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!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

-----------First Saturday Work Day in " Vivero La Esperanza" -----------------------------(San Juan Tecomatlan de Los Chiles)------------

San Juan Tecomatlan de Los Chiles Verdes

Lot Cleared

The town of San Juan Tecomatlán is located in the Municipality of Poncitlán (in the State of Jalisco). There are 1950 inhabitants. San Juan Tecomatlán is 1534 meters above sea level.

The distance from Ajijic to San Juan Teco is 20.9 kms.  It is located east of Chapala, 
on the road to Mezcala, just after the Vista Del Lago golf club/fraccionamiento.

We were fortunate to be allowed to create a nursery/vivero in the town, for the benefit 
of this and surrounding communities.

Our vision is to have a nursery where we can grow from seed organic plants to feed our
communities, grow enough plants to have a surplus to sell for a profit to cover the working costs of the nursery,

to have a place where we can hold gardening classes, a place where volunteers
can come to work, learn and help,

and a place for reunions and meetings.

On the drive from Chapala to San Juan Tecomatlan, I stopped at a yard sale hosted by
my friends Julie an Wayne in Vista Del Lago.  They had put a "shout out" for plastic
grocery bags, as they use them in their sales and had run out.  I took my entire stock
from home and delivered them.

Catalina and Brigadistas Sewing Shade Cloth

While there I spotted a clump of shade cloth for sale and scooped up the lot for $100 p

We had just had 2 metal structures created for shade areas and the cloth was enough to
cover one of the structures.

The women and children of the town started to arrive and soon were helping sort, place and sew
our shade cloth.

 Found stone planter

Our vivero is a collaborative effort of Brigadistas, volunteers, towns people.

As the sun ascended higher in the sky, we settled down to start seed germination class.

It seemed every one wanted to get involved.

I had brought a bag of donated heirloom seeds for us to work with.

We worked through the early afternoon.  Soon it was time for comida and we disbanded.

San Juan Teco Garden Crew

We are starting from scratch and are in need of donated items.
If you have any of the following, please contact us and we would be glad
to pick them up.

We Need

Ø Volunteers to drive people to and fro from the nursery and volunteers to work at the nursery.

Ø Teachers to assist in basic, ecological gardening techniques and maintenance.

o Raised bed planters, exterior benches and chairs, exterior tables, drop clothes

o Tools: carpentry tools such as hammers, saws, clamps, nails, etc.

o Garden Tools such as shovels, rakes, pix axes, koas, etc.

o Ladders both short and tall,

o Watering cans

o Tubs

o Wheel barrels,

o Shade cloth (5 m x 5 m)

Ø Donaciones of $ to purchase what we will not have donated.

Please watch us grow.

We are planning a Garden Open House

in about a month, so stay tuned!

Ajijic's attempt at street cleaning.

A little faith goes a long way!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

--------Volunteer Appreciation Day Lunch in La Zapotera--------

La Zapotera, Poncitlan Jalisco

 La Zapotera Community Center

As is usually the case when we visit La Zapotera, the children and their sixth sense
knew we were arriving soon and buzzed around the Community Center,
waiting for their favorite town celebrity, Harvey Bernier.

Today was to be a special day as we were honoring the women, men and children of La Zapotera
who have given so generously and beautifully of themselves
to make the Community Center a successful reality.

Karen's Chayote Bread...Yum!

Karen Bernier had prepared a special treat for everyone.  Her delicious Chayote Bread
was a hit and soon flew off the serving plates.

We arrived to find the women of the town busy at work in the kitchen
preparing part of our lunch for the day.  Harvey and Karen had brought steak to grill, 
along with cebollitas (onions).  The women in the kitchen prepared sopa de arroz, freshly made salsa, 
pico de gallo and warm tortillas.


While everyone settled in, Anita Torres Guerrero, Director of the Brigadistas of San Pedro Itzican and I visited the Community Center's Bazaar/Store.

Herbal Tonic

The women of the medicinal plant garden prepare various products for sale at the Bazaar.

We found a pomada infused with herbs for use as an expectorant and a lovely herbal tonic
ready for sale.

Soon it was time to eat and we all sat al fresco, under the lovely courtyard tree.

Harvey had stated that we should all bring our own knives, 
as there was a lack of these in the kitchen.

Our dear friend Kari Higgins brought a beautiful set of kitchen knives
as a gift for the women of La Zapotera and the Community Center kitchen.

The gift was well received and much appreciate.

Everyone sat, feasted and visited with each other.  Another family meal.

After lunch, the children ran to the nearby arroy and played "fishing".  They found some discarded string and pretending to catch enormous fish in the little arroyo.  I played along and was gifted a beautiful,
1 million kilo beauty from the town children.

It is splashing about in my swimming pool as I write.

What a beautiful New Year's present.

Thank you to all those who have helped make this dream a reality.