Then we could qualify for a bailout, like in the good old days when farmers got all the free money.
Overnight, Hal became the Intrepid Farmer. That worm workshop did something to him… he can't stop digging. He even constructed a rake. Because he couldn't find any really good quality rakes, mostly just those flimsy plastic ones and a couple of different hard metal ones. But not like real farmers use, apparently. Who is this guy?
For now, he has seeds germinating in little piles all over the kitchen and the patio. He hopes to turn this (photo left) into this (photo below right). Actually, melons grow pretty fast here. We had them growing in our first compost pile… now that was easy!
His farmer jones really got going with the worm workshop, but the seed was planted a-ways before that… right after our landlord "re-designed" the front yard, creating a barren field.
First, Mr. Landlord decided to cut down the two gigantic mango trees. Mango trees drop big leaves which are messy. They also provide fruit for us and the birds… but maybe he's not a tree person. Ok. It's his yard. So Antonio, our intrepid gardener, comes over and cuts 'em down… by hand with a machete. This just impresses the heck outta me. His picture should be in the dictionary next to intrepid.
My incessant whining about how the front yard becomes a swamp in the rainy season prompted some action. As soon as we left for Key West in February, a team of guys with shovels and picks appeared to dig up the front yard. Our housesitters, Barbara and Dave, had to live through that… They were excellent sports and sent me pictures of the progress. Yikes – what a mess!
By the time we got back two weeks later, every blade of grass and plant had been removed, the ground had been dug up and turned over, gravel was added under the topsoil at the drainfield, a huge pipe was added just below the surface to get all the rainwater from the house to the front wall into the new drainage system… and they weren't even near done. We had two to three guys at our house for another month! Here's a little video of the kind of excitement I'm talking about here:
While they were at it, the guys fixed a bunch of other stuff, too: painting the front of the house, fixing a broken door, repairing soffits. They were better at the other stuff than at drainfield repair because now there is now an actual pool of sewer water that bubbles up after a hard rain down near the wall… yuck is not a strong enough word to describe how we feel about that.
I don't think there's any fixing this save digging up the whole yard and starting from scratch. The basic problem is that the yard simply does not perc. It's a big mound of clay: impenetrable. We know this for sure after digging in it. Escazú doesn't have that nice volcanic soil like they have over in Heredia. Sigh. I'm not moving to Heredia. Especially not to farm.
Not that I really want to move, but the sewer in the yard has me back on the guesthouse management scheme. We'll see. I'm not making any major changes until it feels right… the universe just isn't opening any doors and I'm sick of banging knocking. For the moment. So we're hanging tight. Why not? Life is still good, we're not living in a tent. Yet.
And I thought I had problems with the clay in my yard!! What do you do about the muddy paws?
The patio is always muddy in the rainy season, but Winston only comes in late afternoon. If he’s really muddy, we wipe his feet… you just live with it, si?
Do yourself a favor. Move to Heredia…or better yet Florencia, and farm, farm, farm !
You are the second person to encourage that… yeah, Winston’s a great dog!
It makes us happy to see that you’ve made Clemenza/Winston a part of your family.
He looks healthy and happy. (Even if his front legs are shorter than his back legs!)
Funny! I live in Heredia and finally gave up on my herb garden because I can’t dig through that hard concrete-like clay. First place I’ve ever lived where I can’t even have an herb garden! I guess it’s just my neighborhood.
We are going to do container gardening. Way more expensive to get started but I love the idea of having tomatoes and peppers and herbs right outside my door. So we are giving it a go… they just redid our yard – big mess, so it’s all tilled – lol! But tilled clay is still clay. We’ll see…