Things are moving along, steadily, on improving our property. When we first leveled the top piece of land, where we've located our buildings, we were left with a desert of dirt and rocks - not very appealing. Here are pictures of the bodega and the team house, during construction, where you can see what we had to work with, in the way of "yard."
Last year, just before the rainy season, we spread dirt in front of the two buildings, and seeded them both with grass. Now we have grass established in those two areas, and we're extending our "lawn." We want to have much of this work done (and grass growing) before the rainy season, because the heavy rains during that time of year would wash the loose dirt and seed right down the hill.
The area we've tackled this year is larger than the two areas from last year, and it's very sloped. To fight the inevitable erosion, we're getting sod from our neighbor, who was clearing a field for planting. We have to pay a laborer to cut it up, but the sod itself is free. Maybe not the nicest sod you ever saw, but we're not that picky, and it seems to be perking up when we get it in place and start watering it.
Gus and Cruz (our current worker) have been laying the sod in lines across the slope of the hill, to keep down erosion.
In the picture above, you can see the nice green grass from last year, in front of the team house. Between the lines of sod, you can see some brown dirt and some black. The black is actually a mixture of dirt and manure.
We only have a few cows, and we've already used most of the manure from them to fertilize the garden. So, we put out the word in the nearby town of Catulaca that we were willing to pay for sacks of manure.
This morning, Allen made three trips to Catulaca, and people came running out to meet him, with sacks full of manure. We got phone calls from people, telling us where families and neighbors had lots of sacks all collected together. In one spot, there were 50 sacks of manure. Below is a picture of our manure pile, but this picture was taken early in the day. The pile is much, much bigger now!
In addition to filling the trailer with sacks . . . even the inside of the Land Cruiser was full!
After our final trip into town, we had people show up on horses, and one family with an ox cart, all bringing more manure. Plus, we know more people are coming tomorrow.
I think we've cornered the manure market!