Sunday, March 24, 2019

+++++++++++++++++++ A Dynamic Day ++++++++++++++++++

Receiving a check from the Karen Rowell of the Lake Chapala Garden Club

Some days are invigorating....some are challenging.  Today was dynamic!  The day started with a generous donation from the Lake Chapala Garden Club (LCGC).  The LCGC has been a constant support to our Vivero project and today they presented us with a check for needed garden materials. 
 What a great way to start the day.

Our friends Dee and Doris, along with our friend Frank Ewer donated garden tools and supplies.

We had several guests at the Vivero.  Of note were Martin Meza and Brad "Mulch" Mowers, both experienced gardeners.

Maestro Brad led us through a presentation on "Soil". 

And Maestro Martin worked with the youth teaching them about heirloom seeds and germination.

Our garden keeps growing, even with less-than-perfect soil.

Frank Ewers had given us some special beans so Barbara Reinhart and Paula Whittingham both decided to make a bean planter bed.

Our new friend Priscilla Taylor brought along cuttings from her garden to share with the Brigadistas.

Priscilla patiently taught the youth how to properly pot cuttings.

The results are beautiful.

We were also joined that day by new friends Mino y Felipe Gerard.  Felipe and Brad got to work on our compost area.


This was a special day.  The first of our Swiss Chard was ready to harvest and the group decided that the first harvest should be given in appreciation to the two neighboring families, who have provided water and have kept a watch over our new Vivero.

Martin did the honors and showed the youth how to properly harvest the food. 

Our littlest Brigadista.

Our mascots, Abejita and Periquita are always by our side.

Mino, Brad and Felipe also worked on our mulch supply.

In the middle of all the activity, a few of us stole away to collect some construction soil, that had been given to us.

The kids decided to make a planting circle with some of the donated plants.

Our Vivero project is developing nicely.

Thank you to all our wonderful volunteers, supporters and youth.

We'd especially like to thank

The Lake Chapala Garden Club


Barbara Reinhart
Paula Whittingham
Mino and Felipe Gerard


Martin Meza
Brad "Mulch" Mowers
Priscilla Taylor


Frank Ewers
Dee & Doris from Agua Escondida

Sunday, March 17, 2019

+++++++++++++++++A New Day, A New Door+++++++++++++++++


One of the first things we do at the La Esperanza Vivero/Nursery is sit and discuss
last week's work and plan the work for the day.

This has been a new concept for the Brigadistas.  I include them in the planning and critique.
And I remind them of the importance of respecting other people's time and efforts.  This seems to be a constant, weekly topic.

Compost Area

Last week I left the task of creating a Compost Area in our Vivero.  Arturo and his crew did a fine job, all on their own.  We still need to properly place materials and signage,  but it is a work in progress.

A lot with a view. 



Our Permacultural teacher, Douglas got to work on his Biochar oven.  
Arturo took a special interest and assisted Douglas.

Biochar is charcoal used as a soil amendment. Biochar is a stable solid, rich in carbon, and can endure in soil for thousands of years. Like most charcoal, biochar is made from 
biomass via pyrolysis.

Biochar is recognized as offering a number of benefits for soil health. Many benefits are related to the extremely porous nature of biochar. This structure is found to be very effective at retaining both water and water-soluble nutrients. Soil biologist Elaine Ingham indicates the extreme suitability of biochar as a habitat for many beneficial soil micro organisms. She points out that when pre-charged with these beneficial organisms biochar becomes an extremely effective soil amendment promoting good soil, and in turn plant, health.

For plants that require high potash and elevated pH, biochar can be used as a soil amendment to improve yield.

Biochar can improve water quality, reduce soil emissions of greenhouse gases, reduce nutrient leaching, reduce soil acidity, and reduce irrigation and fertilizer requirements.


 The final product, ready to be used in our garden.

A New Door

Security has been an issue for us at the Vivero.  We previously had to store any valuable items
(i.e. tools, tables, chairs) in a bodega at a neighbor's house or at the home of one of the Brigadistas.

Our friend, Barbara Reinhart had a wonderful surprise for us at the Vivero.  She had met an ironsmith named Alvaro Salazar from Guadalajara and had him install a metal door complete with heavy locks.  He has completed the work with partial payment and has asked us to pay him as we can.

Thank you both Barb and Alvaro.  Now we can store our tools safely.

As a result, the girls started clearing our second lot, under Barb's direction.

And so we grow...