Monday, May 4, 2009

March and April on the farm

The month of March on the farm is primarily inundated with marañon. The season for marañon is February through April but the majority of the harvest is ripe in March. Most of the fruit is juiced for wine, vinegar, jelly, and syrup. Some of the fruit is dehydrated and used with the cashew nut for a snack bar. To juice the marañon the seed is removed and the fruit is torn apart and pressed by hand. I am sorry I did not have my camera on the days we were juicing the marañon. The process is as homemade as you can get and very colorful. My hands smelled of marañon for days after.

In addition to the marañon, in late February the indigo nurseries are planted. The beds are made by piling up the earth into 3 feet by 15 feet dimensions. In total we planted 18 beds of the two varieties of indigo. Once the plants reach 20 centimeters, they will be ready to be transplanted to different sections of the farm. The indigo plant is replanted every three years.

In March we also planted pepilan- which is a squash-like vegetable similar to zucchini. Since this vegetable is susceptible to pests, we made an organic pesticide made from Nim. Nim is a tree and the leaves and seeds are crushed to make a pesticide. After the leaves are picked they are passed through a mill. The pulp is then submersed in water. After three days the mixture is strained to a concentrate. One liter of the concentrate is mixed with five liters of water and is sprayed on the plants. A hand full of pepilans were ready to harvest late April.
I included a picture of my favorite dog on the farm. Most of the workers bring their dogs to work or at leat the dogs follow them to work. This particular dog has to swim across a river to get to work. Her name is Sweety and she is expecting puppies this month- her first litter.

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