based, medicinal remedies from their own Farmacia.

Thanks to the wonderful remedies administered, Gerardo is feeling fine 2 to 3 days after the sting.

Xochilt's Garden in San Pedro Itzican

Our first home garden installation was at Xochilt's home.  We opted for macetas, due to the limited in dirt planting space...and now it was time for a visit to see how the plants were doing and how Xochitl was feeling about having these plants in her home.

We discovered that all the plants were doing well, and that the family has started to harvest Swiss Chard and herbs from the garden for their meals.

Everyone seemed happy with the progress, and more pots and plants were planned for installation next week.

Watch us grow!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Mezcala & San Pedro Itzican Garden & Jewelry Projects

(fotos by Anita Torres Guerrero, Doris Wakeman and Fco. Nava)

Jewelry Making in Mezcala

 Brigadista's Home Office, Mezcala

Our mission today was to visit with the Jewelry Making Project in Mezcala.  These women have been trained in Ajijic and are now producing and selling their product around the Ribera de Chapala area, Mezcala and San Pedro Itzican.  Look for their table soon in the Ajijic Plaza.

Small but efficient work space

Samples of some of the work

 We were also introduced to Anita Torres Guerrero's newest family member, Mimimsky. 
I don't think you can get much cuter!


While the women talked shop, I set up a seed exchange table to work with the Brigadistas and their garden needs.

 Seed Monger

Jorge's Garden Plot

Jewelry business taken care of we headed over to Jorge's family's lot, where we delivered a roll of chicken wire to be used in the new vegetable garden.

Jorge's home included many animals and the fencing is needed to protect the new plants.


These will soon become the family's organic vegetable garden plots

Laura's Garden Plot

A short distance from Jorge's lot is Laura's family's land.  Part of the large parcel is planted with squash and chayote.

Directly across from the planted area is the parcel we've been given to plant.  Planning cleaning and rock removal is key to the project.  These tasks will be completed soon.

Don Alfredo speaks with the Brigadistas and Poco A Poco crew.

We have beautiful plans for this garden.

And lastly I'd like to invite you to 

The 3rd Annual Festival of Native Seeds

Keep an eye on our progress.  We'll be harvesting soon!